Traveling is one of the experiences that are best shared with a close companion, like your canine best friend. Taking your pooch with you on your travels will be like taking a little kid with you, in a way. Dogs are very energetic, friendly, curious, and adorable, but they can also be unruly and tough to handle. That’s why, before you leave on any adventure, you should have these essential items to make your travel easier, safer, and more fun.
Vaccination and Health Records
Just as people need to secure important documents when they travel, pets are also required to have their records, particularly those concerning their health. Many places are wary about new pathogens being introduced to their territory through animals from other places.
That’s why a number of countries will ask for your pet’s health and medical records before they grant entry into their country. If you’re traveling to the United Kingdom, Australia, Malta, and New Zealand, they may require blood test results that prove that your dog is rabies-free.
It’s not just foreign countries too. The United States will also require health certificates before your pet can reenter the country to make sure they don’t bring pathogens from abroad. Even if you’re just travelling within the country, you may still need to present your dog’s vaccination records to get into certain establishments or consult with different veterinary service providers.
Water and Food
Traveling can consume a lot of energy, so your pet (and you) needs to recharge from time to time. Recharging means taking naps and eating food (and snacks). Dogs can sleep almost anywhere, but they definitely can’t eat just anything, especially not human food. Most people food are too processed, too high in sodium and sugar, and too unhealthy for pets.
Feeding them scraps may result in serious health problems over time. When you’re on the road, you should pack some food, snacks, and treats to tide Fido over. Most of all, you should have lots and lots of drinking water for your dog to prevent dehydration.
How much food you should pack depends on how long you’re traveling and staying in your destination. Check first if the food you feed your dog is available in the area. If it is, there’s no need to pack a lot.
Best be prepared if it’s not. Of course, you can always try a new brand of dog food, but remember that it has to be gradually introduced to your dog’s diet to avoid adverse reactions. Aside from their normal food, you should also bring treats to reward good behavior and help keep them calm and suitably engaged while on the road.
Leash and LED Collar
Prepare a leash and LED collar for your pup when you travel. If your dog is young or untrained, a leash is necessary to help you manage your pup’s behavior and keep track of them at all times. While you travel, you can also train your dog to get used to being on a leash.
Letting your dog wear a leash and a bright LED collar is a safety precaution. It helps you keep an eye on your dog, especially at night. In the event that they escape or stray, the glow-in-the-dark collar will easily catch attention and prevent accidents, like getting hit by a car.
Dogs create a lot of mess. They shed, slobber, and bring in dirt, stains, and mud. They also love to dig a hole on things, whether it’s the ground or your car seat. While the ground can manage, your car seat won’t be able to survive this abuse if you leave it unprotected while traveling with your dog.
You need a waterproof, durable car-seat cover to save your car seat from irreparable damage and your bank account from the cost of reupholstering. Most covers are stainproof and machine-washable too, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning them after a long ride.
Light and handy, collapsible bowls are the perfect containers for food and water for pets when traveling. These silicone feeders come in many different sizes, and most of them can fit into your backpack, making them ideal for hiking and outdoor adventures with your pet.
In fact, you can take one with you every time you go out with your dog. Most collapsible bowls have handle with a small hole where you can insert a string or carabiner, which you can just hook on the straps of your bag or belt loop. After that bowls have been used, you can just load them with other utensils in the dishwasher for cleaning.
Every dog owner knows that their pets can often be very fickle and easily distracted. Pets up and leave what they’re doing or ignore their humans when they see something more interesting. Their short attention spans make them adorable and irresistible. At the same time, it’s also why they can be tough to manage sometimes.
Your dog has to sit still and behave for hours while traveling. Some dogs are capable of staying calm during a long trip, but most won’t last more than a few minutes without making a racket. Either they turn on the zoomies inside the vehicle, bark incessantly at passers-by, hang their heads out of the window, or insist on getting your attention. It’s cute but not very safe, especially when you’re driving or riding public transportation.
In times like these, you need the perfect distraction to keep your pet on their best behavior. Chew toys and stuffed toys are perfect for this purpose. Prepare your dog’s favorite toys before going on a long trip.
Pack the toys that are particularly challenging and stimulating (e.g., Kong Classic, puzzle ball, dispensing dog toy, etc.). One toy can keep their attention for some time, enough until you can take them out for a short walk.
Just as most dogs don’t have a concept of personal space, they also don’t have much understanding of what’s clean or not. It’s up to their owners to maintain their hygiene—coats lustrous and shiny, ears dirt-free, nails trimmed, teeth healthy and cavity-free.
While traveling and going on adventures, your pet can get messy and attract ticks and fleas. This why you should always bring a pet grooming kit whenever you travel with your pet. The kit should include the dog wipes, clippers, towels, a brush, a deodorizing spray, and pet toothbrush and toothpaste. By bringing a grooming kit when you travel, you hit two birds with one stone: keep your pet clean and minimize the mess they create in your car.
Traveling to different places means getting exposed to potentially unsafe environments. Keeping your pet clean can protect them from contracting bacteria, viruses, and infections in the foreign surroundings.
Biodegradable Poop Bags
It’s common courtesy to clean up after your pet wherever you go. You should always bring bioplastic poop bags whenever you go out.
Not all biodegradable poops bags are made equal. Some brands just slap on a biodegradable label without actual proof that their product decomposes naturally within a short period. As a responsible pet owner, you should be a conscious buyer and make sure you’re getting proven green poop bags.
How you dispose biodegradable poop bags also plays a key role in the decomposition of these bags. If they end up in landfills, where they won’t be exposed to moisture and oxygen under mounds of other rubbish, these bags will degrade slower or end up being “mummified” trash.
Carrier or Travel Crate
A carrier or travel crate may be necessary to transport your pooch. Some public transport vehicles and establishments will only allow pets inside if you put them in a carrier or crate. You need to be prepared in case you don’t have any choice.
Moreover, young pups shouldn’t be left to wander because they may get injured or catch deadly bacteria or viruses. It’s best to keep them confined inside their crate when you’re not in a safe environment.
Bringing a carrier or travel crate may also be for the benefit of your pet. For anxious pets, staying inside their crate may help them feel safe and relaxed while on the road or in a foreign place.
First Aid Kit
Accidents can happen when you travel, like your pet getting injured. You need to be prepared to treat pet injuries immediately so they don’t get worse. When traveling, you should ready a basic first aid kit for your pet (and yourself).
Your pet first aid kit should contain tweezers to remove ticks and splinters, styptic powder to stop bleeding of clipped toenails and minor wounds, antiseptic spray for dogs to clean wounds, gauze bandages, adhesive tapes, and scissors, among other things.
Aside from the supplies, you also need to learn how to learn how to apply first aid to different pet injuries. Sometimes, this can make the difference between life and death.
Have a Safe and Fun Travel!
Taking your dog on a long trip requires thorough research and careful preparation. You need to know whether your destination has pet-friendly accommodations and establishments and veterinary services nearby. You also have to prepare essentials, from health records to toys and snacks. Only then can you have a safe and fun travel.