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Essential Travel Gear Checklist For Your Dog

| Published on January 13, 2016
iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience, full of shared adventures and memories. However, it also comes with a unique set of challenges and responsibilities. To ensure that your journey is as smooth and stress-free as possible, it’s crucial to pack the right travel essentials for your canine companion. From practical items to comfort-focused accessories, preparing adequately can make a significant difference in the quality of your trip. Essentials like a durable leash, a comfortable and secure travel bed, and appropriate food and water containers are just the start. It’s also vital to consider your pet’s health and safety, making items like a well-stocked first aid kit and reliable identification tags indispensable.

Understanding your dog’s emotional and physical needs during travel is also key for success. Items that address travel anxiety, such as calming chews, can help keep your pet relaxed and comfortable. Similarly, maintaining a sense of familiarity through items like their favorite toy or blanket can significantly ease their stress. For those longer journeys, having a sturdy and comfortable crate or carrier is essential, providing a safe and familiar space for your dog. This article aims to guide you through selecting the best travel essentials for your dog, ensuring that your furry friend is as prepared for the journey as you are. Whether you’re planning a short road trip or an extended vacation, these essentials will help make traveling with your dog a more enjoyable and worry-free experience.

travel essentials for dogs

Check Out This Essential Travel Gear Checklist for Your Dog

#1 – Travel Bowls

BAGLHER Dog/Pet Travel Bag
  • Includes 2 bowls and containers for food
  • Made of tear-resistant, waterproof polyester
  • Carries maximum load of 30 pounds
  • Bowl size: 6 x 6 inch
  • Bag size: 13.5 x 6.5 x13 inches

When traveling with your dog, don’t forget to pack for their feeding and hydration needs with travel bowls. The BAGLHER Dog/Pet Travel Bag, provides an all-encompassing option for pet travel essentials that includes two pet food containers, ensuring you have ample food storage for your journey. Moreover, the bag comes with two collapsible silicone bowls, which are perfect for both feeding and watering your pup. These bowls are lightweight, easy to clean, and can be folded down to save space, making them an ideal choice for travel. Whether you’re going on a short trip or a longer adventure, travel bowls ensure your dog’s meal times are covered when on the road.

#2 – Plenty of Water

Springer Classic Dog Travel Water Bottle
  • Simply squeeze to fill; release to drain
  • Patented leak-proof technology
  • Food safe and BPA-free materials
  • Includes aluminum carabiner clip
  • Dishwasher safe

You’ve got the bowls and the food, but don’t forget to pack plenty of water for your pup. And because fiddling with a water bowl can be vexing while on the road, try the Springer Classic Dog Travel Bottle instead. This portable travel water bottle dispenser features a leak-proof design you simply squeeze to fill the attached bowl with water. Its patented design and BPA-free construction make it a reliable choice for pet parents when their furry friend’s need a quick sip. The bottle’s compact and lightweight design makes it easy to carry on walks, hikes, or trips to the park, and it doesn’t occupy much space in a bag or backpack​​. An aluminum carabiner clip comes included for further ease of use. Springer’s Classic Dog Travel Bottle is available in four sizes and multiple sizes.

#3 – Crate or Carrier Bags

Petmate Pet Porter Fashion Dog Kennel
  • Exterior dimensions - 26" L x 18.6" W x 16.5" H
  • Interior dimensions - 23.8" L x 17" W x 15.5" H
  • For dogs weighing 20-25lbs
  • No tools required, easy assembly
  • Made in USA

Dog crates are an essential item for offering a secure and familiar space for your pet while on the move. Using a crate not only keeps your dog safe in the car or on a plane but also helps in managing their anxiety by providing a cozy, enclosed space that mimics their den-like instinct. They come in various sizes and materials, such as sturdy plastic or lightweight metal, catering to different breeds and travel needs. A well-ventilated, appropriately-sized crate, like the Petmate Pet Porter Fashion Dog Kennel, allows your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably, making it a safe haven for them during long journeys.

Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
  • Machine-washable soft liner
  • Mesh on all sizes
  • Opens on the top and side
  • Comes with carrying handle and shoulder strap
  • Three sizes available

In addition to crates, carrying bags are another essential for traveling with smaller dogs. These bags offer a more intimate and accessible way to transport your pet while keeping them close to you. They come in various designs, from backpacks and shoulder bags to wheeled carriers, each catering to different travel scenarios and personal preferences. Many of these bags are equipped with features like mesh windows for ventilation, padded straps for comfort, and pockets for storing essentials. Check out the Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier for an ideal option in dog carrying bags.

Carrying bags are particularly useful for navigating through crowded places like airports or city centers, allowing for hands-free movement while ensuring your pet’s comfort and security. Whether you’re embarking on a short excursion or a longer adventure, having a well-chosen dog crate or carrying bag can significantly enhance the travel experience for both you and your furry companion.

#4 – Information Binder

Cartba Publishing Pet Health & Wellness Log Book
  • Organized into 7 sections
  • 0” x 10” soft cover book
  • Covers pet profile, medical info, photos, and more
  • 120 pages for extensive recording
  • Affordably priced

When traveling with your dog, having a well-organized system for their important information is essential. A great option to consider is the Cartba Publishing Pet Health & Wellness Log Book. This comprehensive organizer serves as an all-in-one place to keep track of your dog’s vital information, including your dog’s vaccination records and medical history, which are crucial for emergencies or when crossing borders. The log book provides structured sections for recording your pet’s registration, licenses, and recent photographs, ensuring you have all necessary proof of ownership and identity. Additionally, the book provides areas to log details about your dog’s diet, medication needs, and your regular veterinarian’s contact information.

And don’t forget to note local veterinarians and pet-friendly accommodations for the areas you’re visiting in your trusty dog binder or notebook. Opting for this log book or creating your own binder ensures you have a dedicated, organized, and easily accessible place for all your dog’s important information.

#5 – Up-To-Date Dog Tags

GoTags Stainless Steel Personalized Pet ID Tags
  • Total of 8 lines: 4 front/4 back
  • Solid, polished stainless steel
  • 2-sided engraving
  • Easily cleaned

Ensuring your dog has proper identification is a critical aspect of pet safety, especially when traveling. One reliable option to consider is GoTags Stainless Steel Personalized Pet ID Tags. These tags are durable, resistant to wear and tear, and can withstand various weather conditions, making them ideal for travel. The customization aspect of GoTags allows you to engrave your pet’s name, your contact information, and any important health details directly onto the stainless steel surface. This ensures that if your dog ever gets lost, the finder can easily contact you. The tags come in various shapes and sizes, suitable for different breeds and sizes of dogs. Attaching a GoTags ID to your dog’s collar not only provides peace of mind but also adds a layer of safety, ensuring that your furry friend can be easily identified and returned to you if they wander off during your travels.

MYLUCKYTAG Personalized QR Code ID Tags
  • Simple QR scan reveals your dog’s identity and your contact info
  • Sends you an email when QR code is scanned
  • Also contains text information on tag front
  • Made of non-toxic zinc alloy for durability
  • Easy to set up

Another innovative option for ensuring your dog’s safety is the MYLUCKYTAG Personalized QR Code ID Tags. These modern tags leverage technology to enhance pet safety. Each tag features a unique QR code that links to an online profile where you can store detailed information about your dog, including contact details, medical information, and more. This digital approach means that if someone finds your lost dog, they can simply scan the QR code with a smartphone to access all the necessary information to help your dog return safely to you. These smart ID tags are particularly useful for tech-savvy travelers and offer a more dynamic and interactive way to safeguard your furry one.

#6 – Poop Bags

Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags
  • 270 lavender-scented poop bags
  • 100% leak free and extra strong
  • Made from 65% certified post-consumer recycled plastic
  • Boasts incredibly high-ratings across retailers

Whether traveling or simply going for a walk, no dog parent should be without poop bags when out with their dog. Not only is picking up after your dog a courteous and environmentally responsible practice, but in many places, it’s also a legal requirement. Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags provide a simple and effective solution for this. They help in maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, especially in public spaces like parks, rest stops, and campgrounds. Using these bags reduces environmental pollution and the spread of pathogens that can be harmful to both humans and other animals. Carrying poop bags also reflects a sense of responsible pet parenting and respect for the communities and natural environments you visit. Compact and convenient, these bags can easily fit into a pocket or a dog travel bag, ensuring you’re always prepared to clean up after your pet, no matter where your travels take you.

#7 – Anxiety Relief

Cannanine™ Bacon Flavored CBD Soft Chews For Dogs
  • Purchase of the 60 count chews provides 7 meals to shelter pets in need!
  • 5 mg of calming hemp oil per soft chew
  • Contains no THC and will not make your dog "high"
  • Bacon-flavored

Travel anxiety in dogs is a common concern among pet owners, as changes in environment, routine, and the stresses of transportation can significantly affect a dog’s well-being. Symptoms like excessive barking, restlessness, or even aggression can manifest when a dog feels anxious during travel. In addressing this issue, Cannanine Soft Chews emerge as a beneficial travel essential. These chews are specially formulated with ingredients known for their calming properties, helping to soothe and relax your pet. The key component in Cannanine Soft Chews is a high-quality, THC-free CBD, which has been shown to alleviate anxiety and stress in pets without causing drowsiness. This makes them particularly suitable for travel, as they can help keep your dog calm and comfortable without impacting their alertness or energy levels. Additionally, being soft and easy to administer, these chews can be conveniently incorporated into your dog’s travel routine, ensuring a more relaxed and stress-free journey for your furry companion.

#8 – First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit for your dog during travel is an essential aspect of preparedness that can make a significant difference in emergency situations. Just like humans, dogs can encounter various health issues or injuries while on the road, such as cuts, scrapes, or allergic reactions. A well-stocked canine first aid kit should include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers for tick removal, gauze, adhesive tape, and a thermometer. It’s also advisable to include any specific medications your dog may need, along with a copy of their medical records and emergency contact numbers, including your vet’s. Additionally, having an informational booklet on basic pet first aid can be invaluable in guiding you through handling common travel-related pet emergencies.

Rayco International Ltd Pet First Aid Kit
  • Grab and go case packed with emergency essentials
  • Washable vinyl case
  • Saline solution and Styptic pencil
  • LED Reflective Collar 3 settings
  • Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 3 inches

The Rayco International Ltd Pet First Aid Kit can provide immediate assistance to your dog in case of minor injuries or discomfort and can be a lifesaver while you seek professional veterinary care. It includes everything you need for first aid, including a styptic pencil and sterile saline. Being prepared with a first aid kit ensures that you are equipped to handle unexpected health issues, providing peace of mind and safety for your dog throughout your travels.

Dr. Cuddles ReadyRESCUE™ Detoxifier
  • For chocolate, grapes, recreational drugs, and more
  • Veterinary grade
  • Easy to use
  • 5 year shelf life
  • For cats and dogs

Adding Dr. Cuddles ReadyRESCUE to your dog’s first aid kit can further enhance your preparedness for any travel emergencies. This lifesaving solution works to absorb toxins in your pet’s body when they’ve eaten something toxic like chocolate, grapes, or other dangerous items to dogs. The activated carbon spheres in this veterinary-grade detoxifier buy critical time for your pet when an ingestion emergency arises.

#9 – Extra Leash and Collar

iHeartDogs Doggie Paws Dog Collar
  • Adorable paw print design
  • Secure buckle
  • Sturdy D-ring for leash attachment
  • Purchase funds 2 meals for shelter dogs

When traveling with your dog, it’s always a good idea to have an extra collar on hand. Carrying an extra collar provides a backup in case the primary one gets lost or damaged, ensuring your pet is always identifiable and safe throughout your travels. Ensure your backup collar is made from high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of travel and sports a sturdy clasp. The iHeartDogs Doggie Paws Dog Collar is an excellent choice to include in your dog’s travel essentials. It’s functional. durable, and showcases a stylish design with adorable paw prints, making your dog look great while ensuring their safety.

PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash
  • Strong and durable nylon material
  • Traditional style leash
  • Easy-to-use bolt snap for secure attachment
  • Size: 1 inch in width, 6 feet in length
  • Suitable for various dog sizes and breeds

Don’t forget an extra leash in your dog travel essentials! The PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash is a stellar choice as an extra leash for your dog during travels. Its traditional style pairs with robust durability, making it suitable for dogs of various sizes and breeds. The leash’s nylon material strikes the perfect balance between strength and flexibility, offering control and comfort during walks. The easy-to-use bolt snap attachment is a standout feature, ensuring a secure and quick connection to your dog’s collar or harness. Its six-foot length provides ample freedom for your dog to explore while still allowing you easy control.

#10 – Comfy Bedding Essentials

Funny Fuzzy Dog Car Seat Bed - First Class
  • Adjustable safety leashes & fixing seat belts
  • Built-in safety buckle to combine with dog collar
  • Safety pillows on the front and back
  • Removable machine washable cover
  • Anti-slip bottom and carry handles

Dogs like things that smell familiar. So bringing one of their own beds, a, blanket, or a towel they sleep on, etc., can help them settle in wherever you are going. Having a bed that doubles as a car seat is a super helpful hack, and the Funny Fuzzy Dog Car Seat Bed – First Class is an excellent option to consider. This innovative dog bed provides the comfort and familiarity of your dog’s own bed while adding the safety and convenience of a car seat. The bed is designed to securely fit in your vehicle, ensuring your pup’s safety during travel. Its plush and cozy material will give your dog a sense of home, helping to reduce anxiety and discomfort that can come with being on the road. Plus, it’s easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for long trips where messes might occur.

#11 – Covers To Keep The Mess At a Minimum

4Knines Dog Seat Cover
  • Heavy-duty, colorfast 600D polyester with K9-SHIELD
  • Thick UV-coated straps & durable nylon clips
  • No azo dyes or heavy chemicals
  • Velcro seat belt openings
  • Available in 2 sizes

Because your pup will be spending extended time in your vehicle, consider protecting your seats with car seat covers. These protective layers are not only practical for keeping things clean, but also provide a comfier space for your pup. If you’re looking for a new cover for your car, the 4Knines Dog Seat Cover covers your seats with heavy-duty, waterproof, and scratch-resistant 600D polyester with a UV-resistant coating. The seat anchors and adjustable straps ensure a snug fit and prevent the cover from bunching up. It also features a quilted pattern that enhances visual appeal and provides added comfort for your dog. The thick padding offers a cozy and cushioned surface, making car rides more enjoyable for your furry friend.

#12 – CitizenShipper Provides a Travel Alternative

  • Peer-to-peer shipping service specialized in pet transportation
  • User-friendly platform for easy navigation and booking
  • Detailed transporter profiles with customer reviews and transport history
  • Personalized care with regular updates and photos during transit
  • Competitive bidding system for cost-effective solutions
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage for added security

CitizenShipper offers a unique and efficient alternative for pet parents who might not be able to travel with their dogs. This peer-to-peer shipping service connects you with independent transporters who specialize in pet transportation, ensuring your dog reaches the destination safely and comfortably. What sets CitizenShipper apart is its user-friendly platform where you can review detailed transporter profiles, including customer reviews and transport history, allowing you to make an informed decision. The service emphasizes personalized care for your pet, with transporters often providing regular updates and photos during the journey. This ensures peace of mind, knowing your dog is in good hands.

Additionally, the competitive bidding system on the platform helps in finding a service that fits your budget. While the idea of sending your dog with a stranger might initially seem daunting, CitizenShipper’s commitment to safety, transparency, and customer satisfaction makes it a reliable option for those unable to travel with their furry companions.

travel essentials for dogs

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, traveling with your dog can be a delightful and enriching experience with the right preparation and tools. By equipping yourself with these travel essentials for dogs and a little knowledge, you can ensure a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable journey for both you and your furry companion. Remember, the key to a successful trip with your pup lies in thoughtful planning and a little extra care.

iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

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