Driving with a Puppy in the Car: 5 Things to NOT Do

Having your puppy in the car might not be the most secure choice. Your pet could become nervous inside the car, divert your concentration when you’re steering, or even jump on you, disrupting your attention on getting to your destination! It’s imperative to ensure your pet is comfortable and safe throughout any travel- this also applies to their time inside your vehicle.

Here are five things that should never happen with a puppy in the car:

Never Leave Them Alone in the Vehicle if it’s Hot Outside

This can cause heatstroke and death! Watch for warning signs like excessive panting, drooling, increased heart rate, or vomiting. If these symptoms persist after you’ve pulled over and cooled your pup down in the shade, it’s time to go to the emergency vet.

Never Let Them Stick Their Head Out of the Window

This can cause severe injury if something hits them in the face while driving! Even if it doesn’t happen, don’t risk annoying or distracting other drivers while you’re on the road.

Never Administer Medication While Driving

It’s too easy to bump the bottle, spill medicine everywhere, and waste it. In addition, you don’t want to risk taking your eyes off the road or getting in an accident if your pup needs a pill during a trip! Take their meds when you get back home.

Never Pet Them While Driving

This can be distracting! Driving is a full-time job, and you shouldn’t be distracted from it by your pup. In addition, drivers behind you may not expect cars to stop abruptly because you’re petting your dog in the middle of the road! Always wait until you’ve parked.

Never Leave Them in the Car Alone

This is never okay, even if you’re running into the convenience store for a second! Your pup could get out of the car while you’re gone and end up lost or hit by a passing vehicle. Always keep your dog with you when driving-just not in the front seat.

Is it okay to let my pup ride in the backseat?

It’s totally fine for your pup to sit in the backseat, but make sure you keep them on their leash, and it doesn’t hang down and get tangled around any levers or pedals.

When is the best time of day to take my puppy for a car ride?

Morning or evening are both great times to take your pup for a ride. Avoid days where there is extreme heat.

My dog has been sick lately. Can I still take him for a car ride?

Yes! Your pup should be able to continue taking road trips as usual so long as they feel comfortable. Keep an eye on them, and be sure to take plenty of water.

My car does not have a backseat. Can I still take my puppy on a road trip?

Yes! You can fold down one or both of your front seats and lay a towel down for them to lie on. Ensure they have plenty of water, and don’t let them put their heads out the window!

What should I bring with me on a road trip?

Bring water, a leash, a muzzle if necessary, and plenty of treats. Your pup may get carsick, so have paper towels or a plastic bag available just in case. Never administer medication while you’re driving-take it when you get back home.


If you have a pup, taking some precautions when driving is essential. You don’t want your pet to become stressed or distracted while in the car with you! Make sure that you never leave them alone in an overheated vehicle, let them stick their head out of the window, administer medication without watching for any adverse reactions before pulling over and taking care of business yourself, or give them attention while behind the wheel.

If your pup is sick too often to make these trips comfortably, consider modifying how many days per week this applies. Be careful not to do anything unsafe on those occasions! Finally, always bring plenty of water, treats, and supplies if needed. Be safe out there!

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