Travelling with a four-legged companion will undoubtedly make for an even doubly fun adventure! Personally i'd rather have Tara with me than anyone else. However... i also know how stressful the packing can be when it comes to ensuring that you've remembered everything you'll need for your dog while you're away. If you're anything like me, you'll have lost count of the number of times that you've left the dog lead at home or forgotten to pack the bowls. That's why I've put together a handy checklist of the top packing essentials that you'll need to pack in your pooches suitcase!
1. Food -- This may seem like a no brainer but I've nearly forgotten to pack Tara's food before - don't judge! Depending on how long we're travelling for, i'll bring along Tara's bag of ACANA Senior or i'll measure how much food she'll need (plus a few extra scoops just in case) and store it in a portable food storage bag. I would previously just use a spare supermarket bag to transport Tara's food in, however after spilling half the contents onto a wet pavement once when the bag of food fell out my car, i upgraded to a proper storage bag!
It's never ideal planning to just buy a bag of dog food once you reach your destination as you can never guarantee that you'll find the brand you need. Not to mention, changing food should be done gradually over a period of time so don't just pick up whatever you can from a supermarket or a nearby pet store. Always stick to the food that you usually feed. (Unless you want to be dealing with a poorly pooch and slurpy poops for days!)
2. Bring food and water dishes -- Again, depending on how long we are travelling for, i'll usually bring Tara's ceramic water bowl along with her stainless steel dish. If we're only going away for a day or two, i'll use my foldable, portable travel bowls which can be used indoors and while out on our adventures. The Henry Wag travel bowls I use come with a handy carabiner to clip onto your bag while you're out on walks.
3. Dog bed of some sort -- There are plenty of travel beds on the market which are designed for taking along on your adventures, with the majority being supplied in a small bag so that they can be folded up and don't take up much space. (See our Travel Snuggle Bed) I personally always bring along Tara's big, everyday bed with me, mostly because she has arthritis and it provides her with plenty of support, but also because she absolutely loves it and i don't think she'd forgive me if i left it at home. (She has an Eco-Wellness bed by Danish Design)
4. Medicines and supplements -- If applicable!
5. Treats and bones -- Tara would definitely tell you that this is the most important thing on her list. I always make sure to bring a supply of her favourite rabbit ears while we're out on the road, along with a couple of long lasting treats to keep her occupied when she's bored or when she can't settle. Hairy beef slices and beef tails are a great long lasting chew to keep her happily munching away for an hour or two. (Although don't make the same mistake that i did and give your dog a hairy treat whilst in the car - the stench will make the journey unbearable!)
5. Toys -- Most of the dog owners I know will never leave the house without a tennis ball, as it provides endless entertainment for their dogs. Since it's so tiny there's no excuse not to pack it!
6. Collars, Lead, Harness & ID Tag -- Don't forget to pack the basics too! In my experience it's so easy to be focused on making sure that you don't forget the actual dog, it's easy to leave the dog lead sitting on the hallway table. This usually results in me frantically searching for the nearest pet store, which when you're staying in the middle of nowhere can be up to 45 minute drive away.
(Top tip: If you ever find yourself stuck without a collar but you do have a lead, thread the hook end of your lead through the handle and put the big loop round your dogs neck to create a temporary slip lead. You'll have to hold it by the hook but it works great in an emergency)
7. Poop bags -- Don't be 'that' person who always conveniently forgets a poop bag and leaves behind a pile of turd in the beautiful countryside. Always carry a few extra bags in your pocket when you're travelling as the stress or excitement of a new place may mean a few more poops than usual!
8. Towels -- It's always handy to take a couple of old towels with you on your travels. Especially if you're planning to go somewhere with water where you dog can go for a swim, or somewhere that's bound to be muddy. Towels will always come in useful when needing to dry those soggy paws! If you want to be ultra prepared then you can even take a Ruff & Tumble drying robe along with you!
9. Doggy First Aid Kit -- Purchase a first aid kit or make your own! The important bits you'll need are: Non-stick bandages or wraps, tick remover, gauze (pads, squares and rolls), dog boots, disinfectant, wound sprays and eye wash. These are just a few of the necessities for your own homemade DIY kit.
And there you have it, you're all set! Enjoy your adventure and keep your eyes peeled for more of our Travel Tips!