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Car Travel With Golden Retriever: Tips And Tricks You Need to Know

Car Travel With Golden Retriever: Tips And Tricks You Need to Know
Car Travel With Golden Retriever

One of the best things you can experience is traveling with a Golden Retriever and exploring the world together with your best friend.
Golden Retrievers absolutely love to share this sort of experiences with you, and will happily be part of your new adventure.
To make car travel with Golden Retriever enjoyable and fun experience you need to take some precautionary steps and properly plan the entire trip.

This is the checklist to walk you trough the key steps before making the trip:

1. If Planning To Stay In A Hotel, Find Pet Friendly Hotels First

This is a must! If you are planning to stay in a hotel during your little adventure first thing you need to do is to find a pet friendly hotel in the area.

2. Before Car Travel Golden Retriever Must Be Trained

Before traveling, your Golden Retriever must understand at least basic commands like: “come”, “sit”, “stay” etc.

3. Get Your Golden Retriever Used To Car Travel From An Early Age

As with many other things best time to familiarize your Goldens with a car is when they are still puppies. Just like humans when they are young they tend to learn and adapt to new things faster.

So the best thing to do is to first take your puppy on a shorter routes and trips thus familiarizing it with a car and the notion of travel.

One thing you shouldn’t do is to make your first trip with a puppy to a veterinarian as it will associate car ride with unpleasant things and emotions.

4. Go To The Vet Before The Trip

Before you go on a trip with your Golden Retriever first visit your vet as a precautionary measure just to check if your dog is healthy and in shape to go with you. You can do this about 2 weeks prior to the trip to leave you time to fix potential issues should they arise.

5. Pack All The Dogs Paperwork

When you are travelling with your Golden Retriever always bring with you necessary documents and paperwork. Such as: Veterinary health certificate, Vaccination records, Insurance certificate & policy documents.

6. Have Tags Made

You never know what situation may occur on your trip. Maybe your Golden will slip away when you are not paying attention, or run after cat and get lost in unfamiliar terrain. What you need to have is a contact information on a collar and on its microchip tagging.

7. Don’t Forget To Pack Essentials

Before you take off make sure you have all these things packed:

  • Food and Treats (Pack enough for entire trip)
  • Cups of Water (Anti-spill bowls will do the trick)
  • Separate Pet Bag (To have your dogs things easily accessible)
  • Toys (To keep them entertained)
  • First Aid Kit (You never know, so it’s best to be prepared)
  • Waste Bags
  • Disposable Floor Mats (Cheap blankets to protect your car interior from dirty paws)

8 . Potty Break Before Take Off

Approximately 20 minutes to an half hour before departure you should take your Golden Retriever for a walk to tire him and let him do it’s own business.

9. Check The Dog Seat belt Or Crate

There are few methods people use to secure their dog while traveling in a car. Some use seat belts specially made for dogs that usually come as a harness with an attachment that attaches to the seat belt.

Others use plastic or wire crates and some even place their dogs in a trunk with separation net to prevent dog from jumping over in passenger seats.

It’s quite hard to determine which method is the best. In a case of car accident wire crates could smash, plastic crates could shatter, and seat belt just might not do it.

So the best thing is to leave this choice to you, so you can choose the best option for you and your Golden Retriever.

Things To Do And Watch Out For During The Trip

Please, Never Ever Leave Your Golden Retriever Free In The Car

I can not stress this enough! Please for the benefit of you and your dog never ever leave your Golden Retriever free in the car during travel. No matter if you done it before multiple times without incident. No matter if your dog is trained and didn’t show tendency to bolt out of the car. Please don’t do this!

Story below is the best example what can happen when you get overconfident and too relaxed.


“I had always allowed my dogs free in the vehicle (grand caravan with a pet barrier) until Nov 2008 when my Oliver bolted from the vehicle onto the highway and was killed instantly. We were at the vets office and had been through this routine a 100 times – sit/stay, open the back of the van, take one dog out on the leash, close the back door, release the dog inside the van from the sit/stay and repeat when one dog came back.”

“But that evening in Nov 2008 was different and I’ll never know why. Oliver, who had his CD, CGN and was ready to trial for his CDX, bolted from the vehicle ripping my hand open when I grabbed his collar without success. I will never forget that horrible feeling of seeing one you love run with all his force out onto a busy highway with traffic travelling 80 to 100 km/hour – he didn’t have a chance.”

“I say that but he could have had a chance – it was my duty to protect him & I failed.”


“From that day forward, Nygel was crated whenever we travel as was Razz when he came into our home. Razz made his first car trip to his new home in his crate and knows nothing different.”

“At first, Nyg wasn’t the happiest camper being confined to a crate but now it’s just the norm & he runs to the van and jumps into his crate knowing that we’re going for a car ride!”

“Losing my beloved Oliver made me learn the hard way – Crate or my furkid is not travelling in the vehicle!”

I know dogs love to ride in the car free, but if you don’t secure them in some way I feel you are being irresponsible. It’s like driving around with a child unseat-belted. Please don’t do that!

Establish Routine, Take Breaks

Knowing your dog and it’s potty schedule its essential for planning breaks. While it’s recommended that you take 20-30 minute breaks every 3-4 hours that does not mean it will suite your dog and you.

Plan and adjust those time frames based on your dogs ability to control bladder. Also don’t be irresponsible dog owner and always remember the waste bags.

Don’t Ignore Your Golden Retriever

While traveling with your Golden Retriever always keep an eye on him/her. Pay attention to your dogs behavior. If your dog is whining or sniffing the car like grass or pawing at the door that is a clear sign it’s time for a potty break.

Provide Toys

Traveling for a few hours can get boring really quick. Best way to keep your dog entertained is to provide some toys that will keep it interested and occupied.

Provide Water

Make sure your Golden always have Water to drink during the trip. Anti-spill bowls are perfect for this.

Give Treats

Give them treats to enforce that feeling of pleasure around car and travelling and also to reward good behavior. Important thing to remember is to not do this while the car is in motion as your dog can choke.

Things To Consider In Hotels

If you need to leave your hotel room for some time and you don’t trust your puppy to behave well in your absence, Collapsible Crate is the answer. You can be sure that your little friend will be safe and sound there while you are in shopping or otherwise engaged.

If you trust your dog enough to leave them in room alone, first remove and safely store all the chemicals and inappropriate food. When you leave, place the “Do not disturb!” sign so the hotel maid does not let your dog out unintentionally.

Enjoy And Have Best Time Of Your Life

Traveling with Golden Retriever will be unforgettable experience for both of you, there is no question about it. This will make that bond between you so much stronger and your life filed with crazy stories from those beautiful adventures.

But remember mother of all success is preparation. So to make these trips a complete success you need to prepare and plan things out. Good luck travelers as you discover your next great adventure.