With a surge in pet adoptions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many new dog parents are now navigating summer travel with their furry friend. No matter where you’re at in your pet journey, you’ve probably already thought of ways to make your summer road trips more fun - and comfortable - with your dog by your side.

Due to COVID-19, Nissan found in a recent 2020 study,[[3458]] 71% of consumers are opting for car travel over air travel, thus comfort and safety on the road are at top of mind. The good news is, planning ahead can make road trips with your dog enjoyable and worry-free for everyone involved.

Be sure to always check in with your local and state safety guidelines in addition to CDC guidelines for travel as you plan to travel with your dog. For a small investment and a little extra planning, you can implement some simple solutions in your vehicle to help make your trip more comfortable for the whole family.

From how to travel with a dog, to packing the essentials and dog travel solutions, to how to secure your pet and the best Nissan vehicles and accessories for road trips with a dog, here’s everything you need to get your vehicle in shape for every great adventure with your dog by your side.

7 Tips for being on the road with your dog

Just like you, your dog will appreciate a smooth, cool and cushy ride as you embark on your next road trip. You’ll want to consider everything to make your adventure a success. Learn tips for how to safely travel with a dog in your vehicle, types of car restraints available for your dog and how to secure your dog in the cargo area of an SUV. Explore available Nissan features that are designed to help protect the safety of passengers as well as create opportunities for functional storage and easy-to-access essentials.[[23]]

How to Travel With a Dog

But first, take note of these seven safety tips to help plan a safe, enjoyable road trip with your best friend.

  1. Securing your dog in a harness, crate or carrier will help keep your dog from moving around the vehicle. The less your dog moves around, the less you’ll be distracted which will help you keep your eyes on the road, instead of checking the back seat.
  2. While it is nice to open the windows on a long car ride, letting your dog ride with their head out the window can be a safety hazard. Debris, unexpected brakes and turns can lead to hazardous driving conditions. 
  3. Prepare your pet for longer trips by taking them on short interval rides first to help get them accustomed to longer car rides.
  4. Pack the essentials. Pack a travel kit for your dog that includes items such as food, medication, water, bowls, waste bags and toys to keep them occupied. Keep in mind some states may require health records or proof of pet vaccinations, so consider packing those documents as well. 
  5. Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle, especially in extreme temperatures where dogs can overheat quickly. 
  6. Keep your vehicle well ventilated. The last thing you want to do is have your dog overheat. 
  7. Take frequent stops. Give your dog the opportunity to go to the bathroom, walk around, drink some water and eat.

How to secure a dog in car

In advance of your trip, determine how you plan to properly secure your dog in the car. An unrestrained dog can pose a greater risk of injury to occupants of the car and be distracting. Nissan offers available accessories to help keep your dog secure on the road. Check out these four tips to help properly secure your pet in a car.

Buckle up

One of the best ways to keeping your dog secured is by using a chest-style harness in the back seat of your vehicle. A dog car harness is a great solution for medium to large-size dogs who don’t fit in a dog car seat or would feel restrained inside a crate. To ensure your dog stays seated during the trip, run the seatbelt through one of the loops on the back of the harness and fasten seat belt securely. Always consult the harness information manual for instruction on safety and proper vehicle use.

Use a tether

Tether straps are another safe way to secure your dog and clicks directly into your vehicle’s seatbelt. This is a quick and affordable solution for securing pets. A tether simply clips to the pet’s harness and connects to the vehicle by fastening to the seatbelt buckle or built-in child-seat anchor. Always follow the instructions per the information manual provided with your tether to keep your dog from moving around the vehicle.

Crates & carriers

If you plan on using a hard-shell crate or soft carrier to secure your pet in the car, ensure it is large enough for your dog to move around. While safety and security are of utmost importance, ensuring your dog is comfortable is paramount for enjoying a great road trip. Smaller dogs can be kept in portable-style carriers that can be secured in the vehicle’s second row using seatbelts to limit movement. Medium and large sized dogs should be housed in a sturdy kennel, secure to the vehicle cargo area in SUVs or trucks. No matter where your crate or carrier is in your vehicle, you should ensure it is fastened securely as possible. [[23]]

Set boundaries

Wondering how to secure your dog in the cargo area of an SUV? For both larger dogs and/or dogs who struggle with restraints, consider cargo area dividers to help keep pets behind the last row of an SUV. Using a cargo divider and setting boundaries can prevent distractions for both the driver and the dog, so everyone can enjoy the drive.[[23]]

Nissan has a variety of boundary solutions available for your vehicle ensuring that everything including your dog has a place in the car:

What to do when your dog gets car sick

Can dogs get car sick? Most dogs can travel well without motion sickness, but in the event that your dog does get car sick, here are some tips and preventative measures you can take to help ensure they will be feeling refreshed and nausea-free for the entire road trip. 

Try to avoid any big meals for your dog before the trip. An empty stomach will help reduce nausea and the need for frequent bathroom breaks. Schedule out snacks throughout your trips to keep them satisfied on the trip but not full. Access to fresh water whenever possible is very important to keep your dog feeling cool and hydrated. 

Head to the veterinarian for anti-nausea medications. Keep in mind that these medications only help with nausea not anxiety. Some prescription medications require getting accustomed to be effective so make sure you plan accordingly. 

Use a harness and tether to prevent your dog from moving around too much in the car. If they are stabilized in one place, they will be less likely to get dizzy by moving around the car. Carriers and crates are often considered a “safe place” for pets which can help reassure any anxieties or sickness for travel.

Take frequent breaks. It is so important to keep your dog hydrated and allow them to walk around in the fresh air. Use the time to hydrate and stretch your legs as well!

How to Travel With a Dog in a Car

Nissan vehicles for pets

A consideration when pondering the best vehicle as a pet owner, is the built-in convenience for pet travel. The new Nissan Rogue is an ideal SUV option for those looking for adventure with their furry friend in tow. This exceptionally dog-friendly vehicle features near 90-degree rear-door openings that make loading and unloading bulky cargo, like kennels and crates, even easier than ever. Keep reading to learn about how the Rogue is an excellent vehicle choice for pet owners.[[23]]

Nissan Rogue


Dedicated lower anchors in the center of the rear seat allow you to put a child seat in any seating position including the middle seat - or use the anchors to tether your dog in place.


The updated available Divide-N-Hide rear storage system offers options to securely store pet leashes, bowls, grooming tools, food and more. With six different ways to organize the cargo space you’ll have room for your road trip essentials.[[1389]][[23]]

Rear Door Alert

Rear Door Alert (RDA) can provide drivers with an audio and visual reminder to check the back seat when exiting the vehicle.[[1240]] Interior car temperatures can rapidly increase to dangerous levels in certain climates putting your beloved pet at risk. See Owner’s Manual for safety information.

Tri-Zone Climate Control

One incredible feature of the Nissan Rogue is the available Tri-Zone Climate Control which gives pet owners the flexibility to set rear seat temperatures at a comfortable level for pets, separate from the front driver and passenger temperature control.

Pull-up sunshades

Take advantage of the available pull-up sunshades on both rear doors to remove unwanted sun rays.


The Rogue also has a deep pocket behind the right wheel arch providing a smart storage solution for items like snacks and a gallon of water for rest stops.[[23]]

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