The Ultimate Packing Checklist For Traveling With Your Dog


Traveling with your dog can be highly rewarding for both you, and your pup. Dogs can make great travel companions as long as you think about your pooch’s travel needs in advance. Our ultimate packing list is the only checklist you’ll need when it comes to traveling with your canine.

Packing everything you need, plus some extras (just in case), will make for a much happier dog-traveling experience. It’s especially important to bring items that are familiar, and “smell like home.”  This will help your dog settle into unfamiliar environments with ease.

1. Food & Water

Starting off with the basic essentials, food and water. Every dog is uniquely different when it comes to feeding and dietary requirements. The main objective, is to pack and portion out enough food for the duration of your stay or trip. It’s important to pack just a little extra, in case your destination does not carry the certain brand of dog food your pup is accustomed to. Our favorite brand of dog food we highly recommend, is anything from the Honest Kitchen. Healthy, human-grade, minimally processed nutritious pet food.

Don’t for get the treats! Pack a zip lock bag full of your dog’s favorite treats!

If you don’t already have a collapsible water bowl, you should get one. They usually come with a clip that makes it easy to attach it to anything, perfect for on-the-go travel. Water is important for humans and dogs alike, always make sure you have access to plenty water.

2. Harness, Collar & Leash

Even if your dog is well-behaved, and trained to be off leash, you should always bring a collar, ID tag and leash. There are extra long leashes, that are great tools for training, or can be used while camping or in a backyard without a fence.

Depending on where you are traveling to, there are strict leash laws. If you get caught not having your dog on a leash, you could be fined, or face several other consequences.

In some countries, larger dogs are required to wear muzzles. If you plan on traveling overseas, double check their rules and regulations. You may even need to get a pet passport.

3. Bedding & Towels

Nothing beats sleeping in your own bed, am I right?! I think man’s best friend would agree. If possible, bring along your pup’s doggy bed. This might be one of the more bulkier items you have to schlep along, but your pooch will thank you. They’ll be happier having their familiar bed while staying in an unfamiliar environment. If traveling by car, the dog bed can make for a more pleasant, and comfortable car ride, as you transport them.

I can personally recommend a travel crate. I recently purchased, the Petsfit travel crate from Amazon. It was super easy to set up, has mesh for good ventilation, and folds down into the handy carrying case.

A towel is an extra handy thing to have when traveling with your dog. in addition to using it to dry your dog off after a bath or after a walk in the rain, it can also be used for providing warmth, or as a cover for furniture or beds.

4. Dog Life Jacket and ThunderShirt

If your travel plans include activities around bodies of water, you may want to consider bringing a doggy life jacket. English Bulldogs, for example are top heavy, and although there are some special cases where they are able to swim fine on their own, they are actually prone to sink. Safety first, plus who doesn’t love seeing a dog in a doggy life jacket?!

Another thing I don’t leave home without, is the ThunderShirt. My pup isn’t always the calmest, and sometimes, car rides, or trips worry her. The vest’s design applies a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect. Another great use, is say you’re traveling over the holidays, and celebrating with some fireworks, this is always great to have just in case it happens to be noisy in unknown environments.

5. Medications, Brush, Nail Clippers, Shampoo

If you plan on being away from home more than awhile, bringing along your dogs’ tick/flea or de-wormer medicine is probably something you  want to take with you. Ticks in particular can be a danger when you’re spending a lot of time in nature or outdoors. Of course, if your pooch needs daily medication make sure you bring that along with any prescriptions for refills, from your vet.

Doggy toiletry items like a brush, nail clippers, and doggy shampoo are also items you may want to consider bringing. We recommend packing any liquids in zip-lock baggies, in case of spills. Brushing your dog regularly will also help with shedding.

6. Dog Passport & Paperwork

If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll likely be required to provide either a dog passport, or other paperwork such as certificate of rabies vaccinations etc. The requirements will differ from country to country, so make sure you’re prepared, well in advance.

7. Poop Bags & Zip-Lock Bags

One of the most essential items for any dog owner (besides food and water of course), are a stash of poop bags. Nobody likes a dog owner that doesn’t clean up after their dog.

Another must have item, are zip-lock bags. Whether you use them for to store food, treats, wet items or the like, they’ll come in handy somewhere. You will definitely use them!

Finally, you’ll certainly want to bring along one or two, (or however many you can fit), doggy toys! You’ll likely be spending a lot of time out and about, exploring, or going on adventures, but having some of your dogs’ favorite toys will make for a happier pup! Whether its to keep your dog entertained on quiet evenings in, or simply to distract them with something to chew on while you eat dinner. Your dog’s favorite toys are certainly something you don’t want to forget to pack!

Kara is a dog mama to 3-year-old English Bulldog, Winnie. Winnie and Kara are inseparable. Whether home watching crime documentaries or packing up for their next travel adventure – they are always together. Follow along @winnieroobullydog.


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