Traveling by car with dogs can be fun, but it’s also exhausting. I find packing for trips with my dog more frustrating than any other part of traveling with him. I always seem to forget something important! I’m planning for a trip with my dog now, so I’ve made the following list to help others pack for road trips with dogs.
These items should be packed in such a way as to be easily accessible, as you will need and use them often during the trip. If you’ll be in the car for several days, pack these things last so you can reach them quickly.
- Collar and leash
- Water from home if your dog is picky–some dogs, particularly toy breeds, won’t drink water if it doesn’t taste like the water they’re accustomed to.
- Food and water dishes
- Blanket or mat for down-stays at rest stops
- Wet wipes for dirty paws when your dog gets back in the car after rest stops
- Toys and/or chews
- Seat belt harness, to be worn through the entire drive.
- Poop bags
Health and Emergencies
You should always carry a human first aid kit on long car trips. If your dog is accompanying you, it follows that you’ll need a first aid kit for dogs, as well as a few other necessities in case of a medical emergency. These items should be easily accessible but don’t need to be right on top.
- Canine first aid kit
- Telephone numbers of 24-hour emergency vet clinics along your route
- Book on canine first aid–even if you’ve had training, it may be forgotten temporarily if your own beloved dog is in danger.
- Telephone numbers of dog-friendly motels along your route, in addition to those you plan to stay at–if you’re delayed, you don’t want to end up forced to sleep in your car in an unsavory area.
- Basket muzzle–have your dog already accustomed to this before the trip. If she’s injured and needs to be treated by a strange vet in a strange town, she will be more comfortable being muzzled gently by her owner beforehand than during the procedure if she growls or snaps.
- Several towels you don’t mind losing in the event of bleeding, vomiting or diarrhea in your car as you head for a vet.
- A can of pumpkin to correct diarrhea or constipation.
- Any medications prescribed to your dog, including any anti-nausea drugs prescribed for the trip.
- Styptic in case of a broken nail
- Cleaning supplies for accidents in the car