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Tail Waggin Travel Tips

Packing Pointers

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When you are getting ready to hit the open road, it helps if you pack a bag for your dog just like you do for yourself. Making sure you pack right for your furry friend guarantees that both you and he/she will enjoy the journey and the destination.


Whether you have a pampered small pooch or 180 pound Saint Bernard, your dog will be thrilled that he is going with you instead of going to the doggy kennel.

Remember pack ahead - if you wait until the last minute you are sure to forget something.


What to bring when you travel with your dog.

Backpack - consider it your doggy diaper bag. You’ll find it is great when going out for a day trip to the park, the beach or a hike, and it is all ready for those long road trips. Just keep it stocked and up to date making it is easy to grab and go.

  • Leash & collars - we like to bring an extra leash in our bag and an additional collar such as a gentle leader
  • Small blanket or towel - so they have a spot to lie on. Dogs love to have their spot. You may want to have extra towels if you are headed near water, if your dog is a water dog.
  • Clicker - if your dog has been trained with a clicker don’t forget to have one in your bag
  • Treats - make sure and not leave home without a few of their familiar treats. Traveling (whether for a day or week) is not a good time to try new treats, dogs have sensitive tummies too. Treats are convenient for hiding medications, and getting them to behave.
  • Pooper Scooper- this can be as simple plastic bags.
  • Collapsible dog dish – great for saving space.

In addition, make sure you have the following packed and ready when going on a road tip:

  1. Copies of Vaccinations and License - it is very important that you keep vaccinations up-to-date, dog licenses should also be current. We have a dog passport that includes all this info.
  2. Dog identification tags - make sure you have the dog identification tags on a small, strong ring to hold tags on the collar. You may want to consider having the tag include information such as your dog’s name, your name, your cell phone number, depending on the space you may even your vet's phone number & your address
  3. Toys & Chew Treats - Bringing your dogs favorite chews and/or toys is an added comfort to your pet.  Chew treats such as Nylabones or bully sticks are good if your dog needs to chew to work off some of that extra energy
  4. Dog brush
  5. Bedding - When packing for a hotel stay we bring our own bedding. For Crash, a high energy working dog who has a hard time settling down at night I bring his bed from his crate, he is able to sleep wherever we put that bed. The familiar, comfortable smells are calming & reassuring for him when it is time to settle down to sleep -it says yes this is home. We also keep it in the car while we drive and find he is more relaxed during the drive.
  6. Crates - If your dog sleeps in a crate don’t forget to pack one. Traveling is not a good time to change sleeping or eating habits. There are a number of different fold up crates that are great for traveling. dog crates
  7. Dog bowls for water and food - If you will be gone for awhile make sure to bring sturdy non breakable bowls –stainless steel bowls are great for traveling.
  8. Water - Make sure you have a supply of water, as fresh water is not always available when it is time to make a pit stop. We always carry extra water bottles not only for us but for our dogs- you’d be surprised how many rest stops have broken fountains and sinks.
  9. Vitamins or Medicine that your dog is currently taking - You do not want to stop taking them while on the trip. Also many pets do not travel well in a vehicle. If you find your dog gets car sick, your vet may prescribe motion sickness pills. A carsick dog is downright miserable for everyone. Always check with your vet to see what is recommended for your furry friend before giving them any medications.
  10. Food - Make sure you have plenty of his/her regular food, a sudden change in brands can lead to stomach upsets. In addition, if your dog eats can food don’t forget a can opener and spoon. Remember only let your dog eat small amounts of food and water don't allow them overeat or drink while in the car. Reserve your pet's main meal for the end of the trip.
  11. Leash & collars - Pack a sturdy leash and an extra collar. We like to bring different lengths leashes and different types of collars, such as a gentle leader or harness. Whether or not your destination has a leash law, always keep your dog on leash for his safety and your peace of mind.
  12. Picture of your dog & of your family with your dog. – bringing a picture of your dog is great to have in case your dog somehow runs off. Also bring along a picture that shows you and the family with your dog in case you need to prove that the dog is yours.
  13. First Aid Kit - Consider buying one or make your own. Your kit should contain some of these basics items:
  •      Cold Pack
  •      Vinyl Gloves,
  •      Variety of bandages such as cohesive & elastic bandages,
  •      Adhesive Tape, Gauze, Stretch Gauze Roll,
  •      Splint Material, tongue depressors,
  •      Lubricating jelly, burn-aid gel, Antibiotic Ointment & packets, Hydrocortisone Cream,
  •      Emergency blanket in the case of shock,
  •      Safety pins, tick removers, tweezers, nail clippers, scissors
  •      Antiseptic Wipes, Cotton Balls, Cotton Swabs,
  •      Antihistamine
  •      Sunscreen - Yes, they make sunscreen for dogs! If Fido is playing outside in the peak hours, he/she can also get a sunburn.