Traveling with Your Senior Dog


Misty settles in for the long ride
Misty settles in for the long ride

When our Golden Retriever, “Misty,” was 13 years old, we decided to take her on a cross-country road trip from California to the east coast.  Actually, we didn’t need to make this trip for any other reason than that Misty loved riding in the car, and we had never done a cross-country road trip before.

In spite of a blizzard in Pennsylvania that kept us immobilized for a  couple of days, we all had a great time.

Misty, after the snowstorm
Misty, after the snowstorm
Misty meets her "grandma" in Washington, 
Misty meets her "grandma" in Washington, DC
Misty meets the Atlantic ocean
Misty meets the Atlantic ocean

In preparing for a road trip – it’s a good idea to do the following:

  • Thoroughly check out your vehicle and put it into top-notch condition.
  • Next, gather together the equipment, food, leashes, harnesses, weather gear, and other dog-related supplies to cover the anticipated length of your trip, along with a couple of extra days’ supplies, in case you run into a diversion.
  • Take along extra supplies of poop bags and other clean-up materials. Like Misty, your senior dog might not be able to “hold it” as long as when younger or won’t be as reliable with house training when in unfamiliar circumstances.

The Senior Dogs Project highly recommends taking your ride-loving senior dog on your road trips.  Those trips will be some of your most memorable experiences together.


The Bring Fido site will help you find a dog-friendly place to stay.

And here are some tips about good practices when you stay at a hotel with your dog.