You should know … this is a sponsored post. The products and services mentioned below are provided by brands supporting the Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip. Based on our honest assessment after personal use, the opinions expressed below are my own. Just mine. (Unless they’re yours, too.) We will not receive any commission or affiliate compensation from our sponsors for any purchases you make based on our advice.
Traveling full-time with Ty and Buster for seven years has allowed us to research and test hundreds of products and services meant to keep them safe and comfortable on the road. Below are a handful of pet travel essentials we wouldn’t leave home without …
Alcott Collars and Leashes
Not only do Alcott’s collars and leashes come in a beautiful selection of colors and look great on the boys, they’re comfortable and help keep Ty and Buster from getting lost!
Conventional wisdom says that to keep your dog from backing out of his collar it should be fitted so you can just get two fingers underneath it. That’s pretty tight for everyday wear. And when you’re traveling, leaving your dog’s collar on 27/7 is a good idea so he’d be wearing his ID tags if he got lost. The advantage of Alcott’s martingale collars is that they have a built-in loop that tightens when your dog pulls on the leash. By adjusting the collar so two fingers just fit underneath at it’s tightest point, you keep your pup from slipping away, and give him a looser, more comfortable collar anytime he’s not pulling on the leash.
Alcott’s Weekender leashes are our choice for the boys. They have a heavy-duty clasp that easy to use – even when you’re wearing gloves. The buckle in the handle is our favorite feature because it makes attaching the leash to a bench at a park or a chair at a sidewalk eatery a cinch … and we don’t have to put the boys at risk by disconnecting the leash from their collars to make that bench or chair attachment. You won’t find the Weekender leashes on the Alcott website just yet. That’s because Alcott is adding an exciting new feature: the Weekender leashes are going to be adjustable from four feet to seven feet! Keep an eye out for that, and use discount code GPF30 on their website for 30% off of your order.
Freedom No-Pull Harnesses from 2 Hounds Design
Safety, functionality, and style all come together in the Freedom No-Pull harnesses from 2 Hounds Design! With four adjustment points, you can get customize the perfect fit for dogs from 14 to 250 pounds – so even your Houdini won’t be able to wriggle out of this harness.
The leash attachment at the chest is wonderful for big dogs who occasionally chase squirrels without warning. (I’m looking at you, Buster!) The chest attachment provides more control and has saved both Buster and me from injury many times. The leash can also be attached at the back to a built in martingale loop, so if your pup pulls, the harness tightens and encourages him to keep the leash loose. The leashes provided by 2 Hounds Design even allow you to connect to the front and back loops simultaneously, for dogs who need extra encouragement not to pull.
The array of colors these harnesses come in is almost dizzying, so you’re sure to find a combination that looks great on your best friend. And the harness is easy to get on your dog, by slipping it over his head and securing two buckles. Best of all, with multiple adjustment points and a velvet-covered strap that runs across the belly behind the front legs, these harnesses are comfortable for your pup.
Dogs are our best examples of pure joy, and nothing makes them happier than playing with their favorite toys! That’s why Ty and Buster don’t go anywhere without an assortment of goDog RhinoPlay and Retrieval toys from Worldwise. (We also like to leave some toys to entertain the dogs we visit at shelters until they find their forever families.)
The environmentally responsible RhinoPlay toys are made from a non-toxic solid foam and utilize patented valve technology, so they hold up to “ruff” play. These toys are lightweight, durable, and they float – they’re perfect for every pup’s travel bag! Plus, a portion of proceeds from RhinoPlay sales is donated to incredible organizations like the Animal Rescue Foundation, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and W.A.G.S. for Kids.
When it’s time to really burn off some energy, Buster relies on the goDog Retrieval line. The tennis balls in this collection have stronger seams, a thicker shell, and a foam core, all of which decreases the likelihood of the ball popping and creating a choking hazard for your dog. But Buster’s favorite is the bright yellow Sonic Stick, which lights up and makes a fun noise when you throw it. Even dogs with less-than-stellar sniffers will be able to find and fetch this stick!
PetHub Digital ID Tags
One challenge we hope none of us ever face is losing a pet, and the folks at PetHub feel the same way. Their digital pet ID tags allow anyone who finds your pet to immediately access his on-line profile and help get him back home as quickly as possible.
Good samaritans can use a cell phone to scan the QR code or manually enter the web address on the back of the tag, and review all the information you want them to have about your wandering pooch, including medication needs, health conditions, allergies, and most recent vaccinations. They’ll also be provided with the contact information you provide to get your buddy back safe. PetHub even has a free 24-hour “Found Pet Hotline” to assist in the process.
You can link as many PetHub tags to your free online account as you’d like, and easily update your contact information for every trip you take! Your pet’s online profile can even be printed to make lost pet posters.
RV Pet Safety Pet Temperature Monitor
RV Pet Safety’s new pet temperature monitor is a self-contained unit that measures the temperature inside your house, RV, motorhome, or car to ensure your pet’s safety while you’re away and sends texts and emails if there’s a problem.
Using their smartphone app, you set the alert thresholds for your monitor, and if the temperature reaches the limit you’ve established, the device immediately sends email and text alerts to as many as five people. The monitor has a built-in battery, which will run for 1-2 days on a single charge, and can be recharged using either a USB-to-wall adapter (included) or a 12-volt adapter for the outlet in your car or motorhome (not included).
The RV Pet Safety device is enabled with its own connection to the Verizon cellular network. And – just like a cell phone on the Verizon network – it can send emails and text messages to cell phones or other devices on any cellular network. They’ve even developed a version that works in Canada and Mexico!
Rooms at Red Roof Inn
With over 500 locations, Red Roof Inns are a great choice for pet friendly accommodations at economical prices across the U.S.
When we need a break from the RV, there’s always a Red Roof nearby by and their properties can be found along major highways and right downtown in some of our favorite cities! Best of all, Red Roof does not charge additional pet fees for one pet per room – just the opposite in fact, offering pet travelers a 10% discount on their stay using Promo Code 604673.
Some locations do have weight restrictions, so be sure to confirm the pet policy before booking.
Sleepypod Harnesses and Carriers
When the Center for Pet Safety started crash testing pet safety harnesses in 2013, it was a wake-up call for us all! It quickly became clear that most harnesses on the market were not protecting our pets in accidents – worse, in fact – they could actually contribute to pet injuries.
It wasn’t long until a whole new generation of safety harnesses arrived on the market, and Sleepypod’s ClickIt Sport immediately got our attention. This brilliantly designed, and rigorously tested car harness couldn’t be more simple to use. And with a 5-star rating from the Center for Pet Safety, we know it’s keeping our boys safe.
The step-in design is easy to put on, with two buckles that clip at the dog’s back. There are two metal rings that allow you to attach a leash for quick pit stops and two PPRS (Pet Passenger Restraint System) straps on each side where you slip the seatbelt through. It’s impossible to mess up and comfortable for the dogs to wear. Sleepypod also makes crash-tested carriers for those of you traveling with smaller pets.
The Honest Kitchen Dog Food
There are many reasons to love The Honest Kitchen dog food – it’s made from human-grade ingredients I recognize, they boys still drool every time we mix it up, and it’s dehydrated, making it perfect for our mobile lifestyle.
Each 10-pound box of The Honest Kitchen rehydrates into 40 pounds of food – and when you live in a motorhome saving that space is especially helpful! But what matters most to me is what the veterinarian has to say about their diet … he thinks the boys look great and are as healthy as dogs years younger than them.
I also love that we can switch the dogs between The Honest Kitchen’s formulas with no gastrointestinal upset. We’ve rotated through different formulas for seven years now, giving Ty and Buster beneficial nutrients from different sources, and making things easier on us if we need to pick up food and can’t find their usual diet. Having that extra flexibility makes our pet travel life a little easier.
Of course, you need somewhere to put all your pet travel gear, and for us there’s no better choice than a Winnebago RV! We started out in a 24-foot Winnebago View and moved up to a 37-foot Itasca Meridian a few years ago.
There’s nothing better for pet friendly trips than a vehicle that provides all the comforts of home, but comes on wheels. Winnebago has been building RVs for 50 years, and is one of the most trusted brands in the industry. From small travel trailers to luxury motorhomes, they build them all in Forest City, Iowa and invite you to come see the process for yourself on a factory tour.
One of the primary benefits of RV travel is that you and your pets can enjoy the great outdoors all day, and always sleep in your own sheets at night. Having this consistency allows dogs and cats to become comfortable in their environment, develop a routine, and accept the RV as another “home.”
Of course, there’s also something to be said for storage compartments where you can stow all your pet’s necessities and conveniences, like outdoor showers to keep pet messes to a minimum. Ty and Buster have spent most of their lives in a Winnebago, and we can’t imagine a better life with them or for them.