Image: Peter Amend/Getty

CRA Travel Explored – Road Trips With Pets


Staying put for an extended period of time—in a pandemic or otherwise—can drive anyone a little stir-crazy. But when flying presents too much of a risk (and your pet may prefer to stay grounded anyway), the only option, really, is to gas up the car and hit the road. As much as we like the idea of a get-in-and-go attitude, traveling with a pet, whether it’s a short day trip to the nearest beach or a cross-country endeavor, requires more forethought. Without the proper gear, you could find yourself hopelessly unprepared on even the shortest ride (imagine, no poop bags during a walk at the next rest stop). You could even end up putting your pet in danger.

To make planning for road trips with dogs or cats easier, we rounded up everything you might need, including crash-tested car harnesses for protection, a seat cover to prevent fur from being forever woven into the fabric (a nightmare when you’re driving a rental), collapsible food bowls for eating on the go, a travel water bottle that dispenses just the right amount of water, and more. Shop all our road trip pet essentials below.

All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Urpower Pet Seat Cover

If you have a dog or cat who sheds with even the slightest movement, then a waterproof cover to protect your car seats from being blanketed in fur is crucial. This non-slip quilted option from Urpower can be transformed into a hammock, which not only envelops your pet in a plush cocoon, but also shields the back of the front seats from scratches or stray strands. If that’s too much of a commitment (or takes up too much space), spread out this water-resistant pet blanket, instead, which, when folded up, can also double as a pet bed once you reach your destination.

Buy now: $30,

Kurgo Crash-Tested Dog Car Harness

No one wants to entertain the unthinkable, but accidents do happen, which means the safety of your pet should be a major priority. Keep both you and your dog safe by securing them in place with a crash-tested car harness like this Kurgo model that comes equipped with all-steel nesting buckles modeled after the harnesses rock climbers use. The fact that it’s comfortable enough to be used as a regular walking harness, and has a padded chest plate for added protection, makes this one a winner.

Buy now: $40,

SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed

This portable, dual-purpose carrier has seatbelt straps and a removable mesh dome that reveals a pet bed—perfect for cats or small dogs that are 12 pounds or less. If you’re more inclined to go with a traditional cat carrier, Sherpa makes a deluxe pet carrier that works for both planes and cars, and features mesh windows for ventilation and a soft washable faux lambskin lining for comfort. If you own a larger dog, a collapsible crate that’s easy to transport and set up when you reach your destination is your best bet—this crate from Diggs just might be the chicest one we’ve ever laid eyes on.

Buy now: $190,

Woof & Barc Travel Water Bottle

This water bottle was designed with your dog in mind: It dispenses fresh water with a press of a button and features a large spout to fit the mouths of all breeds. A leak-proof lock allows you to open and close the bottle, which means you won’t have to worry about spillage when you toss it back into your bag or the backseat.

Buy now: $33,

Love Thy Beast Canvas Pet Tote

For roadside excursions, a tote to carry your pet will give you more freedom to explore local spots. This one’s a favorite for its clean, utilitarian cotton exterior, featuring a scoop for your pet’s head, two outside pockets to store essentials, and a collar-leash attachment on the inside. If you’re doing something more active or prefer to balance the weight on both shoulders, a pet-friendly backpack like K9’s Sport Sack Plus 2 (which has ventilated side panels) is a great option.

Buy now: $160,

Homasy Portable Handheld Vacuum

No seat cover, no problem. Post road trip, get into every nook and cranny with an easy-to-use, cordless handheld vacuum that lasts up to 30 minutes. But if you’re on a multi-day journey, this vacuum’s charger is small and lightweight enough to come along for the ride. Homasy’s has the power to suck up even the most stubborn pet hairs.

Buy now: $56,

Max Bone Travel Food Bowl

Unless you want your pet to eat from the palm of your hand (consider that a last resort), don’t forget to bring some type of vessel for food. We recommend this collapsible rubber bowl that’s not only easy to clean and store, but also comes with a carabiner so you can easily clip it on your bag when it isn’t mealtime. Buy now: $35,

Wild One Bolt Bite Toy

If you’ve got nothing but miles of road ahead of you and a bored or anxious pup in the backseat, entertain her with this lightning bolt-shaped rubber chew toy that has a reinforced center and open ends for hiding treats. Our suggestion: These turkey-flavored calming treats from Zesty Paws that use a blend of nutrients and plants to promote relaxation.

Buy now: $22,

Pure + Good Grooming Wipes

Wipes are always good to have on hand, but they’re especially good to have on a road trip. Clean up dirty paws or a muddy belly (or a messy bottom) with these safe, pH-balanced, hypoallergenic wipes that are stripped free of harsh chemicals and irritants.

Buy now: $12,

Boo’oh Toto Bag

There are poop bag dispensers and then there are the poop bag dispensers. This one from Boo’oh falls in the latter category for its fine grain leather construction that can house poop bags (scoop up these eco-friendly ones from Wild One), treats, keys, and earphones, and look good doing it.

Buy now: $59,

Article Credit to CN Traveller.