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Essential Travel Gear Checklist For Your Dog

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Getting ready to pack up and hit the road? I bet you are all packed up – but what about the dog? Did you forget? Or maybe you packed everything – the end result being your dog has more luggage than you. To help you sort out what your dog really needs on your trip, here is a list of essential travel gear – just print it out and mark off when you have everything packed. The rest? Well, you can decide if your dog can live without that “I Heart Mom” shirt.

#1 – Travel Bowls

Travel bowls make it easy to keep your dog’s food and water dishes handy, while conserving space. Some of them even have a container for food, making packing a snap. Gamma Plastics is one of these. If you are really short on space, try collapsible bowls.

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#2 – Crate

Crates are the safest way for your dog to travel by car, necessary for plane travel, and are good to have wherever you are going in case you need your dog in a safe, contained place for a bit. So, a crate is definitely an essential item. Depending on your needs, a collapsible crate is good if you are short on space and don’t have an escape artist. Otherwise, go with plastic or wire. (Note: the safest for car travel is the Gunner Kennel).

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#3 – Information Binder

Be sure to bring any medical information you may need, for example names of prescriptions (especially if you have transferred your dog’s pills into other containers for travel), known allergies, etc., in case you need them. Store it all in a binder for easy access.

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#4 –  Up-to-date Dog Tags

If your dog goes missing while on vacation, will people be able to find you? Make sure his tags have the right phone number. Going somewhere with bad cell service? Consider making a tag with the number of the place you are staying or a friend’s back home to ensure who ever finds your dog’s gets ahold of someone. An email address is a good to use as well if you are going to be moving from place to place. Be sure to update his chip too!

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#5 –  Doggy Bags

I don’t know how many times I have gone out the door without these and then I am left scrambling to find anything to pick up what my dog leaves behind. Be sure to pack extra, just in case. This one attaches to your leash and is not heavy like the plastic ones. This way you don’t have to dig through all your packing to find them when they are needed.

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#6 –  Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Packs

Let’s be honest – even the most clean dog items still smell like dog. If you have to pack conservatively, that may include putting your dog’s chew toys in your own suitcase. If so, than you need one (or two) Pack-It Sport packs. They come in various sizes and they help contain odor, moisture, even mud. So don’t worry if your dog’s stuff gets a bit stinky on your trip, at least it won’t get all over your clothes or stink up the car or suitcase.

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#7 –  Motion Sickness and Anxiety Products

Travel can be stressful for pets. Talk to your vet about having items on hand for car or motion sickness and anxiety. Medications and things like anxiety wraps and soothing music, can help your dog be more relaxed on the journey.

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#8 – Extra Collar and Leash

You never know what will happen on a trip. The single most important thing, however, is keeping your pet safe by keeping them close. Be sure to bring an extra collar and leash in case your usual one breaks, gets lost, etc.

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#9 – Proof of Vaccines

Especially important if you are taking your dog anywhere like a day care or boarding while on your trip. Some hotels even require proof, so it’s a good idea to add these to your medical binder. Be sure to bring the rabies paperwork – most places do not consider the tag proof of up-to-date vaccines.

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Image source: @MichelleTribe via Flickr

#10 – Bedding

Dogs like things that smell familiar. So bringing one of their own beds, a towel they sleep one, etc., can help them settle in wherever you are going. If space is a problem, give your dog a towel to sleep on a couple days before the journey (or, if you have time, get them a flat dog mat prior to your trip) and take that with you so they having something that smells of home. The one pictured rolls up like a sleeping bag to save space.

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