I have been asked a lot recently on how we go on trips with our pups. I love dogs so I am very excited to help others experience the joys of traveling with their pets.
We have 2 dogs. Pre is a 3 year old Standard Poodle and Clyde is a 4 year old Blue Healer Pit Bull mix. I would consider them medium-large sized dogs. Let’s just say they can both fit inside one Solvit HoundAbout Pet Bicycle Trailer size large together.
We have a Ford F150 Supercrew with a 6 ft. truckbed and attached topper. We fold the truck seats up and the dogs have the entire backseat area. I am not sure how other dogs do in vehicles but our dogs just sleep the entire time until they feel the truck slowing down.
- TIPS WHEN DRIVING WITH DOGS
- Practice: How do they handle such a long car ride? I want to say they do so well because we worked up to a 17 hour car ride. We went from 2 hour trips to Red River Gorge and then extended to 5-7 hour trips to Pisgah National Forest. This happened over a 2 year span.
- Bring a little home with you: We always bring a dog bed with us. We prefer the square ones so they fit better in the truck and one with a slick bottom. Also we bring a few toys with us. They really like Nylabones.
- Take breaks: We tend to take breaks only when we have to use the restroom or get gas. This ends up being anywhere from 2-4 hours in the car. It’s a routine for us. I use the restroom while Chris pumps gas. Then once I am finished with the restroom, I take the dogs to grassy areas to use the restroom and stretch their legs. Teaching them the word ‘potty’ really helps this go a little quicker. The more you travel with them the easier this part becomes. Don’t forget to feed and get them water on your breaks as well. Trying to stay in routine during long car rides helps keep the dogs calm and relaxed. Rarely do our dogs ever have to use the restroom before us.
We truck camp. Which entails us (2 people, 2 dogs) sleeping in the back of our truck on a Milliard Tri Folding Mattress. Once we arrive to our sleeping location, we unfold the mattress and are ready for bed. With the tailgate down the dogs are able to hop up into the truck and right into bed. Chris usually climbs in after them and I shut the tailgate. Since I am smaller I climb in last. I step on the back bumper and climb into the back window. Shutting the window can be tricky from inside due to it not having an interior handle. What is really nice is the interior lever so we can open the window. It even glows so you can see it at night.
Just a side note, when it’s night time and you’re camping with your pups don’t forget to get them a clip on light. Our pups are black and man is it impossible to find them running around under the stars. We use these clip-on lights. They work well for the price. They also are nice and light so you do not have to take them on and off.
Is it cramped?
It can be snug if we don’t organize the dogs. We try to keep both the dogs on one side of the truck. Somehow Pre (the poodle) always manages to sneak over and lay on my feet. Overall it works well for us.
Where are the dogs when you bike?
Some days we take the dogs biking with us but for the other 95% of our rides the dogs hangout in the truck bed. Remember we have a truck topper but ours has two large windows on the sides.
- Things we do:
- Pet Screens: We also had Pet Screens installed. The Pet Screens are plastic-coated metal screens that are mounted on the inside of the window. This allows us to keep the windows open and protect the dogs from getting out and from outside intruders.
- Fan: We added a Fan to the window. See below what else we added to the truck to power the fan. I don’t know why it took us so long to add a fan to our setup but it makes a huge difference. It got up to 89F this past week on our trip and inside the truck bed it still felt comfortable.
- Solar Panels: A big item we added earlier this year to help us cook and charge things were solar panels. For a more detailed write up on our Solar Panel setup I will post link here soon. We are creating a video and blog soon to help others create a successful setup.
- Water: This one may be obvious but we leave a water bowl near the tailgate. We make sure to put our small piece of shower curtain under it so not to get our platform wet. That would make for stinky and uncomfortable night.
- Tri-Folding Mattress: We leave the mattress folded and shoved to the back. This allows them room to stretch out everywhere else and then have this spot to comfortable nap. We also put the dog bed right in front of the fan. This is Clyde’s favorite spot.
- Window Note: We place a note in the front door that tells people are dogs are in the back and have water. We also post our cell phone on it if there is an emergency.
Hanging with the Dogs.
We do a bit of hiking with our dogs. I will post in more detail exactly how we hike with our dogs in another post. On days we mountain bike and do not take the dogs, we go into town and find dog-friendly activities. We use bringfido.com to find so many places and events.
- What we found on bringfido.com:
- Dog Parks (free ones)
- Restaurants: mostly places that had outdoor seating. We always called them before heading there just to make sure.
- Shops: Most places love dogs and we noticed that if you asked before entering most shops they did not mind pups while you shopped around.
Thank you so much for reading Traveling with Dogs. I hope this article helps others explore the world with their pups. If you have any questions or even helpful tips for us comment below! See you all camping!