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Dog Travel Checklist: What To Pack When Traveling With Your Dog

Whether you are going on a road trip or just planning your fall 2021 post-covid adventure, this packing list for traveling with your dog will ensure you are prepared anytime you leave home with your canine friend — whether by land, sea, or sky. Packing can be stressful and it can be easy to forget to bring everything for yourself, let alone your dog, when you go on vacation.

Traveling can be especially stressful on our furry friends because we can’t explain to them what is going on. Being prepared with all of items on your dog travel checklist will help them, and you, stay calm during your journey and at your destination.

Leash, Collar & Tags

This is kind of a "duh," but be sure to bring your dog's leash, collar, harness, and tags with you when you travel! It's all too easy to tell your dog to hop in the car but you later find out that in his eagerness, no leash accompanied him. In addition, make sure you have up-to-date tags in case your dog gets loose.

Wild One Dog Collar$38

This stylish all-weather dog collar is made with a super strong flex-poly strap, making it odor-resistant and easy to clean. It comes in eight equally cute hues so your dog can find their perfect color complement to strut in style.

Dog Collar Sizes: XS-XL

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Water bowl

It goes without saying, but having a water bowl on your packing list when you travel with your dog is essential! Make sure your pup stays hydrated.

Alfie Pet Collapsible Travel Dog Bowl$8

The Alfie Pet Collapsible water bowl is one of our favorites. It is non-skid silicone, collapsible, comes in bright colors, and has a loop so you can clip it to the outside of your bag for easy access.

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Make sure you bring plenty of your pet’s food when you travel. If you run out of food and are forced to switch quickly, your pet might get an upset stomach, which is not fun for any parties involved. Bring more than you think you need by another day or two.


ThunderShirts are great for keeping your pet calm when you are on the go traveling. They have many different models to suit your pet’s active (or lazy) lifestyle.

ThunderShirt Anxiety & Calming Aid for Dogs$30-$45

Size Range: XXS-XXL

Here is a solid example of the classic grey ThunderShirt we all know and love. The ThunderShirt uses a gentle "hugging" pressure to calm your dog down. I was skeptical at first, but it makes a huge difference for many dogs.

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If your pet is anxious, be sure to consult one of our online vets for other suggestions for how to keep them calm. ThunderShirts, toys, and treats are a great place to start.

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Weather Appropriate Attire

Be sure to consider the weather at your destination and pack your dog's snazziest wardrobe for the possible conditions. There's nothing worse than getting to your campsite and realizing you forgot your dog's floaty. In all seriousness, consider if your dog will need coats, sweaters, booties, or even googles.

Max-Bone Talon Raincoat$75

Size Range: S-L
Coat Features: Water-repellent, stylish dog coat that snaps under your dog's belly; removable hood; mesh lining; drawstring hood and hem; two small pockets.

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Depending on your mode of travel, check out our dog travel carrier recommendations. Be sure to bring whatever you need for that, if anything, and also keep in mind where your pet will sleep when you are at your destination. If your pet feels comfy in a crate, we recommend a pop-up folding crate since they are portable and cozy.

You & Me Stow & Go Portable Canvas Dog Crate$115

Sizes: S-L
Dog Carrier Features: For larger dogs, a pop-up travel crate can be an excellent option. This crate folds easily and has a lightweight metal frame to make traveling a breeze.

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Before you embark, double check your calendar to see if your pet's flea/heartworm meds are due while you are away traveling. If so, be sure to add one or two to your list!

In addition, if your pet needs any other medications, be sure to bring those as well, in a quantity that is at least as many as the number of days they need them. In addition, having a small first aid kit is also a great idea to handle unexpected situations.

Poop Bags

You can never have too many poop bags on your dog packing list. Ever. And then when you think you’ve packed enough, pack some more.

PET N PET Compostable Dog Poop Bags$13

Buy a few packs of these biodegradable poop bags — you, your dog, and the planet will thank me later.

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Rabies tag/vaccination records

Depending on where you are going and your method of travel with your dog, you will need to ensure you have the proper documentation. You should always have your pet’s rabies tags on hand. You should also have your pet’s vaccination records and be sure to check with your destination as well as mode of transport to make sure you have everything you need.

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If your dog has a thick coat and you will be gone for more than a couple days, it might be a good to add your dog's brush or comb to your packing list. Staying ahead on grooming your dog is important, as having to catch up can be an uncomfortable and timely ordeal for you and your dog.

WetBrush PetBrush Detangler Dog Brush$13

Detangle any knots and mattes with painless ease. Using its Intelliflex bristles, this dog brush cuts down on grooming time (and makes sure your dog doesn't hate it).

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Treats and Toys

Be sure to have lots of reminders on your dog packing list to let your pooch know that he or she is a very good boy/girl. Some dogs love the car, but for others, traveling is stressful and our furry friends don’t understand it. In addition, once you reach your destination, your pet will appreciate having a piece (and taste) of home to help them settle in. Read more about quality dog food nutrition and treats here.

KONG Extreme Dog Toy$9-$26

Kong is a classic when it comes to dog toys, and its extreme dog toy is no different. Built for dogs of all sizes, it's available in small to XX-large. Made with Kong's all natural rubber formula, the toy can be stuffed with treats and will bounce erratically to keep your dog interested.

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