Tips for vanlife with a dog

When I set out on the road my only companion will be my 4 year old female golden retriever. With so much information about vanlife out there I still find it difficult to find tips on travelling with a pet companion.


Be sure she likes to ride in a car/van, and the rest is getting used to living in a new environment. My little terrier loves to travel - every new place a new adventure. What really helps is maintaining a routine in terms of feeding, sleeping, walking/playing/exercise. Be sure she has all her vaccines, and you probably don’t want to deal with her getting pregnant - have her spayed.


If you plan to leave your dog in a running vehicle from time to time (like when you go into a store) and your window switches are the type that can be rolled down if you dog steps on them, consider adding a “off” switch that’s wired inline with the fuse your windows.

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I have done multiple cross country trips with my dog. We always do at least an hour hike in the morning before breakfast, stop every couple of hours just to stretch, try to get to camp by 3 or 4 in time for a nice hike and explore and finally a before bed go out.

She loves to travel. It is a fun adventure for her with lots of new places/smells to discover,

I live full time with 2 dogs chihiahua and tree walker coon hound, and 4 cats in my van.

The tips I can offer you are these.

Make sure that you walk your dogs somewhere other than where you park to sleep if in the city areas. Ex if parking in a neighbourhood walk your dog prior to where you are going to park that way you are just parking to sleep.

If rual area clip a refletive light or use a collar that has one or a bell. If possible have them wear boots for those sharp rocks or uneven surfaces.

Make sure you van is insulated and has a fan that can input and export air. There are also battery opperated fans that you can buy at walmart for more air circulation. Park in the shade and crack windows. Cover the winsheild with your visor to also help keep it cool.

Always have water ready for them there are spill proof bowls out there. If it is hot outside let them have a swim in the lake creek or hose them down prior to putting the van if going for a grocery run.

Also dont be afaid to park far away from other cars in a parking lot. So that other folks dont hear your dog barking if they do that.

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we had a dog too! so you can see how we actually do it