Traveling with the family dog doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s just as easy as traveling with kids. Maybe even easier! We’re sharing our must have essentials when traveling with dogs including a few products from The Nutro™ Company as part of a sponsored series with Socialstars. #HonestToDog
I still remember the first day we brought Scout home from the pound. We had just met him the day before and as soon as I got to his cage he put his paw up as if saying hello. I played with him a bit through the fence while my husband Joseph (who was only my boyfriend at the time) went to go see if he was available. They said he was a coonhound beagle mix so we assumed we were getting a medium sized dog. But those paws. Those paws said something else! They were HUGE.
Joseph had to work that day and couldn’t get off early so I had the pleasure of heading down to pick him up after he got the snip snip. He was only 3 months old at the time and came out from behind the corner with a cone of shame around him. I didn’t even bring a collar or a leash. I was so new to this whole pet owner thing. He would be living at Joseph’s house since I lived with my dad and did not have room for another dog. But that didn’t stop me from loving on him and staying with him that first night. Staying up and sleeping on the couch to make sure he was ok and all his needs were met.
Needless to say, Scout was a very important part of my life. He was my first real big responsibility outside of chinchillas, rats, and hampsters. And he depended on me and Joseph to take care of him. We took him just about everywhere. Road trips, the beach, hiking, walks around the neighborhood, etc. Wherever we went, he went. And as we got married, added to our family – gained 3 kids, gained and lost a dog, and added many more pets after that, and as Scout got older, the trips have slowed down. But we still get out and about for a little fun. And over the years we’ve figured out the essentials when traveling with dogs.
Now depending on the size and personality of your dog, some of these may vary a bit. However the basics are all there! And sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re going on a cross country trip with your pooch or simply taking a day trip to the beach. First above all, though, is to get your dog used to the car at a young(er) age. We’d take Scout on trips to the hardware store with us, to the pet store to grab food, and even to a few dog-friendly restaurants to not only get him socialized but to get him used to the car. One dog I had growing up, Simba, would get car sick every car ride and did NOT like to be in the car. I don’t think I’d attempt a long car ride with him if it could be avoided.
Top 10 Essentials When Traveling with Dogs
- Water – You always need to bring water with you when you’re traveling with Fido. Whether it’s a 20 minute drive to the park, a walk around the neighborhood, or a longer trip, water is essential to have with you when you have your pooch at your side.
- Poop Bags – Even if your dog is a once a day pooper in the same spot every day (don’t laugh… some dogs are very, er, regular) it’s good to have poop bags on hand (or even attached to their leash) at all times.
- Leashes – And that leads me to the next important essential, your dog’s leash. I would suggest keeping the leash attached to their collar even when in the car. It not only is convinient for getting out of the car, but should someone else need to go into your car, they can quickly secure your dog by grabbing the leash.
- Car Harness – Just like securing your children in a carseat, a car harness or crate is important to keep your dog safe in case of an accident or emergency. It can also act as a calm place for your dog to retreat to (the crate) if they’re feeling nervous on the trip when you reach your destination. Always keep your dog in the crate when the car is in motion OR harnessed.
- Towel/Bedding – if your pooch is sitting in the back seat, putting a towel down underneath them can act as some padding for them, protection for the seat, and an easy way to dry them off if you have an accident or are coming home from the beach. We’ve also found this to be an easy way to make them feel more comfortable if the car seat has an awkward angle. It also comes in handy in the back of the car as it acts like a makeshift bed.
- Food – Sometimes bringing food for your dog isn’t needed. But when you’re on a long road trip, or even a day trip to the beach, remembering your dog’s food is important. A food like NUTRO™ Rotations™ dog food can add a bit of variety to their diet and you can even pair it with what you’ve brought for the family to eat so your pooch can enjoy the same meal.
- Food/Water Containers – Even though this is kind of a given, having a few food/water containers with you can help out in a pinch. We like the soft, collapsable containers that will fit in a purse or diaper bag. I keep one in my trunk at all times along with a small tupperware container that holds the collapsable dish, extra leash, poop bags, and a water bottle. Just in case.
- Toys – Not only are toys great for your destination to keep your dog happy and entertained, but a favorite toy, blanket, or chew toy can help calm your dog while you’re on your adventure. Something that reminds them of home and security.
- Medications – Not all dogs are on medication however if your dog does need his daily meds, don’t forget to bring them along. I like to bring the whole bottle that includes the prescription information instead of a pill saver just in case. That way I have all of my dog’s info with me. You could also write out a list of medications to keep with you just as you would for yourself when traveling.
- Treats – Keeping a little stash of treats you know your dog likes can be handy when you want to get their attention, have them respond to your commands in new situations, or simply praise them for being good on your trip.
This old boy has definitely left an impact on my life and I’m so happy to have his companionship. We might not be doing cross country trip anytime soon but our beach days are far from over.
Do you travel with your dog?
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