Traveling with Your Pet

Traveling with Your Pet

By Jennifer Christenson

4 Essentials for a Smoother Ride

Just like planning a vacation requires you to pack all the “must haves” for an enjoyable trip, traveling with your dog also means you have to put some extra effort into ensuring that your four-legged friend is safe, secure, and satisfied – otherwise your plans could end up in the dog house before you ever hit the road! With that in mind, here are four travel necessities you’ll need to keep in mind when packing for your pooch!

Obviously, first on your list should be plenty of food and water. There’s just one problem: Have you ever tried to open a bag full of kibble with a car full of dogs? Chances are, an avalanche of pieces spill onto the floor, pour into the seat cushions and everywhere else – giving your dog free license to poke his nose and paws all over your car upholstery, while the unfound pieces remain hidden and your car smells like stale dog food for months.

Instead, get an oversized “kibble pouch” with a velcro strap that keeps contents closed when not in use, but is easy to open when you need to feed those hungry mouths. If it can store a fairly large sized water bottle – even better. That way, all your dogs feeding needs are in a single, tight compartment.

Then, of course, you need a dish to store it in. If you’re traveling with several dogs, you know that they take up a LOT of room – so the more space you can save, the better! A foldable food and water dish is ideal in this case – and having both items in one compact design makes it easy to clean and easy to pack.

And of course, not every dog is fully accustomed to riding in a car or being in an unfamiliar place. To deter unwanted behavior, you can help your dog be more relaxed and comfortable with his favorite treats. A familiar toy, a favorite snack or some item from “home” can settle the less-traveled pooch.

Plus, since dogs and cars don’t always go together, the more you can do to help prevent car ride digestive upsets, the better. Avoid giving your dog any treats that are artificially colored or are loaded with preservatives, as these kinds of foods are just as bad for dogs as they are for people! And many dogs can develop allergic reactions to the chemicals and preservatives in treats – making them miserable for the long haul. If the treats are any color other than white or brown – they have food coloring added which can also cause upsets. Instead, opt for natural, fresh-baked, treats for the trip that have no coloring or preservatives added. Your dog’s tummy will thank you!

And last, but certainly not least, be sure to pack a quick-release collar. Whether you’re hiking through the forest or running along the beach, the last thing you want to have happen is for your buddy to get his collar caught on something. A quick release collar ensures that Fido has plenty of breathing room and can snap the collar off when caught (or you can quickly remove it for him).

So now that you know which items to pack along – you’ll be more prepared for a fun and memorable trip with your furry friend and can worry less about all the little doggy mishaps that happen to less experienced travelers. Bon Voyage!

Jennifer Christenson has created the perfect travel companion – a fully-stocked Pet Travel Gift Basket – which includes all of the items recommended above, plus plenty of all-natural dog treats to ensure a smooth and happy ride! To see photos of the Pet Travel Gift Basket and to order online, visit

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