Owning a dog is a lot of work, but there’s also a lot of fun associated with it! One of the most fun things you can do with your dog is bring them on vacation with you. But, before you can load your pup into your car and jet off to a new place, you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary supplies and items for them with you. Here are some of the most important items to bring for your dog on your next vacation.
- Things to keep them safe. Safety should be your number one priority when it comes to your dog. Make sure you bring all the things they’re going to need to stay safe on your trip, such as a dog collar and leash set and even a crate. There would be nothing worse if something terrible happened to your dog while they were on vacation with you — you’d probably never forgive yourself. And, while an overwhelming majority of Americans like to bring their pets with them when they travel, it’s important that you prioritize their safety when on the road — or in the air — with you.
- Extra food and water. Even if you think you’ve packed enough food and water, pack some more. There are lots of reasons you might need more food or water for your dog. Your dog might eat more out of stress, you might spend more time out exploring than you originally intended or your trip home could get delayed by a day or two. Either way, having extra is always better than running out of not having enough. Plus, if you run out and your dog is on a special diet, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find the specific food easily depending on where you’re traveling to.
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- Dog medications. If your dog needs consistent medication, make sure to bring it with you. Pack it in a bag by itself or put it in an area that’s easily accessible and always with you. That way, no matter where you are, you can easily access it to give your dog when needed. No need to delay giving them their medications! Otherwise, you could be putting your dog at risk by not giving them their medication when they need it.
- Extra blankets. Dogs get cold, too! If you’re traveling in the winter with your dog, make sure to bring some extra blankets along for when they get cold. You can lay the blankets across your car seats, especially if you have leather for your seating upholstery. Plus, if you have extra blankets to place on hotel furniture, you’re more likely to keep the hotel furniture clean and dog hair free during your stay!
If it smells like home or is a scent that your dog is familiar with, then it will help to keep them calm in any unfamiliar environments. Having items around that give off scents they’re used to will help them acclimate to the new place they’re in. This includes for outdoor trips, like hunting and camping!
- Know when not to take your dog on a trip with you. Not all trips are suitable for dogs. Take some time to seriously consider whether or not the trip you’re going on is right for your dog. Since one of the major aspects of dog ownership is accountability and responsibility, knowing when to leave your dog home with a pet sitter or in a facility shows true maturity and consideration for your pup. While your dog might be upset for a bit at first, they’ll be beyond excited to see you when you return.
This is especially important for dogs who have severe medical conditions or when you’re going on intercontinental flights. Taking dogs on long trips can cause them severe anxiety and stress, especially if they don’t travel often. Your dog will thank you in the long run for choosing not to take them on a trip with you, and you will know you made the right decision.
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- Toys, toys and more toys! Your dog will need something to keep them occupied while on the road with you. Make sure to bring along lots of their favorite toys so you can keep them entertained while you focus on getting the both of you to your destination. The distraction of toys available can also help to reduce your dog’s anxiety while riding in the car with you.
Don’t overwhelm them with toys, though — try to take the ones you know your dog likes a lot, but don’t throw them out to your dog all at once. Instead, introduce a new toy each time you make a pitstop for a potty or water break. That way, they get to play with their toy for a while but get excited to see something new periodically.
- Dog poop bags. These are an absolute must when traveling with your dog. Even if you’re taking your dog to a remote area in the middle of a mountain, you should still be respectful of other campers, hikers and animals in the area and clean up after your dog. Bringing along enough dog poop bags will ensure you can clean up after your pup quickly and without incident. Plus, some rest areas can even charge you a fine for not cleaning up after your pet.
Make sure you’ve installed a pet tracking tag, such as a Tile for dogs, in the event your dog gets away from you while you’ve got them out on a potty break! That way, you can be sure to easily find your dog as long as they’re within range. Plus, people close by can use their own Tile apps to track your dog’s location.
Traveling with a dog is something that a majority of Americans do each year. But, there are important considerations to make when you travel with your dog. As you prepare to leave on your trip, make sure you bring along all the essentials. Above all, though, remember to have fun!