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Must-Pack Items When Traveling with a Dog

Okay, we’re ready to go!

Text by Linda Steenrod & Dr. Robert Moffatt V.M.D.

That’s the question we all ask ourselves when going on vacation! What will the weather be? Should I take only casual or something dressy as well? On and on. Well, when traveling with your dog(s), you need to ask the same question on what to pack for them! So, in preparation for their vacation with you, here are some wise tips to help you get your furry companions packed and ready, easily, so your 4-legged friend can have a great vacation with you.

  1. First of all, be sure to visit or speak with your vet prior to going away to be sure you have any specific advice for traveling from the doctor who knows your dog well.
  2. If your dog has problems with riding in the car, be sure to check on medications which will help the travel be less stressful and more comfortable.
  3. Be sure to bring any medications you dog will need, bring enough, and bring extra in the event you need or want to stay an extra day or two, or in case of any emergency.
  4. When you arrive at your destination, find out the contact information for a local vet and a local emergency facility – hoping you won’t need it, but being prepared if you do!
  5. Be sure your dog has been recently flea and tick treated for your dog’s protection, especially in a beachy, sandy, or wooded area.
  6. Bring your dog’s collar, leash, and tags. You may want to prepare a tag, which can be removed later, with your cell phone number, and the address of the location where you will be staying.
  7. If your dog gets on the furniture and/or bed, bring old sheets or covers to lay on the furniture in consideration of the owners and others guests visiting after you.
  8. You may want to bring water from home, or bring or purchase bottled water, especially if your dog has any sensitivity to changes in water or diet. You will be bringing or purchasing your dog’s regular food, so think about the water as well.
  9. You’ll want to bring your dog’s crate, special pillow or blanket, dishes, and any favorite toys – even if you are planning on buying some specials items while here – it’s always comfy to have your old favorites with you, too.
  10. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave your dog in the car, even in the spring and fall. The heat can get to fatal levels within minutes. And, even it out or a walk on the beach or around town, don’t overdo in the heat. Your dog can suffer heat exhaustion just like you can.

You know your dog better than anyone, and you want to insure a safe and happy trip for you AND for your dog, so keep these “Happy 4-Legged Traveler” tips in mind as you plan, prepare for, and pack for your vacation. I speak from experience when I tell you that a vacation with your dog(s) can be a most wonderful and rewarding experience to share, so here’s wishing you and your dog(s) a safe and happy vacation together!

A great book to pack to take on vacation: Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein