Essentials & Tips For A Dog-Friendly Road Trip

Essentials & Tips For A Dog-Friendly Road Trip

Sep 01, 2020Candice Maniga

If you’re coming down with a mild case of cabin fever or just need to get out and find a new change of scenery safely, you’re not alone. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict several of our norms, road trips are one way many people (and their pets) are taking a break from their new stay-at-home lifestyles while keeping up with COVID precautions. You can find some of our favorite places to visit in our blog article called 10 Dog-Friendly Pit Stops for Your California Road Trip This Summer, but with the pandemic still at play and wildfires on the rise, we wanted to share some tips for a safe and fun dog-friendly road trip.


Like any form of travel, road trips have their necessary packing list. However, what you pack for yourself probably won’t cover everything you'll need for your pup to tag along. In addition, to make your trip COVID-cautious, you’ll want to pack essentials that keep you from making several convenience store stops to limit your interactions with others. Use this list as a checklist while you gear up to hit the road:

  • Drinking water: The summer heat is no joke, even when you’re in an air-conditioned car! Be sure to fill up your reusable bottles with enough water for you and your pup. Don’t feel like sharing? You can find pet-friendly water bottles and travel bowls at your local Spot! Stop by or call in a phone order for pickup or same-day delivery prior to your trip.

  • Packed meals: Having food prepared for you and your pet means less unnecessary stops or interactions with others that might derail the rest of your trip. If you normally feed your pet frozen raw foods, start slowly transitioning your pup to a freeze-dried raw option that will stay fresh during your trip. Start a few days before you leave by feeding some of their regular frozen raw and some of the freeze-dried. That way, your pet can smoothly adjust and  limit the chance of your pet getting sick.

  • Masks for you, a leash for your pup: With strict COVID precautions throughout the state, it’s better to be safe than sorry because you don’t know who or what you’ll come across. Also, most dog-friendly public sites have mandatory leash rules for visiting dogs. Pick up a Healthy Spot mask and find an assortment of leashes at your local Spot.

  • Poop Bags, poop bags and poop bags: It’s both a common courtesy and a necessity for every pawrent! Get yours here!

  • MIND BODY BOWL Hemp Oil: Just like humans, pets can also have anxiety and car sickness while traveling. Our hemp oil isn’t just for keeping pets calm from fireworks. It’s great for maintaining a calmness for long periods of time in the car.

  • MIND BODY BOWL Signature Spa - Grooming Wipes: Our grooming wipes will come in handy to keep both you and your pup clean after trekking through dirt or any mess you may encounter outdoors. Plus, they’re safe for both pets and humans! You can buy them here.

  • MIND BODY BOWL Chews: There will be moments away from home when you’ll need your pup to stay distracted while you take care of human tasks like pitching a tent. Our MIND BODY BOWL chews will do the trick!

  • Durable Toys: We highly recommend bringing a durable, washable toy to keep your pup entertained throughout your trip! Some of our favorites include Ruffwear’s Gnawt a Stick and Healthy Spot Glow Balls. You won’t have to worry about your pet playing with things they shouldn’t or bringing home a dirty, damaged toy afterward.

  • Flea & Tick Products: We’re sure you’re packing for mosquitoes, but don’t forget there are other pests that you’ll want to protect your pup against when you’re in the great outdoors. See what we have online here. Your local Spot carries Daily Herbal Powder, Buy Spray and Drops from Earth Animal, which are small and easy to pack!

  • Blanket: It’s always nice to pack a blanket for some pre-planned puppy snuggles, but it will also be helpful for if your dog gets anxious. Bringing a blanket that reminds them of home could help keep them calm. Need a designated doggy blanket? Pick up our Healthy Spot pillow and blanket set next time you visit your local Spot.

Tips & Destination Suggestions

  • Check the weather: While a little heat may not bother you, even a few degrees raised in temperature can be ruff on your pets! It can even be fatal for dogs to be in hot cars, so take precautions against heat stroke for your pup. In addition to looking at the forecasts, wildfires are running rampant throughout California and drier climates. This could affect the air quality near your destination, road closures and more, so it’s important to be aware before you go.

  • Do your research on COVID restrictions: Not every city or county is following the same rules and you don’t want to be penalized for being in unknown territory. Look up the restrictions along your route to ensure there’s nothing like non-essential travel policies to keep you from passing through an area. Places you would usually stop may also be closed due to COVID and you don’t want to drive all that way for nothing. The CDC has released their own travel suggestions which you can find here.

  • See something new: At a loss for where to go? You aren’t the only one. With more people traveling in ways to keep them distanced from others, there are new articles from outlets like Afar and Visit California that list road trip routes that may show you a side of California you’ve never seen before.

  • Plan your breaks: Road trips are long as is, but they’re even longer when you’ve got a passenger you can’t tell to “hold it.” Make sure there are frequent stopping points along your route for your pup to take a potty break in a safe area.

  • Make sure your routes and destinations are dog-friendly: If you plan to sleep at home later that night, stick to destinations within 6 hours for an easy turnaround trip and look into any restaurants or fun stops to make sure they can accommodate your pets. If you’re camping out, check whether you need reservations and have the right equipment.

    Have you taken a pet-friendly road trip recently? Let us know your go-to destinations or tips for other car travelers in the comments!

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    Comments (2)

    • No we just go shopping for food, toys, and schedule my dog for a relaxing spa in healthy spot

      Madelle Kezia Galang
    • great ideas,I get so upset when I see dogs in a car with no seat belt

      Sandi Eliga

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