5 things to think about when Overlanding with Dogs

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Overlanding can be a rewarding and memorable experience for any bold and adventurous human being. It can even be a terrific experience for any bona fide animal lover.

If you’re planning on traveling alongside your furry friend, however, you have to take a number of things into consideration. If you plan carefully and meticulously, overlanding in the company of your pet may be one of the most enriching things that you ever try.

The main things to keep in mind when overlanding with your dog is to keep the right supplies on hand, preparing your truck for your dogs travel, microchipping the pet, and of course finding a safe place for them while you are not able to be with them on the road.

Stock Up on All of the Right Supplies

Stocking up on all of the canine necessities beforehand can make overlanding go a lot more smoothly. You should see to it that you go on your trek equipped with all of the water and nourishment that your pooch may possibly need.

Don’t scrimp in the water department, either. Think about physical fitness sessions and the temperature outdoors. These components greatly influence the amount of water dogs consume daily. It’s just as critical to think about your dog’s breed and size classification.

Bigger canines tend to consume more food. Be sure you pack a designated bowl for your pet as well. Treats, last but certainly not least, are yet another must-have.

Other necessities that you need to pack for your pet prior to overlanding include but are not limited to bedding, toys, first aid supplies, a leash and bags for waste.

If you want to steer clear of upsetting others during your travels, you have to thoroughly clean up after your pet eliminates, period. People who frequent campgrounds do not take kindly to the presence of stool matter.

Getting your truck ready

Not only should you be getting all of the supplies ready, but you also need to prepare your truck to handle a dog long term.

I highly recommend getting a seat cover for your dog if you plan on keeping them on the inside of the cab. One like this would be a great option for keeping either the fabric or leather in good condition while you drive along.

Alternatively, if you are planning on keeping the dog under a rear bed cap, I would always recommend keeping a rubber liner in the back for them so that they don’t slip and fall on the slippery back of the truck bed. Something like this one would work perfectly!

Breed Considerations

Don’t ever make the mistake of assuming that all canine breeds are necessarily ideal overlanding candidates. Understand that some breeds are a lot more outdoorsy than others.

Some examples of dog breeds that tend to respond particularly well to overlanding excitement are Labrador Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies and Vizslas. These breeds tend to relish being outside under the sun for extended stretches of time.

Some overlanding enthusiasts bring their pets to distant and isolated spots that are basically devoid of human beings. Cautious off-leash walking may be acceptable in these kinds of places.

If you’re planning on being somewhere with many others, though, you should be prudent. Make a point to abide by any and all guidelines that relate to dogs. It doesn’t matter how thoroughly trained or gentle your cutie may be.

It’s impossible to predict how different and unfamiliar pets may respond to the mere sight of him or her. If you’re serious about getting your pet ready for a safe and well-rounded overlanding experience, it may help you considerably to try your hand at clicker training.

Think About Microchipping Your Dog Before Leaving

If you travel alongside your pet, then you want to make sure to prepare in the event that he or she gets loose.

It can be a smart and practical idea to invest in a microchip at the veterinarian for your pet for identification applications.

Safe place for them while you are away

Another thing you need to keep in mind, is how to take care of your dog while you are not with them! Some sights, hikes, national parks and other activities you may want to do don’t allow dogs.

While Tesla cars may have a dog mode that keeps the AC one, most other cars don’t have that functionality, so coming up with a good game plan for these times is important for the health of your dog, as well as your enjoyment.

If there aren’t any good alternatives for you, you will just need to weigh the thought of maybe not taking your dog if you are going to be doing a lot of activities that require you to leave them along.

However dogs add so much enjoyment to a trip, so make that judgement wiseley.

Pro Tip: It likely would be a good idea to get a collapsable crate for your dog like this one, as it will keep them safe, and not getting out of your vehicle when you don’t want them to.

Frequently Asked Questions

What vaccinations does a dog need for Overlanding?

Unless you plan on going across international borders (of which you would need Rabies, Distemper, and Leptospira) you really don’t necessarily need to be up to date on vaccinations. However keep in mind that you likely will see many other dogs on your trip, so these vaccinations should come in useful.

How long is too long of a trip for dogs?

Dogs are man’s best friend, meaning they will go on as long of a trip as you want it to be! They will make the truck or SUV their home as long as you are there with them. I have no doubt they would be just as happy with a week long trip, as they would be with months long trips.

Should you let a dog ride on your lap while overlanding?

Please, never allow your dog to ride on your lap while you are drive. It is dangerous, and takes your eyes and concentration off of the road. Just don’t do it.


While every trip is going to be different, depending on your goals for the trip, I hope this article at least got you thinking about what you need to be doing for your dog before you go on that long road trip that is overlanding.