Taking Your Dog on Vacation: What You Need to Bring

If you’re anything like us here at Dope Dog, you want to take your canine companion everywhere with you. Whether it’s an overnight stay at a pet-friendly hotel, a cross-country road trip, or a camping getaway at your favorite spot, it’s essential to pack everything your dog needs to be safe and comfortable on the trip. 

Related: Best Dog Beaches in LA and Orange County

Here are the must-haves you should pack when taking your dog on vacation.

The Ultimate List of What to Bring for Your Dog on Vacation

1.Plenty of Food and Water

One of the most important things to bring for your dog when going on vacation is plenty of water and enough kibble or wet food to last the entire trip. Of course, it’s a fun trip with your furry friend, so you’ll probably be sharing some snacks with them along the way, but it’s best to try to stick to their regular diet as much as possible to prevent stomach issues. We like to bring along collapsible water dishes—it makes it easy to make a quick stop and let them lap up some water!

2. Their Collar, Tags, and Leash

Many of us let our dogs off-leash, especially in more remote areas, but you should be wary of doing so when you take breaks at places like a rest stop. It’s better to play it safe and keep their collar and leash on at all times when they aren’t in the car—it’s easy for your pup to get excited in a new place, and you don’t want to be chasing them around a crowded area, especially when rest stops usually have lots of traffic! It’s also super important to ensure that your pup has their tags on with your contact information in case they do happen to get lost.

3.Their Vaccination Records

No matter where you’re traveling to, you should also plan to bring along your pup’s vaccination records. It’s even more important if you’re crossing an international border, but you should bring their records whether you’re traveling 100 miles or 1,000 in case of an emergency. If you end up needing to board your dog at a new kennel anytime during the trip, you’ll likely have to present that paperwork before they will allow your pup to stay for the day.

4.Something to Help Them Relax

Many dogs get anxious when their routine changes. If your pup has anxiety around new people, in new places, or when traveling in general, you’ll want to do everything you can to make them more comfortable. A calming voice and puppy cuddles work great for small bouts of anxiety, but sometimes your pup needs a little extra help. If you know your dog will be anxious during the trip, consider bringing some CBD supplements to help relieve their anxiety when they start to feel nervous or when they can’t seem to relax during a long car ride.

Looking for a natural and safe way to relieve your dog’s travel anxiety? Check out these options from Dope Dog!

Related: Best Ways to Calm Your Dog

5.Safety Restraints for the Car Ride

It’s never a bad idea to add some extra safety features when traveling with your pup in the car, and in some states, it’s required by law for you to secure them in the vehicle with a seat belt. The best option is an attachment that clips their harness into the seat belt, but according to the AKC, keeping your dog in their crate during a car ride is a great option, too.

A happy dog sticking his head out of the car window

6.Blankets and Seat Covers

Whether your dog is shedding already or not, if they’re spending hours in the car with you, the seats aren’t going to look so great by the end of the trip. A seat full of fur certainly won’t bother your dog, but if it’s not something you look forward to dealing with, consider equipping your car with seat covers to protect them.

Even the most active dogs will need a break from watching out the window and being your co-pilot—naptime is inevitable. Help them stay cozy by bringing along some comfy blankets for them to curl up in!

7.Doggy First Aid Supplies

Whether it’s a prepackaged one or a kit you put together yourself, it’s a good idea to prepare for minor injuries like scratches and bruises that might happen on the road. First aid kits are especially important if you’re traveling to more remote areas or when you’re going on an outdoor adventure. You should include things like tweezers, gauze bandages, antiseptic wipes, eye wash, scissors, and styptic powder.

8. Their Bed and Crate

By bringing along your dog’s regular bed and crate, you can make the back seat of your car or the floor of a hotel room feel like home for them. They’ll appreciate the familiar smell and sense of security that they associate with their bed. Bringing their crate will also help keep them away from things you might not want them on, like hotel furniture or a friend’s couch. These items are especially important for older dogs with joint discomfort or dogs that get anxious away from home.

9.Dog Waste Baggies

While we’re used to packing doggie waste bags wherever we go, they’re also extremely easy to forget. You don’t want to be caught without them when you take your pup for a potty break during the drop or once you’ve made it to your destination. Pack extra—they don’t take up much room and are a necessity!

10. Their Favorite Toys and Treats

A woman giving her dog a treat

Your pup would never forgive you if you forgot their favorite toys and treats on the road! When you take your dog to new places, they can get overwhelmed by all the smells, people, and new things; bringing their treats allows you to reward them for good behavior. Bringing their toys will help keep them occupied in the car and ensure that they have as much fun as you do!

Related: Dog Treat Subscriptions to Try

CBD treats are a great way to reward your pup for good behavior while helping them feel less anxious and more relaxed—Find their new favorite!

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