traveling with a new puppy

Traveling With A New Puppy: A Survival Guide

Are you about to take a long car trip with your new puppy? If so, you need to read this survival guide on how to make traveling with a new puppy a breeze.


A long car trip can be a daunting experience for you and a new puppy, but with the proper preparation (including packing the right dog-friendly gear), it can be a fun and exciting adventure. This article will discuss everything you need to know before hitting the road with your new furry friend. 


We will cover topics such as safety, food and water, potty breaks, and how to keep your puppy entertained during the trip. Following these tips ensures that your long car trip goes smoothly for you and your new puppy!


So, let’s get started.


Table of Contents

Safety Aspects Of Traveling With A New Puppy

Safety is always the number one priority when traveling with a new puppy. This is especially important when going on a car trip. First, ensure your puppy is restrained in the car safely and securely.


traveling with a new puppyA small travel crate securely fastened into the seatbelt or child seat anchor point is the best solution, as harnesses are typically not appropriate for young puppies. A large crate is also unsuitable as the puppy could be hurt if you suddenly brake or are in a vehicle accident. 


If you use a harness or dog seat belt, attach it to a full-body harness, not a collar. A loose collar could cause your puppy to choke if it jumps out of the seat or gets tangled in the belt.


We recommend keeping your puppy in a travel-safe crate or boost seat during car trips. As your dog grows older and bigger, you may need to upgrade to a dog car harness that attaches to a seat belt. It’s best to keep your dog in the backseat of the car, or in the rear of a station wagon” – PetBarn


When we are talking safety, remember this isn’t just about the puppy. This is about everybody on board. It is not unusual to become distracted by a new puppy on a long car trip.


Pull over to a safe location if you need to take your eyes off the road for more than a couple of seconds. It is not worth risking an accident to check on the puppy.


If you take the necessary precautions, traveling with your new puppy can be a safe and fun experience for both of you!


Food And Water For Puppies In The Car

Regarding food and water, it is crucial to bring along enough for the entire trip, plus a little extra just in case.



Water breaks are most important, especially on hot days. Carry an ample supply of fresh water, especially if you stop in an area that won’t have access to clean, running water. Freshwater streams may be polluted, so best to bring your own supply.


You should pack a container or bowl to offer the puppy water regularly.



Puppies need to eat more frequently than adults, so plan on making several stops for potty breaks and meals – every hour is best. Stopping reasonably often is also vital for you as the driver to get a good leg stretch.


stopping by a store while traveling with puppiesIt is also a good idea to pack some small treats for your puppy to enjoy and chew on during the drive. Not only will this help keep them occupied, but it will also be a nice reward for good behavior!


You have to ensure you aren’t giving your pup any potentially harmful treats (like chocolate or other human treats). Apart from the danger, foods that aren’t meant for puppies can make them sick on the trip.


Don’t be too concerned about treats, training, and conduct just yet, though, especially if your puppy is relatively young (say 8 to 10 weeks old – very much just a baby)! 


Toilet Breaks For Puppies On Long Car Trips

Speaking of potty breaks, you will need to make sure that you take plenty of them on your long car trip. Puppies have small bladders and can’t hold them for very long, so you will need to make sure that you stop every few hours to let them relieve themselves.


If possible, try stopping at pet-friendly rest stops or parks so your puppy can stretch their legs and burn off some energy.


Bring Some Towels

Puppies may also have accidents in the car, so it is a good idea to bring along some old towels or newspapers to clean up any messes just in case and also to put a moisture-absorbent puppy pad and towel underneath their travel crate.


Puppies Can Find Traveling Tiring 

Remember that long car trips can be very tiring for puppies, so take it easy on them.


Break Up The Trip

If you are planning on driving for more than a few hours, The Spruce Pets says it is best to break up the trip into smaller legs over a few days. A few breaks will give your puppy time to adjust to their new surroundings and get used to being in the car. Plus, it can be a fun experience for you and the family.


Control The Vehicle’s Climate

To help reduce fatigue, ensure the vehicle is climate controlled to a comfortable level, i.e., Air conditioning in summer, shades up on the windows, and the heater on (but not too hot) in winter.


Watch For Carsickness

woman traveling with a new puppyIf you are driving long distances, keeping an eye on your puppy for signs of carsickness is also essential. If they start to act strangely or seem unwell, pull over as soon as possible and consult your veterinarian.


Carsickness or motion sickness is very common in puppies, as their delicate inner ear structures aren’t fully developed yet. If this gets serious, your vet will be able to provide advice on remedying this. 


Entertaining A Puppy In The Car

Last, you will need to keep your puppy entertained during the drive. Keeping busy is essential both for the pup’s safety and your sanity!



Bring their favorite toys from your home, such as chew toys and a few treats to keep them occupied. If you’re picking up your new pup from a breeder or pet store, you might be able to take home a blanket that smells of their mother.


Familiar everyday items will have comforting scents and help keep your pup calm. 


Crates With Built-in Toy Holders

traveling with a new puppy with plush toyYou may also consider investing in a dog seat cover or travel crate with built-in entertainment features such as a toy loop or treat dispenser.


Don’t be too concerned if your puppy is shy and just wants to hide in its crate – at only 8-10 weeks, it is likely the pup has only had limited experience in cars and most likely only short car trips with the litter to the vet for initial health checks or vaccinations.


Following these tips ensures that your new puppy’s long car trip is safe, fun, and stress-free!



So there you have it, everything you need to know about traveling with a new puppy! By following these tips, you can ensure that your journey is enjoyable for you and your furry friend. Safe travels!


Do you have any other tips for long car trips with puppies?


If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family planning a road trip with their new pup. Thanks for reading!


About The Author


Hi, I’m Sandra. I am an animal lover and have had a whole variety of pets my whole life. I started to share my passion, experience and knowledge of all kinds of animals and pets – from responsible ownership, training and feeding right through to my thoughts on toys and other pet accessories.