How to Travel with a Dog

With summer just around the corner, that means time for vacations! There’s nothing better than a week-long getaway to relax, unwind, and experience new adventures. This doesn’t mean you have to leave your dog at home though! Traveling with your dog can be great for both of you. You get to create new memories with your pup while also knowing that they are in good hands.

To travel with a dog though, you need to make sure you are using proper dog car safety. In the event of an accident on a road trip with your dog, being prepared for any scenario is helpful. We’ll go through how to travel with a dog in a car below and some key safety tips.

Car Safety Items for a Dog

Car Harness

According to the American Automobile Association, over 80% of dog owners drive with their pets in the car. Out of the 80%, only 16% of owners are using proper safety restraints on their pets. Some complications from car accidents where a pet is not restrained includes broken bones, ruptured lungs, and severe trauma. You can avoid this by placing a vehicle harness on your dog. Most will fit all size dogs, such as this fun zipline one by PETSAFE, and they allow for easier movement inside the car. 

Dog Seat Belt

In addition to a car safety harness, you may want to consider a seat belt. Dog seat belts click into the regular seat belt buckle and can be attached to the dog’s harness. When fitting properly, both of these safety pieces can help restrain your dog during an accident.

Car Seats & Carriers

Whether you’ve got a small dog or big dog, pet car seats and carriers are great for keeping your dog contained during your travel. Most pet car seats and pet carriers can be easily attached through the car seat belt and then attached to your dog’s harness. This option by Pet Gear is easy to use and great for keeping your dog safe in the car.

Booster Seats

While we may like to keep our pets close to us at all times, placing your dog in the front seat while traveling is not always a safe decision. Dogs in the front seat can lead to distracted driving and increase the risk of an accident. Some states have laws that require some type of pet car restraint, such as New Jersey and Rhode Island. Airbags are also something to think about when placing your dog in the front seat. When an airbag deploys, it can cause serious injury or death for your pet.

One way to avoid all of these situations is by using a doggie booster seat. These can be placed in the front or back seat of a car. Simply strap them in with the seat belt and make sure to hook it up to your dog via their dog harness. Frisco Dog Bucket Booster Seat is a great choice and comes in different sizes!

Travel Barrier

Another way to keep your pup secure in the backseat while traveling is with a pet travel barrier. Most pet travel barriers clip between the front and passenger seat of the car. This way your dog can stay in the backseat center for pet safety. This option by Kurgo works as a barrier and also a bridge so your pet is less likely to fall down in between the seats.

Other Travel Methods


There are many factors to consider when bringing your dog on a flight:

  • How long will the flight be? 
  • What will the temperature be at different altitudes?
  • What is the average temperature of your destination? 
  • What is your airline’s pet policy? 
  • What are the crate requirements? 
  • Is your dog small enough to ride with you in the cabin, or will they need to ride below?

Most airlines have a lot of limitations when it comes to pets, but it isn’t entirely impossible to fly with your dog. Since each airline has different rules, it’s best you check their specific websites and policies before making that decision on flying with them or not.

Train, Bus, or Boat

Most trains only allow dogs that are 20 pounds or under. National bus transportation systems do not allow dogs, unless you have a service dog. Your local bus company may have a different policy so it’s best to check with them before traveling. Out of all of these options, taking your dog on a cruise may be the best one. Most cruise lines or ships allow pets, but you should check their policies before making a plan.

Traveling with your dog can be a lot of fun. Making sure you are equipped with the best safety gear is important when going far. Remember if you are traveling for long distances, pull over to let your dog go potty and to stretch their legs. And when you finally get to your destination, praise them for being so good in the car and enjoy your trip!