The holidays are here! It’s time for family get togethers and roadtrips home for the holidays. However, it’s not time to leave your dogs home alone; dogs deserve vacations too. They've been your trusty sidekick every step of the way this year. So why wouldn't you treat them to a trip away? If you're planning to travel with your pup this holiday season, you must prepare yourself. You need to make a packing list for both you and your dog.
Below, we provide you with the ultimate dog travel essentials list to help you (and your fur friend) have the best vacation!
Dog packing list: Travel essentials to pack
Packing for a trip can be overwhelming as it is without having to think about what your pet will need too. You may feel a little apprehensive if this is your first time traveling with a dog. Don't worry; there's no need to. Dogs make the best travel companions. All you need for a successful trip is the right dog travel essentials.
What should you include on a dog packing list? Unfortunately, a travel pillow and a good book won't be enough to ensure your pet's comfort. The key is to pack dog travel essentials that ensure your pet’s safety. Traveling can cause stress for our pets, so you'll want to bring plenty of wellness supplies and home comforts.
Here are the top dog travel essentials we recommend all pet parents bring with them on vacation.
- Pet restraints: Leashes, harnesses, and collars are all necessities when exploring somewhere new with your dog.
- Crate or travel carrier: If you're flying to your destination, your dog will need a crate or travel carrier. Check with your airline to learn the required dimensions of a dog crate or carrier.
- Food supplies: Traveling can upset your dog's stomach, mainly if your pooch eats particular foods. That's why it's essential to bring their favorite dry or raw dog food and treats.
- Collapsible travel bowls: Are you vacationing somewhere that's wet and snowy? Going to hit the sloops? If so, travel bowls are great for ensuring your dog can stay fed and hydrated while out exploring.
- Water: When it comes to dog travel essentials, drinking water is a must. If you're going on a road trip, packing bottled water allows your dog to stay hydrated at every rest stop.
- Vaccination records and essential documents: Each trip should start with a trip to the vet for a clean bill of health. Many destinations also require your dog to be vaccinated against various diseases. Essential documents like vaccine records, health certificates, pet licenses, and identification records are a must when traveling.
- Medicine: If your dog is taking flea and tick medication or is receiving heartworm treatment, you must include these on your dog packing list.
- Waste bags: Waste bags are a necessity when going anywhere with your dog—being on vacation isn't going to change that.
- Towel or pet wipes: Bringing a towel or pet wipes can be great for keeping your dog's paws clean after a run on the beach or before returning to your Airbnb.
- Pet first aid kit: Accidents can happen at any time. Pack a first aid kit full of the essentials you'll need to treat any minor scrapes, scratches, or insect bites.
- Grooming supplies: Going on vacation is a time to look and feel our best—your pooch included. Don't forget to bring brushes, nail clippers, and dog sunscreen.
- Toys and bedding: Lastly, pack a few home comforts to help your canine friend feel settled while traveling. Maybe they have a favorite toy or dog bed. These comforts can be incredibly calming for anxious dogs while on vacation.
Vacationing with dogs: Top travel tips
You've got the necessary dog travel essentials, and the suitcases are packed. Time to hit the road? Not so fast. Traveling with pets is a beautiful way to have quality bonding time during summer. Yet, there are several travel tips you should consider too.
Each airline will have its own pet travel policies. Whether you're flying domestically or internationally, check your airline's website for all rules around flying with dogs. Ask an airline representative whether your dog can fly in the cabin with you and what accommodations they provide.
It's also beneficial to see if airports have a pet relief zone where your dog can have a bathroom break. Many airports have rules that prevent animals from being let out of their travel carriers, so read these first. As mentioned, certain countries require your pet to be vaccinated. The United States Department of Agriculture keeps an up-to-date list of pet travel requirements by country.
When going on a road trip
Use a harness or carrier to keep your dog secured if traveling by car. The last thing you need is your bubbly Labrador bouncing from seat to seat while you're paying attention to the road. If using a harness, lay down a cozy towel or give them their dog bed to lay on.
Plenty of rest stops are a must when going on a road trip with dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, stop every two to three hours while on the road. These breaks allow them to get some much-needed exercise, have a bathroom break, and stay hydrated.
When spending time on the water
Are you planning to spend time on boats while on vacation? You'll need to keep dog water safety tips in mind. If you're near the water, bring a high-quality flotation device (i.e., a life jacket) for your dog to wear. Keeping them on a leash is also recommended to prevent them from jumping overboard.
For dogs that experience motion sickness, speak to your vet before your vacation about medications or remedies to help ease your dog's stomach discomfort. The last thing you want is motion sickness ruining your pet's vacation.
Wagmo: Keeping your pet safe on vacation
Wagmo helps pet parents keep their furry friends safe and healthy at all times—even when on vacation. Before you travel (and pack all your dog travel essentials), we recommend making a list of registered local veterinarians and service providers who accept pet insurance for dogs. In an emergency, call a local vet and get your pet checked as soon as possible.
At Wagmo, our dog insurance with wellness plans gives pet parents peace of mind knowing they can access routine pet care anytime, anywhere. Whether your fur friend needs attention after an insect bite or they've suffered heatstroke, our coverage starts right away once activated. Learn about our dog wellness plans and how to keep your dog paw-fectly safe on vacation.