What To Plan While Traveling With Your Dog
You’ve got a plan. You know where to go and how to get there. You and your dog are going to make some lifelong memories on the open road. Pack a bag, make a couple of arrangements, and you are off.
1: Dog Tag
When you’re on a road trip, the easiest way to find you is with a description of your vehicle, as well as your cell number. Have a dog tag made that includes the dog’s name, your contact information, and the make, model, and license plate of the vehicle you’re traveling in, including what state it’s from. If your dog goes on an unauthorized walk at a campground or gets out of the car at a delicious-smelling restaurant, good Samaritans will know who to look for if they can’t reach your cell. It is advisable to get your dog insured.
Pack a bag that’s dedicated to your dog’s things. Your trip will have a lot more joy when you can find what you want without pawing through four other bags. Even better, keep one bag in the car with your dog friend’s extra leash and collar, most of the food and treats, dry shampoo, rolls of poop bags, and most of the extra towels you bring for cleanup. I find it easiest to keep these in a box that holds things snugly. Tuck the flaps in and it’s all easy to get to, plus it won’t spill if it tips over. Use another bag to take what you’ll need into your night’s lodging: bowls, food for a day or two, a few toys, and a bed your dog will use. If your dog sleeps on furniture, be courteous and bring a clean large towel or blanket. Cover the chair or bed your dog will be catching Zs (and dream squirrels) on. Give the surface a spritz with a fabric refresher before you go.
3: Traveling With Your Dog – Checklist
Your dog needs may vary, but here are some ideas on what you’ll need:
- dog food (enough for the whole trip plus a couple of days in case there’s an emergency)
- two 6-foot leashes (a regular and a spare)
- extra collar with ID and rabies tags
- rolls of poop bags
- water bowl
- food bowl
- water bottle for the dog (a few liters for water breaks on the road, and a bottle to take on hikes)
- a few toys, including some to chew on like nylabones, antlers, or a Kong toy
- “on vacation” ID tag (include your vehicle details as well as contact info) on each collar
- bed/blanket for the dog to sleep on at night
- crate, if crate-trained (collapsible crates are terrific)
- ICE flyer inside the glove compartment
- “Dog Info Inside” sign for outside the glove compartment
- simple first aid kit: Neosporin, ace bandage, gauze pads, liquid Benadryl, sock or dog boot, tweezers,
- small scissors, Swiss army knife, and rubbing alcohol
- long leash or tie-out for picnics and stopovers
- fabric refresher (such as Febreeze)
- dry shampoo (for unplanned stinky adventures)
- towels or rags for cleanup
- dog boots if you plan to go hiking (something simple to protect from cuts)
- if crossing into Canada, a current rabies vaccination certificate
A little prep will open the way for a lot of joy.
Get out there and have fun. Summers only last so long.
Written by Ann Warren of Blue Box Word Service, LLC. Photos courtesy of Metro Dogs Daycare staffers (Noelle of Grace, Bailey of Bowser and Dante, Jennifer of Shiva and Art, and Allie of Bixby whose bed slid when they hit the brakes and he didn’t seem to mind).
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