Things to Pack In Your Dog Travel Bag and Tips For Traveling With Your Dog
I saw a saying once that read: “If my dog isn’t happy, neither am I.” I didn’t know how true that statement was until we started taking our dog Bentley with us on our trips.
When we first got Bentley we knew nothing about how to travel with a pet, what to put in a dog travel bag, or that pet-friendly hotels were an option. After moving many times and traveling to a variety of places with Bentley we have learned that traveling with a dog can be difficult without proper planning and having the correct accessories.
Here are some tips we have found useful when traveling with our dog, Bentley, and items to pack in a dog travel bag.
1. Make Sure Your Pet Has the Correct Identification
One of the most important things to do when traveling with your pet is to make sure your pet has proper identification. It is important that your pet is wearing their ID tag at all times in case they happen to get out of the car, hotel, etc. Information on their tag should include your pet’s name, a phone number (or two), and your first name if it can fit.
If you want to go a step further you should make sure your dog is microchipped and that the information on their microchip is up to date. We typically keep an extra ID tag and collar in our dog travel bag to make sure we have one in case something happens to Bentley’s collar or ID tag.
2. Invest in A High-Quality Harness
We have two EzyDog harnesses and really like that they are, in fact, easy to put on. The EzyDog harness slips over your dog’s head and clips around the belly, rather than having to wrestle with your pup’s legs. They are also very compact.
We keep one on Bentley while traveling, and have a spare in our dog travel bag. One thing to note, Bentley is an escape artist and even has been able to get out of this one from time to time when he is in the car… he really hates it when we buckle him in because he can’t stick his head outside so make sure your pet is properly secured in the car or leashed somewhere outside.
3. Never Question the Power of A Good Grooming Wipe
As all dogs do, Bentley loves to roll, prance, and play in just about anything that’s dirty. Grooming wipes have been amazing for a quick and easy clean-up after running through dirt and mud. It’s also nice for wiping his paws off after he goes on a walk. We usually pick up unscented wipes so that they don’t irritate his skin. Wipes are easy to keep in your dog travel bag while hitting the road.
4. A Back Seat Hammock is A Must For Car Rides
In order to keep your vehicle clean, dog hair from finding its way into every inch of your vehicle, or to just simply keep your leather/cloth seats scratch-free, this useful hammock will be a perfect addition to your pet travel checklist. Not to mention, Bentley loves lounging on it!
Swapping vehicles? No problem, the hammock folds up into a pouch and can be carried individually or placed inside your dog travel bag.
5. Collapsible Travel Bowls or Convertible Containers Will Save You Space
Remember your pet needs to stay hydrated too! Having collapsible bowls is a huge space saver and can be clipped onto a carabiner and/or leash for ease of access. We always take at least one of these with us while traveling and we also attach one to our leash while hiking so we can pour some of our water into it for him.
6. Keep Your Pet Safe By Properly Securing Them While Traveling in a Vehicle
We’ll be honest, we don’t use our safety restraint for every car trip nearby, but we do use it when traveling long distances in order to keep Bentley safe in emergency situations. The Ezydog seatbelt restraint is the one we have been using but have also heard really great reviews about the Ezydog seatbelt harness too. You can also consider looking into a crate that has been crash-tested for even more secure travel.
7. Make Sure Your Pet Has an Appropriate Air Travel Carrier
Bentley is just over the weight limit for under-the-seat air travel but we did find an inexpensive carrier with great reviews. Make sure you provide your pet with enough water while traveling at the airport.
The majority of airports offer relief stations for your dog to relieve themselves prior to getting on the flight! Travel tip: all airlines require proof of vaccinations and health certifications. Make copies of these before you leave!
8. A Collapsible Crate Would Be A Worthy Investment
This crate easily folds down and fits in our trunk with all of our luggage. You could even go a step further by purchasing a crate mat that could double as a travel bed so your dog has extra comfort while sitting in the back of your vehicle.
9. You May Need to Purchase A Remedy to Help Your Dog Feel Calmer
Bentley is pretty used to us being on the go so we don’t have much experience in this category but he does have horrible separation anxiety when we go somewhere without him.
Here are a few options you could look into if your dog is struggling to survive your trip that would be easy to fit in your dog travel bag.
- Anti-Anxiety Jacket
- Calming Treats: we have tried a variety of treats that have lavender in them.
- CBD: We bought some dog CBD before we moved to Florida because we knew it was going to be a long car ride from Arkansas. I felt that it significantly helped Bentley feel more calm for the duration of our trip.
10. Ask For Updated Records From Your Vet
Most importantly, before leaving for any vacation or trip, make sure your pet’s vaccinations, identification, and records are up to date and that you have a copy with you.
Are there any other suggestions you would add to your dog travel bag in order to make traveling with your pet more comfortable and easy?