Woaaah…there’s nothing more fun than a vacay with your best bud. For the road-trippin’-with-your-dog newbies, it can be intimidating to think about all the stuff you’ll need to prepare for your trip. And for the seasoned road warriors, while it isn’t your first rodeo, it still doesn’t hurt to make a list.
After all, there’s nothing worse than arriving at your brand new, exciting destination and discovering you forgot something vital like your dog’s bed or worse, his favorite toy! Traveling can be stressful for a dog, and their familiar things make them feel way calmer and less like a deer in the headlights.
So we’ve decided to be helpful (we think), and make you a list of all the stuff you’ll need to travel comfortably with your pooch..
1. First Aid Kit
While a generic first aid kit can function passably well, you can always throw in a few more things and make it doggy-friendly.Your first aid kit should be well-equipped and contain all the essential medical items like a tweezer, towel, cotton, band-aid, muzzle (unless you are 100% sure you won’t need one), and some doggy meds like allergy or car sickness pills.
2. Microchip, ID tag, and some kind of tracking device
Some dogs can be escape artists. The worst-case scenario is if by any chance you’ll need to leave your dog in the hotel room for a bit, you might come back to a room with no dog!
Your dog getting lost in an unfamiliar place is a terrifying thought. Having your dog easily tracked is key to vastly increasing the chances of getting your dog back to you safe and sound.
Whether you choose to implant a microchip, have an ID tag with your contact details, or go for broke and install a GPS tracking device, you’ll need a proper way to keep track of your pooch’s whereabouts at all times.
3. Car Seat Protector
You probably already know this, but dogs drool in cars. A LOT!
They drool when they are excited, anxious, happy, and well, almost all the time. Traveling with your pet dog can make your back seat really messy. You can always protect your seats with an old blanket or a seat protector that is machine washable and can sop up all your dog’s hair and drool.
4. Seat Belts And Car Seats For Dogs
Safety first! A dog car seat belt can make all the difference between slight discomfort and your dog flying and smacking into the windshield, the front seat, or worse.
Unrestrained dogs can be a danger to both themselves and their human companions. Over half of all car accidents involving dogs result in injuries to the animal. And in many states, it's now against the law to travel with an unrestrained pet.
Dog seat belts are easy to use and provide a great way to keep your pooch secure in the car. They typically attach to your dog's harness and then click into the seat belt receiver, just like a human seat belt.
This keeps your dog from being able to roam around the car, which can be distracting (and dangerous) for both you and your pet. And in the event of an accident, a dog seat belt can help to prevent serious injuries.
In addition, dog car seats have several features that can help to keep your dog safe, such as tethers that attach to your dog's harness and padded sides that offer protection in case of an accident.
In addition, dog car seats can help to keep your car clean by preventing your dog from jumping on the seats or getting hair all over the interior.
ALSO READ: Car Anxiety in Dogs - Preventing & Treating
5. Towels And Grooming Supplies
Depending on where you are intending to stay, even pet-friendly hotels might not take kindly to you using their towels for your pooch.
On a long trip, you’ll still need to keep up with your pooch’s regimen or you’re going to potentially have a bunch of hair flying all over the hotel room and one stinky pooch.
Grooming stuff to pack includes shampoo and conditioner, nail clippers if you intend for a long trip of several weeks, ear and eye cleaner, a good brush, and anything else you are using at home frequently.
6. Travel Food Bowl
If the regular dog bowls are too bulky to pack, get collapsible bowls for your pooch’s food and water. Make sure to get a spill-proof, sturdy base bowl that will be perfect while traveling.
7. Food, Supplements, and Treats
Of course, your dog will need their regular daily nutrition. Make sure you pack what you need for the trip, and add in some extra just in case of unforeseen circumstances.
You can also think about energy bars. Traveling is hard work, and your dog could use some sustaining energy at regular intervals, especially if you have plenty of activities like hikes and long walks.
8. Dog Carrier or Crate
If your dog is crate trained, you certainly wouldn’t want to deprive him of his home, especially if you have to leave the hotel room for a few hours.
An uncrated dog left alone in the hotel room is a recipe for some pretty hefty bills if your canine decides to have a sudden bout of separation anxiety and rip apart the room and all its contents. Don’t have your dog in a small, confined space in a strange place for more than an hour or two, especially in the beginning.
If your dog is small enough, take him with you! Even if it is just to the store for some supplies, most places are pet-friendly and will be tolerant of dogs, especially when they are in a dog carrier. Not only will you have your beloved pooch around with you at all times, but the carrier can also be a bold fashion statement!
9. Dog Bed
When embarking on a road trip with your furry friend, you may be wondering whether or not you should pack a dog bed. While your pup may be used to sleeping in your bed at home, there are a few good reasons to bring along their own bed when traveling.
First, a dog bed will provide a familiar and comfortable place for your dog to sleep, making it easier for them to adjust to a new environment. Additionally, a dog bed will help to keep your car clean and free of pet hair.
And finally, if you're planning on staying in hotels or other accommodations during your trip, having a dog bed will help to protect the furniture from dirt and scratches.
When packing for a trip with your dog, it's important to consider what will make your furry friend feel comfortable and at home in unfamiliar surroundings. One way to do this is to bring along their favorite toys.
This will help them to stay occupied and distracted from any anxieties they may be feeling. In addition, having a few toys to choose from will give them a sense of control and help them to feel more relaxed.
Of course, you'll want to make sure that the toys you pack are durable and lightweight so that they don't add too much weight or bulk to your luggage.
11. Poop Bags, Collar, and Leash
These are everyday items that you use, but can also be forgotten in the excitement of an impending road trip. Don’t forget to grab these on the way out!
If you're planning a road trip with your furry friend, you’re in for a blast of a time! We hope that this post has made it easier for you to plan your trip. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your next road trip with your dog is enjoyable for both of you. Good luck, and have fun!
ALSO READ: Dog Car Seat - Guide for Travelling with Your Dog in the Car
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