Traveling with dogs can be a lot of fun - until you start stressing about what to pack for them. These are our essential items for canine adventure (and Oliver's too.)
We all love vacation, and we love it even more when we get to bring our best doggy friends along. Travelling with your dog is great, but it does call for some extra planning. Dog travel supplies are just as important as human supplies, after all! While looking into pet friendly accommodation and transportation may be your top priority for arranging a trip with your canine companion, there are definitely some other factors to consider. So for the sake of making everything easier and for keeping your dog safe and happy, here are five items no traveler should leave home without - and our pampered pup, Oliver, wouldn't leave home without them either!
A Jaunty Collar
Oliver loves brightly colored collars (or, at least we think he does!) WE definitely enjoy them - they're fun and the make our special boy easy to identify. And we always have a good time changing them up with the seasons. We love this dashing purple number from our partners at Strapworks. They have a huge range of colors and their products are extremely high quality (see how we use their non-canine products to transform our backpacks!) And if you have a pooch with a tricky-sized neck, you'll be happy to see that Strapworks' collars are designed to be trimmed and assembled upon arrival to get a perfect fit (don't worry - instructions are included).
I had to include these fun photos of Ollie checking out the assembly instructions below, plus the first new moments of his "modeling" - I'm not sure he was entirely on board with an impromptu photo shoot! But you can tell the moment we informed him that he was a handsome boy - his ears went way up! That's right - we're talking about you!
If you are staying at one location for the duration of your trip, you may also want to consider getting a temporary dog tag with your accommodation’s address and phone number. For the couple of dollars you will spend on one, it’s worth it to have the extra peace of mind of local contact info.
A Practical Dog Travel Water Bottle
Dogs need water as much as we do, and while your local dog park may have pet friendly drinking spots, that isn’t the case everywhere. Having a water bottle will keep both you and your dog happy and ready to explore. While a normal water bottle can work in pinch, there are specific bottles for dogs making it easier for them to drink, resulting in less wasted water.
This water bottle by Gulpy is perfect for travel; it’s easy and safe to carry and it has a flip down dish for the dog to drink from. Oliver's Gulpy was actually inherited by his "predecessor" (our late, beloved first dog, Chester), and it's been going strong for nearly 10 years. And, believe it or not, our cat Darwyn happily used it on a roadtrip as well. If she would lower herself to share a dish with a dog, it's clearly a winner!
A Collapsible Dog Travel Water Bowl
Your dog needs something to eat and drink from, and it’s not always easy to find bowls in hotel rooms. We've run into some tricky situations requiring us to improvise with an ice bucket of all things! Oliver deserves better. These collapsible bowls are BPA free and FDA approved. They wash out easily and pack away into small disks, easy to pack away or even clip to your bag. They definitely beat carrying around a regular dog bowl, or scrounging for something that ‘might’ work. And if you really want to go all out and spoil your pooch, a dog food travel container will keep everything clean and organized.
Every dog poops! So you better make sure you are prepared. It may seem silly but many places have fines for those that don’t stoop and scoop. It’s also becoming quite common for stores and shops to not give plastic bags - you can't count on plastic naturally coming your way. With that in mind it’s best to bring your own. These bags from Earth Rated are environmentally friendly and break down, unlike regular plastic bags. They're our go-to bag and we've been using them exclusively for years. They're the only brand we've used that hasn't accidentally ripped.
A Recent Photo Of Your Dog
Nobody wants to think about worse case situations, but should something awful happens you want to be prepared. For this reason, it is always a good idea to carry a recent photo of your dog with you in case he/she is let out, runs away, or is lost.
Last but not least, an old T-shirt. Really!
I know you love your dog, but even though you were able to bring him/her on vacation, you won’t be able to stay together all the time. For the times when you need go out on your own, make sure you leave something comforting behind for them. Don’t forget, as exciting as it may be for you, this new environment can be scary for them, especially if left alone. Having the smell of something familiar, like an old, unwashed T-shirt, will make them feel safe and help them relax in your absence, even if it's just added to your dog travel crate. After all, even the best travel dog crate can use a little comfort and coziness! (Also: it goes without saying but not every dog is okay with being left alone, even for short periods of time, and not every hotel permits this - and no matter the hotel and the temperament of the dog, this is for short term measures only. And keep both the comfort of your pet and that of the staff and other guests at the forefront of your mind.)
I also like this tip: Shortly after you check into your hotel room, leave your dog behind and go for a short walk, acting very nonchalant. Return after 10 minutes or so to give your pooch the message that when you leave, you will return and nothing bad will happen in the room while you're away.
Travelling with your dog is great, and with a dog as sweet as Oliver, it's hard to deny giving him all the treats he wants! Having these five items on hand is as much a treat for us as it is for him, as it makes every trip run smoothly.
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