Stop the mail, water the plants, do the laundry, pack your clothes….the To Do list to get ready for a vacation is a long one and the process can cause low-grade chaos.
That To Do list gets longer when you are traveling in the car with your dog (or dogs in my case). Now besides packing for yourself, and maybe your spouse and kids, you have to pack for your pooch.
Packing for your pooch is simple correct? Leashes…check. Pet waste bags…check. Food and water dishes…check. Dog food…check. What else do you need?To make traveling with your dog(s) easier, there are ten more essentials that you they need in his or her travel bag:
- Water from home – Because dogs can get an upset stomach or diarrhea when they have to drink water from different places, it is beneficial to bring water from home for him or her.
- Medications – If your dog requires some type of medication or supplement, you must remember to pack it in your pooch’s travel bag. It may be difficult to get a refill for them if you leave home without it. Extra tip: If your dog is prone to getting car sick, consider giving him or her some probiotics a few days before your trip as well as during your trip. The probiotics can help settle their stomach and keep them from getting sick.
- Vaccination records – Bring your dog’s vaccination records just in case there is an incident and somebody wants to know if he or she has had their shots. This might save your dog from being quarantined or held until you provide proof of updated shots.
- Bath towel – A bath towel is great for wiping off wet or muddy paws.
- Shampoo/Cream Rinse – Small bottles of shampoo and cream rinse are necessary for washing dirty paws or giving a full bath while traveling. (A packet of bath wipes for dogs works well for smaller messes.) In addition to bringing your dog’s favorite shampoo, it is a good idea to bring a small bottle of flea shampoo too in case your dog picks up some extra passengers at a potty break. Extra tip: Instead of washing your dog in the hotel bathtub, learn if the city where you are staying has a pet wash facility. These facilities have tubs, dryers, and more.
- Grooming kit – A brush, comb, and scissors are handy for removing sand burrs and other things that might get into your dog’s coat when you let him or her out for a bathroom break. (A grooming kit is necessary if you must give your dog a bath.) In addition to a brush, comb, and scissors, a toenail clipper and file for your dog are useful items to included in his or her grooming kit just in case they break/tear/split a nail.
- Blanket and favorite toy – Bringing a blanket and toy from home are great for alleviating your dog’s anxiety while traveling in the car and sleeping in hotel rooms.
- Sweater or T-shirt – If you are a pet parent who believes in putting a sweater on your dog during colder weather, it is a good idea to bring a sweater or t-shirt for them when you travel…even in the summer. In the summer, it is likely he or she will be exposed to air conditioning in the car or the hotel room. A sweater or t-shirt helps him or her stay more comfortable. The idea is to make sure your dog does not get sick because of the changing conditions while traveling. In addition, a sweater or snug t-shirt can lessen your dog’s anxiety while traveling.
- Paper towels and a small spray bottle of white vinegar – Unexpected messes happen while traveling with your dog. He or she might get sick in the car or they might jump into the car with muddy paws (before you get them wiped off with the bath towel), paper towels and white vinegar help to clean up those messes. Extra tip: It is helpful to bring along a couple small garbage bags to throw out dirty paper towels if needed.
- Pet carrier – A pet carrier is very handy if your dog gets anxious or car sick. It is a good place for him or her to rest or have quiet time (even better with their blanket and toy). A pet carrier is also handy for keeping your dog contained while you are packing or unpacking the car at your destination. If he or she is not in a carrier, they could jump out and get into trouble.
Traveling with your dog adds more to your to do list; however, if you pack the essentials for your pooch the trip will definitely go smoother.
Below, tell me something you find essential when traveling with your dog.
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Angie R. Boecker is a specialist in managing life’s chaos. She is the author of two books, Effective Grant Writing: Submit a Stronger Application and The Secrets to Thinking on Your Feet and a blog entitled The Secrets Series. As a public speaker, Angie has spoken to audiences on topics that help them manage life’s chaos.