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How to Prepare and What to Bring When Traveling with your Dog

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Traveling with a dog can be challenging, to say the least! However, when you prepare properly, traveling with Fido can be quite rewarding! All it takes is a little preparation on your part. Let’s take a look at some tips for traveling with your dog.

Keep His Favorite Things Handy

The first thing to remember when traveling with your dog is that changing his environment can be a little daunting for him. This is true even if Fido is the type of dog that loves to take the occasional ride in the car. Dogs are like humans in that we both like our routines, and we are both most comfortable at home surrounded by familiar things. Therefore, our first tip for traveling with a dog is to bring along some of his favorite things and keep them handy as you travel.

How To Pack Their Stuff

Next, pack your dog’s things in an organized, easy-to-access manner. Packing cubes (which resemble old milk crates) make it easy not only to pack your dog’s things, but they are also easy to access and to re-pack at the end of your trip as well.

Essential Travel Items For Your Dog

So, what things should you bring along? Make a checklist before you ever begin preparing for your trip. Be sure to take along these items:

  • your dog’s regular food with collapsible bowls
  • familiar bedding
  • a couple of favorite toys
  • a carrier
  • waste bags
  • drinking water
  • old towels
  • grooming supplies and any medications your pet takes regularly

Let’s break down each of these items. First, it goes without saying that you’re going to want Fido’s normal food. The collapsible bowls (or disposable plastic bowls) will help to prevent messes as you travel. When it comes to food, take at least enough food to measure out a morning and evening portion for every day you’ll be away from home. You can put this loose food in a resealable gallon freezer bag for easy access.

Familiar bedding is very important to keeping your dog from becoming anxious while you travel. Even if you can’t travel with Fido’s normal dog bed, you can bring a blanket that he is used to (one that smells like home) for nap time.

Bringing some of your dog’s familiar toys will also help to alleviate boredom as well as remind him of home and lower anxiety. If you’re going to be spending time in a hotel room, it might be a good idea to get Fido an interactive toy that he can chew or play with in case you aren’t able to provide him with his normal exercise.

An aside here – if you’ve never tried an interactive food puzzle toy with your high energy dog, you are missing out on a great toy that prompts your dog to utilize his mental abilities as well as work off some physical energy! These toys may shake or vibrate in order for your dog to toss and roll the ball around with the reward of a food treat!

Bringing a carrier probably should be one of the first items you consider. Whether you’re traveling in a vehicle or via a plane, it is best for your dog to travel in a crate. Be sure the crate is a wired one that your dog can see out of (it’s best if he can hear you or see you while traveling). You’ll want to line the carrier with a puppy pad and keep an old towel handy for an accidents your dog might have.

The carrier is also important for staying in the hotel room. In the carrier, place your dog’s blanket and a familiar toy so that she won’t get lonely and bored while you are out. You can also place water and a food dish in the carrier while you’re in the hotel room (it’s probably not a good idea to leave food and water out in the open while driving; you can stop for water and “potty” breaks along the way).

Preventing Accidents Along The Way

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Speaking of potty breaks, carry a roll of scented waste bags so that you can clean up after a walk.

Carry bottled water for any pit stops and water breaks. Utilize the plastic bowls to allow Fido plenty of water during stops. By the way, stops may be scheduled for every couple of hours.

We mentioned those old towels. They can serve multiple purposes when traveling. You can put an old towel under the carrier as you travel to protect your car’s upholstery. You’ll want to place at least one old towel inside the carrier for your dog just to provide some cushion. If you happen to have an accident while traveling, the old towel can serve to help clean up and you won’t mind tossing it if necessary.

Keep Them Looking Chic and Tidy!

Finally, you may want to take grooming supplies (a brush or comb and a toothbrush) when traveling. If your dog happens to roll around in something unseemly, you can always bath him then brush him down afterwards.

Packing your dog’s belongings for a trip can be a daunting task, and the actual trip itself can be rather challenging. However, with a little preparation, you and your furry friend can have an enjoyable journey together.