Now, this should seem like an obvious one, but this is the easiest thing to forget. If you are traveling in a car, you will need to make frequent stops to allow your pets to do their business (if you don’t want them to do it in your car!), but you will also need to make sure they are well-hydrated throughout the trip. Dogs, especially, can get dehydrated very easily as they pant when stressed. The best way to bring water is a water bottle made specifically for dogs—that way you won’t necessarily have to stop every time they need a drink. You can also bring a portable water bowl, but that tends to be wasteful as it can spill or your dog may not finish the water and you’ll end up dumping it.
Please, please, PLEASE remember to bring food! Investing in a good container for kibble is always a good idea; something plastic, portable, and durable. If you feed raw, the easiest way to keep your pet’s digestive system happy is to temporarily switch to a dehydrated food, whether it be Honest Kitchen or Tucker’s Carnibars. It won’t upset their stomach, and it’s very portable!
Once again: they need to be portable and durable. Metal bowls are always a good idea—leave the ceramic at home! You could also try a collapsible bowl, whether it be plastic or nylon. Both are excellent space-savers as they can be folded up when stored.
4) COLLARS, LEASHES, AND TAGS:
You definitely want to make sure you have at least one of these things, if not all three. If your pet gets lost along the way, the only identifying markers on them will be their tag and their microchip. You can pick up a leash and collar if you need to, but tags are important to always have on you.
5) A CRATE OR CAR HARNESS:
The next big thing you need to remember to bring is a way to secure your pet safely while traveling. A crate is good for RVs or airplanes (and most airlines require your dog to be stored in a crate while flying), but if you’re going on a smaller road trip, a car harness will do just fine. Just hook the seatbelt through it, and you are ready to go! Kurgo products are an excellent choice for keeping your pet safe because of their safety guarantee. If you and your pet are in any kind of a wreck, they will replace your product at absolutely no cost to you—just like a child’s car seat company would.
6) LIFT HARNESSES FOR ELDERLY OR DISABLED PETS:
If your pet is older or has joint problems, they certainly shouldn’t be climbing into your vehicle on their own. Cheaper and more portable than a ramp, a lift harness is useful in a number of ways. You can use it to lift your pet up into your car or RV, and you can also use it to walk them safely. It’s the perfect way to bring your older dogs along for the ride!
7) REFLECTIVE VESTS AND/OR LIFE JACKETS:
Camping with your pets is always a fun adventure, but you have to make sure it’s done safely! The two main things that factor into that are taking them on walks and swimming. If you’re in the woods, the best thing for your pet is to have a reflective vest so no one mistakes them for a deer. Also, it’s good for you to keep track of them if you’re walking at night. As for life jackets, even if your pet loves water and can swim very well, it’s always a good idea to put one on every time they go into unfamiliar water since any number of things could cause them to drown. So, when going camping, be careful and be safe!
8) BLANKETS, TOYS, AND TREATS:
If you forget any of these, it will be the biggest tragedy for your pet since you left him for work earlier. A “dog” blanket is a good idea for covering the seats in your car, and if you are traveling by air it will bring them a little bit of comfort while in their crate. Anything with the scent of home on it will work: a blanket, an old towel, or one of your shirts. Toys, while important, should be kept to a minimum to ensure none of them get lost! One soft toy (like a stuffed animal) and one hard toy (like an antler or a bone) should suffice. And treats should also be small and portable—just something you can give your pet periodically throughout the trip to let him know he’s being a good boy!
9) CALMING TREATS AND/OR OILS:
Speaking of treats, another thing to think about is how stressed or excited your pet will get while traveling. If they have a hard time in the car or on a plane, a calming treat with help them settle them so your trip can be smooth and safe. There are several different kinds of treats, or you can use something like CBD oil. It’s really up to your pet and whatever they are comfortable with eating. And whichever option you decide to try, make sure you give it to them at least fifteen to twenty minutes BEFORE you leave on your trip! It’ll be more effective that way.
10) AND, FINALLY…POOP BAGS:
Don’t be inconsiderate! Whether your pet does its business at a rest stop or a national monument, don’t just leave it for someone to step in! Poop bags are very cheap and portable, and you shouldn’t need more than one or two rolls. Plus, a lot of them smell like lavender, which is always better than the alternative!