Planning a road trip with your dog? You may pack light for yourself (or, alternatively, you may pack the kitchen sink!) but what about your dog? What are the essential items to bring? Farah Al-Khojai give us 8 sensible suggestions for your doggy luggage…
Dogs can be the perfect road trip companions. They never take the role of a backseat driver and you will never hear them say “Are we there yet?” at least a hundred times in just an hour.
Going on a fun, stress-free long road trip with your dog, however, requires a lot of preparation. You can’t pat their heads or scratch their ears every minute to keep them behaved and occupied. Also, the things that can amuse and nourish your kids during a road trip may not work for your canine friend. As such, you also have to put some thought into prepping a good road trip bag for your dog.
Things to Bring for Your Pet
First and foremost, it would be a smart idea to have a separate bag to hold most of the stuff that your dog will need so that these items aren’t simply cluttered inside the car. This way, you also won’t have to waste time rummaging through the car or several other bags when looking for something you need.
If you’re still unsure about which items to pack for a road trip with your dog, here are the top 8 things which you should prioritize:
1. Identification tag
Although this is an item that shouldn’t be packed in a bag, it is important that you don’t forget your dog’s ID tag or badge. There is always that chance that your pet will run away or get lost and the tag or badge will be the best way to ensure that you will get your dog back in such a situation. Make sure your dog’s identification is up to date with your current contact information.
2. Food, treats, and water
Use an airtight container to store enough dog food for the trip, plus some extra, too. Don’t forget to bring some of your pet’s favorite treats as well, such as dog biscuits and pretzels to help your canine friend settle down during the long journey. Lastly, bring enough bottles of water for your dog to drink during the trip. A dog’s stomach can be sensitive to changes in the things they consume, so it is best to bring a supply from home or to buy bottled drinking water for your pet.
3. Food and water dishes
Whether you’re giving your dog food inside the car or outside, a bowl will give you an easier time feeding your pet. It will also help you clean up faster afterward. A portable water dish will also help you a lot when giving your dog something to drink while on the go.
4. Supplements and medicines
If your dog is taking specific medication, vitamins, or other supplements, make sure you pack them in your bag. If you forget them, especially the medicines, your dog’s health could potentially be compromised. In addition, it may not be easy to find the exact same brand or type of medication or supplement while you’re on the road, so bring all of these when traveling with your pet so you can gain more peace of mind.
Pack your dog’s favorite ball or other fetch toy and take it out during your stopovers. Choose a spot which is wide enough for you to play with your dog, such as a park. Aside from getting the chance to stretch your legs, give your dog some time to get some exercise and fun during these stopovers as well.
6. Extra collar and leash
Make sure you bring an additional collar or leash since you never know when the one you have might break, wear out or get lost. The extra items will really be come in handy, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar territory and you can’t find a store to buy replacements immediately.
7. A canine grooming kit
Bring your dog’s brush or comb since grooming your dog on the roads is essential for reducing shedding. Also, if your dog only uses a particular brand of shampoo or soap, don’t forget to pack these since you may not be able to purchase them easily while traveling. Pack some towels as well to easily clean or wipe your dog when he or she gets a bit dirty.
8. A doggie first aid kit
Finally, your dog can also get hurt while playing or frolicking around during your travels. As such, fill a small bag with some essential items you can use to deal with minor injuries such as gauze, bandages, and a pair of tweezers.
Make sure your dog is comfortable throughout the duration of your road trip. Packing all the essential items your pet needs will ensure that your canine friend will be a great companion during your long hours on the road.
About the author
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight, a leading supplier of pet accessories and dog food in Dubai. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands.
Have you taken a road trip with your dog? What essential items did you pack?