Road trips are an American pastime. What better way to hit the road than with your four-legged friend for an adventure you both can enjoy. If you plan on taking Fido or Fluffy with you on the highway, you’ll want to keep them safe and comfortable on the open road.

If you know where your stops will be along the way as you travel, you might do a bit of research ahead of time to find pet-friendly hotels on the route. Not all hotels accept pets, some only accept pets below a certain weight threshold and almost all charge a pet fee. To be sure you and your pet have a place to lay your weary, road-traveled heads for the night, consider making reservations at properties that accept pets with conditions you can live with.

 

While traveling, it’s wise to keep your pet restrained. If your cat or dog is used to riding in the car, and loves doing so in a well-behaved manner, perhaps they don’t pose much risk to themselves or to your ability to drive when they’re left free to roam about the car. If your pet isn’t that calm in the car, consider purchasing a pet booster seat which keeps them restrained and safe in the passenger seat or back seat. There are also dividers that you can attach to your vehicle to separate the front seats from the back seats, or the cargo area from the rest of the car, to keep your pet confined to one section of the car.

You will also need to account for frequent stops with your pet in tow. Be sure to factor those into your estimated drive time. It’s also a good idea to bring a collapsible food and water bowl along with you for replenishment when you stop. Also remember to bring with an ample supply of baggies to pick up after your pet in public spaces like all responsible pet owners should do.

To ensure a smooth road trip with your pet, you should have your car inspected by a trustworthy mechanic in your area. If you need help finding someone to give your car a pre-trip check, use the handy locator on Cars.com to find mechanics and service centers near you. Fido and Fluffy will thank you for checking things out before you leave so that neither of you find yourselves stranded on the side of the road with car troubles.