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Whether you’re running errands in your neighborhood, or embarking on a cross-country road trip, if you’re taking your dog along, there are a few essential items that should always be in your car. You just never know when a flat tire, family emergency, or unexpected opportunity might lead to a change of plans. Having a few vital things with you at all times allows you to turn on a dime and relax … knowing that all your pets’ needs will be met.
Hold on. I can hear you thinking, “Just what I need … more jetsam floating around in my car!” Hey, I get it! That’s why I love this Seat + Shoulder Bag – it keeps me organized and it can do the same for you! The various-sized pockets are perfect for holding all the bits and pieces, AND it has an insulated pouch for things that need to stay cool.
Are you ready to roll? Alright, let’s start by gathering the following road trip essentials:
Pet Restraints – The most important thing to include in any pet friendly road trip is a way to restrain your pet in the car. Whether you choose a secured carrier or crate, or like us, you prefer crash-tested seat belt harnesses – making sure you all come home safely is always the first priority.
Water – The second most important thing you can pack for yourself and your pet is water. We always have a couple of refillable, BPA-free water bottles in the car for Ty and Buster, and a couple for us. If you get held up for any reason – especially on a hot day – not having enough water can be dangerous, so be sure to fill the bottles and stow them in the insulated pocket every time you leave.
Travel Bowl – Schlepping that water around isn’t going to do your pup much good if you don’t have a bowl for him! Collapsible bowls are a great choice for the car, because they tuck away neatly for storage.
First Aid Kit – Accidents happen, and a well-stocked first aid kit will come in handy should you or your pooch suffer a minor injury.
Waste Bags – Ty and Buster seem to have a knack for sensing when I don’t have a bag, and that’s the moment they choose to go! Having a healthy supply of waste bags on hand will ensure that you’re never left … holding the bag.
Pet Wipes – Pre-moistened wipes are convenient for cleaning up messes of all kinds. And when you travel with dogs, there are going to be messes!
Food and Treats: Miss a meal and you could have a very unhappy pup on your hands! Dehydrated pet food, like The Honest Kitchen, is especially convenient because it takes up little space and, when mixed with water, helps your pet stay hydrated. And don’t forget to pack plenty of treats for rewarding for good road trip behavior. Note: If you have a dog like Ty, you’ll need to stow these in one of the zipper compartments or he’ll help himself while you’re focused on driving. **Learned from experience after an entire bag of treats “went missing.”**
Medication – If your pet requires medication at a specific time of the day, it’s a good idea to have one dose with you in case you’re not able to be home on schedule.
Vaccination Records – Proof of vaccination is required by some dog parks, groomers, and doggy day care facilities. Keep a copy of this record in your go-bag, and you’ll never be caught without it.
Flashlight – Shedding additional light on the subject sometimes helps.
Doggy Shammy – Downpours, puddles, a spontaneous splash at the beach … Buster even fell in a lake once! Sometimes dogs get wet, and when you need to get them dry again a doggy shammy works great and packs up small.
Extra Leash – We always keep an extra leash on hand, just in case one of ours breaks, or we come across a lost dog who needs a little help getting back home.
Photos of your Pet: In case something happens and your pet gets separated from you, you can organize a quick search party if you have a photo to pass around.
Bells and Whistles – Not really … it’s actually piano melodies that have been specially arranged and composed to help dogs relax. Buster insists that we don’t go anywhere without his battery-operated iCalmDog music player.
As you can tell, when it comes to your pets’ well-being, being prepared can make all the difference. Before your next road trip, be sure you have all the pet travel essentials in the car and ready to go.
Are you planning a pet friendly vacation? What’s on your packing list?
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