Celebrate National Pet Day by taking your furry best friend on a road trip – here's what you'll need

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Let’s be real: National Pet Day is just another one of dozens of pet-focused “holidays” (over 150, to be exact). Most of these were invented very recently to take advantage of social media buzz, Hallmark sales and warm fuzzies. This one, however, by the grace of the social media gods, seems to have caught a bit more steam than some of the others, so expect to be seeing a lot of it this year. Pet holidays are all well and good, but if you ask us, every day is National Pet Day in our hearts. Most of us here on the Autoblog crew are dog owners, so we’ve been thinking about the best, safest and most efficient ways to include our pups in our favorite hobby, hitting the open road.

We’ve actually got tons of great posts on traveling with your favorite four-legged buddy, spanning a variety of topics. If you’re just simply looking for ideas on how to manage a trip with your best friend in tow, check out our 7 tips for a road trip with your dog, right here. Trying to track down some pet-friendly places to travel? We’ve got the 10 most pet-friendly road-trip cities in America for you as well. If you’re concerned with in-car safety, we had a discussion with Lindsey Wolko, the founder of the Center for Pet Safety, and put together this article on how to keep your pets properly protected in the car. Last but not least, if you’re looking to pick up some gear to make traveling with your dog as easy and fun as chasing a tennis ball through an open field, then check out some of these great products, just below.

$109.24 at Amazon

The Sleepypod Clickit Sport Plus is one of only a select few harnesses currently certified by the Center for Pet Safety. The CPS certification program has been around for nearly 10 years, and requirements for certification can be seen right here. The Clickit Sport passed the CPS’ certification testing with 5 stars and there’s even footage of the testing available for viewing right here. Aside from being CPS certified, this harness is great for walking or hiking with your dog thanks to its energy absorbing neoprene padding construction, built-in reflective strips and double “D” ring leash connection. The harness is available in all different kinds of colors and sizes right here. 

Key Features

  • Crash test certified by the Center for Pet Safety
  • Makes use of reflective strips on the harness for improved night visibility
  • Features a double “D” ring leash connection

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$59.99 at Amazon

K&H Pet Products Buckle N’ Go Dog Car Seat is a great option for owners of larger dogs. It’s basically a dog hammock for your back seat. The seat is large with no weight limit so it’s suitable for just about any dog of every size. It’s simple to install and folds flat when taken apart. Importantly, the front also folds/bends down for easy entry, in case your pup is a little unsure about the idea at first. This seat connects to the seatbelt buckle receiver and is compatible with most vehicles with the exception of a select few Hondas with non-standard seatbelt locks.

Key Features

  • Simple installation
  • Open top with mesh sides
  • No weight limit
  • Foldable
  • 21 x 19 x 19

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$32.35 at Amazon

This Vailge God Car Seat Cover is a similar idea to the car seat above, but with a different design. It measures 56 x 60 inches and is made from 600D Oxford polyester fabric, meaning it’s waterproof and scratch-proof. It has a non-slip bottom that stays in place, in case your dog doesn’t like to stay still on car rides and the side flaps make it easy to enter and exit. For convenience, it’s also machine washable.

Key Features

  • 56 x 60 inches
  • Waterproof and scratchproof
  • Non-slip backing
  • Machine washable

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$27.99 at Amazon

For one last seat cover option, this Giomoc seat cover fits in the rear row of most cars, SUVs, trucks and even limousines, if you’re riding in style. Not only is it suitable for your pets, but for your cargo as well. It comes with an added storage pocket, quick-release buckles, two seat anchors and velcro seatbelt openings.

Key Features

  • 50.6 x 69.9 inches
  • 4 layers of protection
  • Waterproof
  • Scratch-resistant

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$700 at Gunner.com

The Gunner G1 is the ultimate pet travel crate. It’s been certified by the CPS (at the small, medium and intermediate sizes) and a test video can be found here. The intermediate crate weighs 48 lbs and has lots of great features for usability. The door is reversible so you can choose which way it opens, it has backup and safety latches, and it even has a removable drain plug on the bottom to make cleaning easier. On top of that, it’s double-wall rotomolded, reinforced with an aluminum frame, has two kayak-grade carry handles and non-slip rubber feet. If you’re looking for a sturdy travel crate, you can’t go wrong with Gunner.

Key Features

  • CPS Certified travel crate
  • 34″ (L) x 23″ (W) x 28.5″ (H)
  • 48 lbs
  • Features backup and safety latches
  • Includes a removable drain plug for easy cleaning

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$208.11 at Amazon

Just in case you started to think we only cared about the dogs here, we wanted to feature something that could be used for cats as well. While your pet isn’t harnessed into a seatbelt (or if you’re traveling with a feline that makes that impossible to begin with), you’ll want a comfortable place for them to relax on the trip. That’s where one of these portable pet beds comes in handy. This one by Sleepypod is available in multiple colors and comes with lots of handy features. First, it has a totally removable mesh dome to make it easier for your pet to crawl in and out when you’re not using it as a carrier. When you are using it as a carrier, you can make use of the removable, adjustable shoulder strap. Inside the bed is an “ultra plush” machine-washable bedding and the outside is made with a sturdy “luggage-grade ballistic nylon.”

Key Features

  • Mesh dome is completely and easily removable
  • Includes “ultra plush” bedding that is also removable and machine-washable
  • Exterior constructed with “luggage-grade ballistic nylon”
  • Includes adjustable shoulder strap
  • For pets up to 15 lbs

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$9.99 at Amazon

If you’re headed on a trip with your dog, you probably won’t want to take up space bringing your stainless steel or ceramic dog bowls that you use at home. A great solution is to pick up a collapsible silicone dog bowl for your journey. This one is expandable to different sizes, made with durability in mind and even comes with a clip to hang it on your backpack.

Key Features

  • Made of “high quality food grade silicone,” and dishwasher safe
  • Expandable to different sizes depending on the size of your pet
  • Available in multiple color combinations
  • Comes with clip to hang on bags or other travel accessories
  • Made to stand firm when filled with water or food

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$16.99 at Amazon

Naturally, if you’re going on a longer car ride, you’ll have to make some pit stops along the way. Not cleaning up after your pet after they go is just bad form (seriously, don’t be that person), so it’s a great idea to have some poop bags handy to clean up after your dog. Right now, there’s a great deal on these bags from Greener Walker that come in a pack of 540, so you won’t be running low any time soon. They’re leak-proof, made of an environmentally friendly corn starch blend, and the packaging and roll cores are all made of recyclable materials.

Key Features

  • 540 pack
  • Extra-thick, leak proof
  • 13″ x 9″ bags
  • Made out of a corn starch blend
  • Biodegradeable
  • Packaging and roll cores made of recycled materials

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