Road trip with a dog- 5 essential dog travel accessories

Planning a road trip with your dog? Want to know the best dog travel accessories and things you need in a motorhome, camper or car for your dog? After years of road trips with our cocker spaniel Mac, here are our essential dog travel accessories!

Don't forget to grab your FREE dog travel checklist below- to make sure you remember everything!

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Best Dog travel accessories for road trips

Dogs are the best road trip companions- they're always happy, they let you play whatever you want on the radio and they NEVER whine ‘are we there yet?'!

Still, on our first few trips with our adventure puppy, Mac, we either took WAY too much stuff for him, or we forgot something important- like his food bowl…

(If that sounds like something you might do (no judgement), here's a FREE checklist for you to print and use. Let your furbaby know he's loved.)


Are you planning a road trip with your dog?

I know dogs need less ‘stuff' than a human travel companion, but it doesn't always feel like it. At times, we've found ourselves wondering where to put the crate, bowls, food, toys, BALLS, leads, drying coat, towel, brush and everything else a dog needs.

Still, some things we can live without and others we would turn the motorhome around to go back for: they're that useful!

Also, keeping your dog cool is always important whilst travelling in the heat, so don't forget these tips to help you keep your dog cool in a car or a camper.

Disclaimer; I know dogs come in ‘he' and ‘she', but for the sake of ease I'll just use ‘he'. I have absolute faith in you being able to apply these tips to your own dog, whatever sex they might be! 😉


Travel Crate or harness

It is against the law to let a dog roam free in a motorhome, camper or car when driving in the UK or Europe. They MUST be restrained at all times and not able to distract the driver. There are several ways to do this, but crate or travel harnesses are the most popular. 

We tried Mac with a travel harness when he was a puppy… he chewed through it! We also used to have a collapsible, fabric crate… but he clawed through that and jumped forward to sit on our laps at the front of the motorhome.

Seriously, this dog is Houdini with fur.

So for a long time we used a metal crate. Yes, it was bulky, yes it was a pain, but it kept him safe while travelling and also acted as his ‘safe' place to sleep or chill in if he wanted to.

This is our favourite dog travel crate for car/ motorhome road trips; be sure to get one big enough for your dog to sit up straight in and turn around. 

UPDATE: Mac is now 4 and can FINALLY be trusted with a seat harness. We also downsized our motorhome, so we got rid of the crate and now he just chills wherever he feels like.

This is the harness we use for him too.


Doggy Bag

I can NOT emphasise enough how amazing these doggy bags are when travelling with a dog. Seriously, you can put a wet, muddy dog into one of these magical devices and they come out clean, dry and fluffy.

Trust me- I'm a cocker spaniel mum. I use these several times a DAY when travelling- my dog is a water and mud magnet.

They don't take up much room, but allow you to clean and dry off a dog before he messes up your van. Or your car. Or your house.

If you don't have any already, grab one here IMMEDIATELY. (And no, we've tested other brands- they're nowhere near as good.)


Food/ Water Bowls

I love the ease of these stackable dog travel bowls– you can put food and water into them before you set off, perfect for a short road trip or if you're travelling overnight in a pet-friendly ferry cabin. The top bowl is also water-tight, so you can keep water in there as you travel. Genius!

The other thing we use is a portable dog drinking bottle. It's PERFECT for taking on walks or when you're having adventures with your dog. This is the one we use.


Cool mat/ jacket

One of the problems we encountered when we started travelling with a dog was keeping him cool in warmer temperatures.

Again- I have a cocker spaniel. That boy does NOT know how to chill; he will run and play until he collapses (which he did once on a walk and I had to carry him back…!)

Two things we use to help keep him cool is a cool mat and a cool jacket.

I'll be honest, the cool mat is useful but something about the texture he doesn't love, so we have to put a towel over it before he'll lie on it. Still, other dogs seem to use them just fine.

But he LOVES the cooling jacket. It's absolutely one of the best dog road trip accessories we've ever bought. It chills him out (ha- literally!) almost instantly and he never tries to chew or scratch it off. We actually carry two, so we can rotate them- one is in the freezer getting cold while he has the other one on! It's definitely one of the best dog travel accessories we've ever bought.


RELATED: Is the Ferry or Eurotunnel better when driving to Europe with a dog? Find out here


Sturdy Lead

We don't use extendable leads as I've heard too many stories about them breaking when a dog gets over-excited or tries to chase a cat across a road.

We love this lead as the extra hook points make it easy to shorten/ lengthen the lead and keep an excitable and curious puppy close to us when necessary. 

We also carry a cheap lead for walks which I don't mind getting muddy- it goes in the shower with him afterwards! 


So there you go- 5 essential dog travel accessories for your upcoming road trip. 

We've found it easier to get a set of everything specifically for the motorhome- makes it easier to remember it all. But we also use our handy, dandy dog travel checklist, which you can get right here! 🙂 

I hope you have a wonderful road trip with your dog. Safe travels.

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3 thoughts on “Road trip with a dog- 5 essential dog travel accessories”

  1. Hi, like the videos – always interesting to hear other similar minded people’s views on ‘this life’. I am also a biker and dog owner and would love to tow the bike but what do you do with the dog when you want to go for a bike ride in the south of france etc. Surely they would cook in the camper within a very short time? Cheers. James.

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