• Nicole Griggs

How to Live with a Dog on the Road

#vanlife with a dog is certainly an adventure and you really do have to make sure your daily choices revolve around them. But we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again that it is 100% worth it


Dog on yoga mat under blue sky with camper van in background
Lucy always has such a big backyard wherever she goes living in the van

For those of you who don’t already know, we share our van (and almost all of our bed if she had it her way) with our puppy named Lucy Gray. Well, she’s 3 right now but she’ll always be a puppy to us. In addition to making sure she always gets all the love and tasty chicken treats, we also have found that there are some crucial steps we always have to take in order to make her life with us out on the road the most comfortable.

  1. Teach your furry companion how to sit or wait whenever you open any vehicle doors. Try to use a clicker or a toy/play session as the reward instead of treats to teach this lesson as this way they won’t lunge out expecting food

  2. Call ahead to anywhere you’re headed to find out if there is a shaded area of the parking lot or if the location is pet-friendly. This way you can take them with you or not worry about the temperature leaving them behind for a quick excursion. Make sure you have temperature monitoring or plenty of air flow in the van if you’ll be leaving them inside

  3. As another note on this subject, if your pup or kitty likes to hang out in spaces where people can see them, we would suggest investing in a sticker or sign to hang in your window or post on your doors similar to what we have in the shop

  4. Never forget to pick up after your pets! Domesticated animal waste can be super detrimental to a wild environment and to the native animals living there. One of our sponsors on the road is a company called Earth Rated, responsible for creating composting poop bags and etc. Well worth the investment if you are a big hiker

  5. Get an account with a national chain pet store for deals, discounts, and grooming opportunities on the road⁣. We have one with Petco and are able to get Lucy’s nails trimmed and teeth brushed an unlimited amount per month

  6. Anytime you’re at a grocery store, grab a can or bag of food because you’ll never know when you’ll next find that specific brand - you can go hungry for a few hours between meals but your pet won’t understand. If you have the extra space, make use of it

  7. Portable water bowls for those hot days and food bowls if you’re going on a very long walk. We suggest ones that can either collapse fully or fold up like ones from our friends over at Road Dog who has really handy snack bags too!

  8. Use the Sniffspot app or website to find dog parks in your area (Google maps works in a pinch as well)⁣ or even set up a doggy playdate

  9. The AllTrails app is a great way for you to find hiking trails but also ones that are dog friendly - there is a handy filter option for pups⁣

A lot of this list is a no-brainer for seasoned and even new pet owners but we always love a good reminder to keep Lucy’s safety and comfort at the top of our minds⁣. How do you take care of your pets on the road? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below


Thanks for reading and see you out on the road!

Want to see more of our adventures? Follow us on Instagram @theadventuringgriggs

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