Dog Travel Essentials: What to Pack for Your Dog

There is nothing more exciting than planning for a trip unless, of course, you get to bring your dog with you. Dogs make excellent travel companions but there are a few things you need to be aware of before you decide to take your dog with you on your trip. Make sure to arrange for a pet-friendly hotel and plan ahead so that you bring with you all of the items your dog is likely to need. Below you will find a list of travel essentials to pack for your dog:

  • Water – bring enough water to cover the trip, including stops and stay-overs (you can never be sure that there will be water available along the way)
  • Food – bring as much food as your dog is going to need for the trip, as well as a little extra, and store it in an airtight container
  • Treats – bring along some of your dog’s favorite treats to help him settle down if he gets nervous in the car or in the hotel
  • Toys – don’t forget to pack some of your dog’s favorite toys to keep him occupied during the trip and to make him feel more at home when you stop for the night
  • Extra leash and collar – you never know when one might break or get lost, so you should have an extra on hand when you are away from home
  • Waste disposal bags – you should always clean up after your dog when using public areas, so be sure to pack a supply of waste disposal bags so you can do so
  • First aid kit – pack a container of essential items you may need to deal with minor injuries (include items like tweezers, gauze, bandages, tape, etc.)
  • Towels – having a few towels on hand will be useful if your dog gets wet or muddy
  • Crate or kennel – no matter how well-trained your dog is, many professionals recommend keeping your dog in the crate during travel (he may also feel more comfortable sleeping in it at the hotel)
  • Brush or comb – keeping your dog regularly groomed will help to reduce shedding (this will come in handy when spending long hours in the car)
  • Food and water dishes – in addition to bringing food and water, you should also bring your dog’s bowls (you should also bring a portable water dish for walks)
  • Moist towelettes – these will come in handy for cleaning up your dog’s paws before he hops back into the car and for wiping nose prints off the windows

Other Preparations

In addition to packing everything your dog needs for your trip, there are a few other preparations you need to make. First, check with your vet to make sure that your dog is healthy enough for travel and that he is up to date on all of his vaccinations. If you end up having to board your dog unexpectedly, most kennels will not accept dogs that have not had their bordatella vaccine.

Though your dog may be healthy enough to travel, that shouldn’t stop you from being prepared in the event of an emergency. Consider bringing a copy of your dog’s medical records with you just in case something happens and you need to see a vet. Pack any medications your dog will need and make sure your dog’s I.D. tag is up to date with your current information.

Traveling with your dog can be an adventure for the both of you as long as you are fully prepared. By using this packing list you should find that you have everything you need and by following the tips for other preparations, you should be confident that you are ready for your trip. So buckle up and hit the road!

kate-Bio_PicKate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor’s degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.