When we travel, it’s likely that we’ll want to bring our dogs. Traveling with your four-legged friend can be rewarding, and it’s a great way to bond with them. Making sure your pup is comfortable is incredibly important. Part of that is making sure that you’ve brought everything they’ll need to have a good time and feel safe.
In this article, we’re going over all of the travel essentials you’ll need to pack when you travel with your pooch!
The Packing List
When bringing your pup along for the ride, whether it be by plane or automobile, it’s important that you don’t forget any of the essentials. Check out exactly what you’ll need below and why.
A Travel Carrier
Perhaps the most important piece of traveling gear you can own for your pet, a travel carrier is absolutely essential if you want to proceed smoothly. A good travel carrier will fit your pooch comfortably, allowing them to stand up and turn around easily.
When traveling, you’ll also want to be sure to get a travel carrier that’s airline-approved so that in the event that you need to catch a quick flight back from your road trip, your dog can come with you.
Carriers should be able to be secured when traveling by car, and there are a number of ways to do this solely by using your car’s seat belts. Make sure the carrier you’re using allows it to be held in place adequately.
A Study Leash
If you’re traveling with your dog, you’ll want to make sure that you bring a sturdy leash. Ideally, your leash of choice will be a fixed length rather than a retractable leash. It’ll also be easy to manage and easy to clean. A good leash makes a big difference when taking your dog out for walks while you’re on the road with them.
A Comfortable Harness
Rather than a collar, consider packing a lightweight, comfortable harness for your pup while traveling. Harnesses allow for better leash control, and you may find that you need that when you’re away from home.
Lots of things will be stimulating to your pooch, as it’ll all be new to them. That may cause them to get a little more rowdy than usual, and a harness can help you keep that energy reined in if you need it to be.
Food and Water Bowls
Food and water bowls are essentials for everyday life with your pup, and you can bet that they’re essential when traveling. Depending on your method of travel, you may be able to tote along your dog’s dishes from home.
This would be suitable for a road trip, but not necessarily if you’re flying. If taking a plane to and from your destination, be sure to grab some collapsible travel bowls so that they’ll stow away easily and comfortably.
In addition to the bowls, you’ll want to bring at least a day’s worth of water and food with you, though bringing more can’t hurt. Making sure your dog stays well-fed and hydrated is important. If they aren’t, they may become sick while traveling with you.
Identification and Documentation
When you’re traveling with your four-legged friend, be sure to have on hand any of their shot records or important medical records. Some places may ask for records regarding their vaccinations. Having important medical records about their special needs are also good to have in case of an emergency.
Of course, identification should be on your pup at all times while traveling in the event that you become separated. Their ID tag should have their name, your name, and the best way to reach you. Consider putting more than one phone number on their tags so that all your bases are covered.
Bringing a toy or two for your dog to keep them entertained is important as well. Opt for a toy that they can entertain themselves with, like a tennis ball or a chew toy rather than a rope toy. If traveling by car, don’t allow them to have these toys while the vehicle is in motion. Sudden starts and stops could present a choking hazard, and no one wants that while they’re supposed to be on vacation.
If you’re traveling with your canine companion, stopping for potty breaks will be a must. When you stop at rest stops while driving or utilize the dog areas at hotels or airports, picking up after your pup is going to be required. Always make sure to have dog poop bags with you so that you can do your part in cleaning up after your dog.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit for your dog is as important as a first aid kit is for you. Packed in your first aid kit should be any guides or manuals on doggie first aid that you have, as well as supplies like gauze and non-stick bandages.
Additionally, a first aid kit should consist of any medications that your dog may be taking, as well as pest prevention if your travel includes visiting the great outdoors.
Hygiene is just as important on the road as it is at home! Bring easy cleaning wipes to make life easier while you’re traveling. Often, these wipes come in a small enough form-factor to be carried just about anywhere.
They’re a great solution for when you’re going to be away from home for a longer period of time than normal and won’t be able to give your pet a conventional bath.
A Comforting Blanket
Pets get homesick just like people do. Your dog will definitely benefit from bringing along a blanket that they use at home. It’ll have smells that remind them of where they’re used to being and will make travel a lot more enjoyable for them. If you don’t have a travel appropriate blanket, consider giving them a shirt or small towel to cuddle with prior to departure, and then pack it with you for your big trip.
If traveling by car, consider bringing a dog bed, as well, if it’ll fit. One that fits in the carrier or crate you’re using works best and allows for a comfortable trip when in the car for longer periods of time.
Treats, Of Course
When you’re traveling with your pup, you can’t forget about treats. Treats are good for a number of reasons. They encourage good behavior and can help distract your dog from anything that’s too stimulating. If you give them a treat that’s chewy and a bit tougher to eat, it’ll keep them occupied while you do things like unloading the car or wait at the airport for your ride.
When considering treats to bring along, be sure to bring either single-ingredient or minimal-ingredient treats. These treats are the most nutritious options for your pet, and they prevent them from getting an upset stomach in most cases.
Hit the Road!
Traveling with your pet can be a rewarding experience and a great way to bond with them. Before traveling, make sure you pack all the items on our above checklist. Bringing everything mentioned will make for a better trip overall for you and your canine companion!