What’s more fun than going on a vacay?
Going on one with your beloved dog of course! I wouldn’t dream about going anywhere for a rip-roarin’ good time without my best buddy.
However, the first time planning for a trip can be a harrowing experience. Not only do you have to figure out the logistics of the hotel room, but you’ll also have to pack for two.
There is nothing worse than arriving at an exciting new dog-friendly city and realizing that you forgot your dog’s bed or something equally likely to have your precious pooch glaring at you with those accusing eyes.
To make things easier, we suggest making a packing list. While many people have it all “in their heads” it never hurts to write stuff down.
Collar and Leash
This is one of the most obvious things, but you’d be surprised how many people drive for miles before they get to their first pee stop and realize they’ve forgotten their leash.
Make sure the ID tag is securely fastened onto the collar with no way to fall off. In addition, microchipping your dog is always a good idea, and if you have a real escape artist on your hands, a GPS tracking device might be in order.
You really DON’T want your dog somehow getting loose and taking off in a strange place.
Just like seatbelts save our lives, doggy seatbelts or harnesses saves theirs. A restraint can make all the difference between your dog hitting the back of your seat or the windshield real hard, or simply a jolt of discomfort.
In addition, while most dogs love car rides, some can get a little anxious, and their nervous jumping around can be distracting and dangerous for you.
Food, Supplements, and Treats
Don’t forget to bring enough for the trip, or you’d be making a hasty trip to the pet store. Pack whatever supplements are necessary, and of course, the goodies.
Doggy First Aid Kit
You might already have your own first aid kit, but don’t forget to include what you might need for your pooch as well. Just by throwing in a few things, you can make a dog-friendly first aid kit that will allow you to treat some minor cuts and ailments.
You’ll need a tweezer, cotton, wraps, and whatever emergency medication that you think you might need.
Bed and Blankets
Traveling can be stressful for a dog, and having things that are familiar can help to allay some anxiety. Having their own dog bed and bedding around will help your dog relax in a new environment, so don’t forget the bed, even if your dog ends up being in yours!
Depending on how long your trip is, you’ll still need to keep some of your grooming practices up. Even if you’ve got a little dog that doesn’t shed too much, ALL dogs will shed to some degree.
At the minimum, you’ll need to continue to give your dog a brush with the same frequency as you did back home. On longer trips, you might need a nail clipper, ear and eye cleaner, and some doggy shampoo.
Don’t try to cheat and use your own shampoo on your pooch! Human shampoo is actually quite different from dog shampoo, and it can actually be harmful to use on your pooch.
The pH balance of human shampoo is different from that of dog shampoo, which can throw off your dog's natural pH balance and lead to skin problems. So while it may be tempting to reach for your own bottle of shampoo when giving your dog a bath, it's best to stick with a product that's specifically designed for dogs.
Whether you want to lug around their regular food and water bowls or use a lightweight, collapsible one is up to you. Make sure they are nice and stable; you really don’t want to mess up a hotel room’s carpeting!
Forget your dog’s favorite toy at your own peril. It’s like depriving a three-year-old of their favorite teddy bear! You might end up with a fussing, whining dog that is feeling lonesome in a strange place, so don’t forget to pack the toys.
Just like at home, you’ll of course, need to clean up after your pooch. Remember to try using biodegradable!
Road tripping with your dog is SO much fun. With some preparation, you’ll be sure that everything goes off without a hitch.
Happy packing and we hope you have a blast!