On The Road with Rover: Tips on Bringing Your Pup Along for Family Fun this Summer

May 1st, 2022

If you love dogs as much as we do, you will want to bring Rover along on your summer vacation or family road trip. But having your pooch in tow on your summer travels requires careful planning. You need to know what’s right for your pup physically and emotionally. You also need to have an understanding of travel rules and regulations, whether you’re driving, flying or cavorting on a coastal cruise.  

Here are a few tips on making your summer sojourn safe and satisfying for you, your family and your beloved Fido. 

Travel by Car

  • When driving, humans must, of course, wear seatbelts—it’s the law. While strapping Rover down in a seatbelt is not the law, consider buying a harness or dog seat with a leash that attaches to the seat belt. You can always crate your pooch as well. Whatever you do, don’t carry your pup on your lap or, worse, let him or her loose in the bed of your pickup truck—this is unlawful in many states.
  • If you are crating your dog for a long road trip, make sure the crate is well-ventilated and big enough for him or her to stand up, turn and lie down in. Cover the bottom with an absorbent pad and include a soft blanket—and perhaps a favorite toy—to keep your canine comfy and cozy. A water bottle that attaches to the crate’s gate is also a welcome accessory. 
  • If your dog isn’t used to long road trips, you may want to prevent motion sickness by taking a few short trips ahead of time. And feed your dog about a third or half the usual amount before hitting the road.  

Air Travel

  • Air travel for dogs can be tricky. Airlines have different policies, and the ones that do accept dogs accommodate them in different ways—some are Fido-friendlier than others. Make sure you call ahead to understand their policies, like rules on crating or the number of animals they can allow per flight, and specifics on how they treat dogs generally as well as particular breeds.
  • Visit your veterinarian before your trip. Should your dog be tranquilized? Does your dog have preconditions, such as epilepsy or is he or she prone to ear infections? These can effect how Rover should travel. You need to submit health and vaccination certifications no more than 10 days before the travel date.  Dogs should be at least 8 weeks old and weaned. 
  • Aside from airline regulations, you need to make sure that your destination is safe for your pup. Is it too hot or too cold? Are there quarantine regulations? Traveling to Hawaii, for example, can be especially trying for you as well as your pup. State law requires dogs and cats that do not meet all of the specific 5 Day Or Less program requirements to be quarantined for up to 120 days—yes, that’s 120 days—upon arrival in Hawaii.
  • International travel is another ball game altogether. Every country has its own rules and regulations. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country of your destination for details.

Train, Bus and Boat Trips

  • Interstate trips by train or bus will not work. Period. Neither Amtrak nor Greyhound accommodates pets of any kind, though service animals are accepted. Local and commuter trains and buses have their own policies. Service dogs are generally permitted.
  • You may be in luck if you plan on taking a cruise, especially with a bigger cruise ship company, though you should definitely check ahead of time with them about their policies.


  • Hotels and motels have become more accommodating of dogs in recent years, but definitely check with them ahead of time as well. While accommodating, many places won’t allow you to leave Fido alone in your room—not that you would want to—for safety reasons as well as out of consideration for other guests, and some may charge extra for guests with dogs.  
  • The town where you’re staying could determine whether your hotel, motel, inn or room share is dog-friendly or not. Carmel, for example, is notorious for welcoming dogs. The town especially loves Poodles. It hosts a Poodle Parade every year! 
  • Wherever you may go, make sure your dog always has a collar with an identification tag—or consider a microchip—that includes your contact information and proof of vaccinations. Also, take photos of your dog with you just in case you accidentally lose him or her. You can always seek help from the local authorities to find your beloved pup.

Visit Happy Hound in Oakland for all you pet’s health and wellness needs, including professional dog grooming, award-winning dog training programs, safe and comfortable dog boarding, as well as doggie daycare and veterinary services. Happy Hound offers various areas to accommodate every size and temperament of dog. Dogs that stay at Happy Hound get access to fresh air, comfortable dog beds and enjoy the chance to socialize. Call or visit Happy Hound in Oakland, California, for all your dog and puppy care needs.