Riley, our daughter’s Boston Terrier has lived with us on and off for many years. dogs, prudent livingWhen my daughter and her husband lived overseas for two years Riley came to Vermont. When my daughter and her family moved to the west coast, Riley came to live with us. This fall we planned an adventure, we decided to drive across the US with Riley.

Before getting started I read up on people’s recommendations for traveling long distances with a dog. Riley actually loves driving in the car and is content to sit quietly in her bed while traveling. However since we were going to be in the car for such a long time we decided to purchase a “seat belt” for her. We found one called the Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Harness from Kurgo , which comes with an adjustable harness. With it Riley can lie down, stand up and turn around. More important it will keep her safe.Dog harness

Traveling such a long distance we decided to carry plenty of food for Riley, both canned and dry. She is very particular about her food and we ddin’t want to be searching for her special brand of food while on the road. We also had a small cooler to keep her canned food chilled. We also carried two small bowls, it was important that she have access to water and food during the trip!

Riley's Food and Bowls

In addition to Riley’s bed we also packed several of Riley’s blankets. Riley loves to make her bed by dragging her blankets in place.Riley We packed a small dog crate just in case. Riley’s bed fits into the crate and if we need to we could close the door and know that she couldn’t get into any trouble. We haven’t had to use the crate yet, but it’s nice to have just in case!

Before we left I will looked for dog friendly hotels along our route. We’ve been lucky so far as we’ve stayed with my cousin who graciously allowed Riley to stay inside too and I’ve found that it’s actually very easy to find pet friendly hotels. The next part of our journey will be traveling from Keystone, South Dakota to Portland, Oregon. It will be interesting to see where we stay during that part of our travels.

There are plenty of websites with advice on traveling with a dog. BringFido and DogFriendly were two of the beter sites. I’m amazed at how many people travel long distances with their dogs!

Eating out may be a problem, as dogs are not allowed into restaurants. As I mentioned we will have a cooler so I usually make our lunches on the road. Here in Keystone Riley has adapted to her life living in a hotel suite. Her home away from home!

Riley is current on all her vaccinations and medicines. Traveling across the country has been a grand adventure and having Riley with us only adds to the experience!

4 comments on “Traveling Cross Country With a Dog

Judith Reed on October 19, 2015 1:42 pm

Hi, Nancy…. Sure enjoyed your article today. It brought back memories of our trip from CA to NC, only our dog HATES cars! We’ve had him eight years, and he still hides under the seat and shakes whenever we have to take him somewhere. We wondered how we were going to get him to go thousands of miles in the car. So we asked our vet how to help him endure several hours a day on the road without going berserk. He suggested giving him a light sedative to ease his anxiety. Turned out the sedative was more of a knock-out drug, for he slept all the way. But we made it, dog’s psyche intact! However, he is more savvy now about taking ANY pills. No matter how we disguise his meds, he still figures out its a pill, and promptly rejects it! (I am glad his heart worm pill is only once a month, because it is an ordeal!) Any suggestions on masquerading a pill so the dog will take it? We have tried everything.

Nancy Wolff on October 19, 2015 11:05 pm

Judith,
Dogs are so smart aren’t they!I’ve found the only way to give a pill to a dog who refuses to take them is stick it down their throat! Not too fun but it gets the job done! Then they can have a treat!

Amy Davis on October 19, 2015 4:16 pm

Hi – Your story brings back an old memory. While we lived in Colorado for a year we acquired an American border collie, a real herding dog, that our kids loved. When we moved back to Texas, lock stock and barrel in a Ryder truck and our Renault, we of course had to bring our family dog. Back in those long-ago days, motels weren’t so dog-friendly, but we found one where we could sneak her in late in the evening. We walked her for 30 minutes knowing she must need to go, with no results, then brought her in with misgivings. She saw the green carpet, sighed happily, and IMMEDIATELY defecated on it! I spent the next half hour scrubbing it clean, actually the only clean spot on the carpet. After that she had to sleep alone in the Ryder truck! Thankfully it was only a two-day one night trip.

Nancy Wolff on October 19, 2015 11:04 pm

Amy,
I loved your story about your travels with your border collie, I am very thankful we have not had any problems or accidents!

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