Dog Travel Checklist: 7 Things to Pack when Traveling with a Dog
Dogs are the perfect travel companions. They're always happy to see you, they never complain about uncomfortable seating arrangements, and best of all, they don't require a lot of gear. Still, there are a few essentials you'll need to bring along to make sure your pet has a safe and comfortable trip.
Here are seven must-pack items for a stress-free trip when traveling with a dog.
1. Identification and vaccination papers
Make sure your dog's ID tags are up to date and securely fastened to their collar. You should also bring along copies of their vaccination records in case you need to prove that they're up to date on their shots.
ID and vaccination papers are essential to have when traveling with your pet, especially if you're flying. Most airlines will not let your pet travel without this, so make sure you have it on hand! If you are traveling internationally with your pet, then it is critical that you have the correct health certificate and vaccination record for your pet to pass smoothly through customs.
2. A soft-sided or hard-sided crate or carrier
If your dog isn't used to traveling, a crate can help them feel safe and secure in an unfamiliar environment.
Depending on your mode of transportation, you may need to bring along a travel-friendly harness or crate for your dog. When choosing a travel crate, be sure to pick one that is the right size for your dog and that has plenty of ventilation–preferably more than three sides.
If you're flying, most airlines require that your pet be in a crate that meets their size and weight requirements. And to make sure your pet has some wiggle room in the carrier, we recommend a soft-sided carrier. Either carrier selection, it’s important that your pet be able to stand, sit and turn around comfortably in the carrier without touching the sides.
For car travel, you may want to invest in a seatbelt harness that will keep your dog secure and comfortable in their seat. This will give your pet added comfort as you navigate new roads during your travels.
No matter how you're traveling, it's important to make sure your dog has a safe and comfortable space to ride in. Not only will it keep your dog safe and secure while you're driving, but it will also give them a place to rest and relax when you make stops along the way.
3. Reflective collar and leash
A regular collar and leash may work fine for everyday walks around the block, but they're not really designed for travel. Invest in a good quality travel collar and leash that can stand up to the rigors of the road.
A travel-friendly collar and leash will make it easier to keep track of your dog while you're on the go. Bonus points if the collar and leash have reflective materials for those night-time walks exploring a new city.
3. Travel food bowls and water bottles
You'll need a place for your dog to eat and drink while you're on the road, so pack collapsible food and water bowls. The best option is to get a travel bowl that clips onto your dog's crate or carrier so you won't have to worry about losing it throughout your journey.
There are some great travel water bottles for dogs, which allow the water to be poured into a drinking compartment and retracted back into the bottle when your pet has finished drinking. These are great for travel, and highly recommend having one for travels or even long walks to keep your pet hydrated.
Bring plenty of food and treats! Even if your dog isn't a picky eater, traveling can be stressful and may cause them to lose their appetite. Be sure to pack enough food for the entire trip, plus a little extra in case of emergencies.
Even if you're only traveling for a day or two, it's always best to bring along more food than you think you'll need, so that you don’t have to rush to get new dog food, especially if the dog food you are providing isn’t available at a local shop.
4. Anxiety-reducing dog treats
While traveling, it’s important to keep your pet stimulated and obedient, which is why it’s good to keep your dog’s favorite treats on hand at all times.
Pack your pet’s favorite dog treats, and even consider some other treats that have added benefits, like those including CBD or anxiety-reducing treats. These are especially good for when traveling in a plane or in high-stress environments.
Just be careful not to overdo treats, as- too many snacks can lead to an upset stomach.
5. An interactive toy (or two)
A favorite toy is a great way to keep your dog entertained while you're on the road. It will also help them feel comfortable and relaxed in an unfamiliar environment.
A few of your dog's favorite toys will help them feel comfortable and entertained while you're traveling.
Chews are also a good idea- they'll keep your dog occupied and help prevent boredom (and consequently, destructive chewing).
6. A travel first-aid kit
You never know when an accident may happen, so it's always best to be prepared. A canine first-aid kit should include items like gauze, medical tape, scissors, tweezers, hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls, antiseptic wipes, and a pet-safe oral syringe.
It's also a good idea to include a list of emergency numbers, in case you need to get in touch with a vet or animal hospital while you're traveling.
7. Poop bags (a must-have for traveling with a dog!)
Last but not least, don't forget to pack plenty of poop bags! Traveling with a dog means being prepared to clean up after them, no matter where you are. And while some countries or cities don’t require picking up after your pet, it’s just a good habit for being considerate of others.
Having a stash of poop bags on hand will make it easy to clean up after your dog when needed.
So there you have it- seven essential items to pack when traveling with a dog!
Traveling with your pet doesn't have to be difficult or stressful with just a little bit of planning and preparation. With these essentials, you and your pet will be ready for anything.
Thinking of traveling with your pet but don't know where to start? With Pawtrip, you can search through over 500 of your favorite pet-friendly airlines, compare prices and book your trip all in one place! Enjoy a stress-free flight with your pet in-cabin, in cargo, or on a private shared chartered jet. Search your next pet-friendly flights today.