Whether you’re going hiking for a day or taking a week-long vacation this winter, make sure you’re prepared no matter what comes your way. There are a few essential pieces of gear you should always have when traveling with your dog. And while you may deem some of them unnecessary for shorter trips, it is always best to plan ahead and be on the safe side, especially when it comes to your beloved pup.
Travel bowls, food, and water – This should seem relatively obvious, but if you’re taking your dog on a trip that’s going to
last more than a few hours, you need to make sure you pack food and, most importantly, water. Always be prepared since you don’t necessarily know if you’ll have a water source when camping/hiking. Collapsible dog bowls are great and can easily be stowed in your car. For longer trips where you need to pack larger amounts of food, try a dog travel food container - a zippered bag that can hold up to five pounds of food.
Bedding – Even if you plan to only be gone for the day, always have a dog travel bed available in the car. First and foremost, it gives your pup a comfortable place to sleep on the ride home, and second, if you get stuck somewhere, you’re prepared for an overnighter.
Dog coat – Since we’re headed into the coldest part of the year (well, let’s face it – we’re already here), make sure you keep a dogcoat in the car. They’re great for a planned outdoor adventure, or if you get stuck outside for long periods of time when you don’t intend to, your dog can stay relatively warm.
Waste bags – This one is self-explanatory. Be a responsible dog owner and pick up your dog’s waste anywhere you go.
Extra leash & collar – Obviously, your dog is going to have a collar, and most likely a leash, too, if you’re taking him on a trip. However, bring an extra one just in case. Dog collars, if not fitted properly, can easily slide off, and leashes can be misplaced. Always have an extra one of each so that, if you’re put into one of those situations, you don’t have to fret. Also, you could consider bringing a basic leash for the ride and a bungee leash, depending on the purpose of your trip.
Car seat cover – This one is mostly for your sake, but consider investing in a car seat cover. It will keep your seat clean, especially if your dog sheds a lot or tends to get muddy and gross after being outside. Also, a waterproof seat cover will help prevent water spots on your cloth seats or puddles on your leather seats from snow during the winter.
Dog car restraint – Whether it be a crate, dog carrier, or a dog car safety harness, you should have some type of car restraint for your dog. This will keep him in the backseat, where it is safest for him to ride, and will also prevent you from distracted driving.
Up-to-date tags and proof of vaccinations – Last, but certainly not least, always make sure your dog’s tags are up-to-date. You should also consider getting your pet chipped, as that is the most reliable way to keep track of him if he gets lost, but updated tags will at least help someone get in touch with you if your dog gets lost and someone finds him. Additionally, carry proof of vaccinations with you – you never know when you may need them, and there’s nothing wrong with being overly prepared.