It is tough enough making sure your own suitcase is packed with everything you need for a trip, let alone another family member or the family pet. As part of our summer travel series, we are hoping to ease that burden a bit by sharing our essential checklist for traveling with a dog. Of course, each dog has a different personality and unique needs, so be sure to customize the list as needed for your pooch.
Keeping your dog safe on the road starts with the basics, a quality collar that will allow you to attach both a leash and identification information in case you get separated.
Even if your dog is off leash most times at home, this won’t be possible while traveling. Make sure you have a good leash to talk the dog on. Depending on where your travels take you, a longer leash and tie-out stake may help to better manage the dog when a fenced in private yard is not available.
Be sure to plan how and where the dog will travel. In a crate in the back of a car? On the seat with a special dog seatbelt? Make sure the dog is contained in some manner for their own safety as well as yours.
A dog needs a safe place to sleep at night and a place to get away from activity and call their own. If they are used to a crate at home, be sure to bring one along on your trip as well.
Dogs can’t speak up for themselves, make sure your dog has a good identification tag with contact information and any pertinent medical information in case they get lost.
First, ensure all vaccines are up to date. Second, bring records. The last thing you want is for your animal to end up at the pound in a strange location because you don’t have proof their shots are up to date.
Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Be sure you have your pets microchip number on hand in case they are separated from you to help with a faster reunion.
Vet Contact Information
You never know when a medical emergency may occur. Be sure to have your vets phone number on hand in case you or an attending doctor have any questions while you are away. Be sure to also have the phone number and address of the local 24-hour emergency pet hospital – if an emergency occurs, that will not be the time to start looking.
Food and Water Bowls
Your dogs got to eat, and to do so they need a place setting. Be sure to bring food and water bowls appropriately sized for your breed. A placemat is a nice gesture to keep your hosts home or hotel room cleaner.
Travel is stressful for pets – this is not the time to introduce a new food, which is also stressful for dogs. Bring food from home to keep their routine as normal as possible. If the trip is a long one, do your pest to purchase the same food they eat at home while on the road.
Plan for times when fresh water will not be available, such as during road trips, and be sure to bring plenty for the dog to consume at rest stops.
Treats can help reward a pet for being a good boy or girl and alleviate some stress of travel… be sure to bring a variety that they enjoy for quick soft snacks to longer lasting chews.
Let’s face it, the dog is going to have to go on the trip. Be a kind traveler and make sure you are well equipped to pick up after them.
It is going to be difficult to fill prescriptions on the road, and you don’t want to miss any doses. Be sure to pack any medications your dog may take.
Again, travel can be stressful for a pet. If your dog experiences extreme stress, a Calming Aid or Stress Support Aid may help. For older pets, a Hip & Joint supplement may help with long car rides or greater than normal activity. Of course, a Multivitamin is a wonderful way to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition on the road.
Toys… don’t forget the toys! Dogs deserve to have some fun along the way. A few favorite toys from home can bring the comfort of home along as well.