Do you have a furry friend who loves to explore as much as you do? Travelling with a dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience and after taking Lilly on some amazing adventures, we understand how much extra planning and preparation is required when travelling with a dog. So this week we want to make travel planning even easier for you with our up to date dog travel packing list!
We’re going to dive into our checklist for traveling with a dog. Whether you’re embarking (heh heh) on an epic road trip, exploring new hiking trails, or jetting off to overseas destinations, we’ll show you the best dog travel gear that will simplify your journey and make travelling with your dog stress-free and enjoyable.
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If you plan to cross country borders with your pets, the most important thingon your checklist for travelling with a dog is a pet passport. We can’t speak about the process in other countries but here getting a pet passport in Europe is really easy. We’ll be doing a more indepth post into how to get a pet passport but the most important factors are: microchip, rabies vaccine & up to date boosters, pet details (name, breed DOB) and owner details (name, address, phone number) All of this needs to be done through a vet that is permitted to issue pet passports. It’s also worth noting in most cases you can’t travel within 21 days of having the rabies vaccine.
If you have space in your car, a sturdy travel crate that’s secured down is a must when travelling with a dog. Not only do they provide a safe comfortable space for them, they also prevent your beloved pet from becoming a projectile in the event of an accident. It’s morbid to think about and of course we all hope to never be in a situation like this, but it’s always better to have and not need than to regret not having.
A travel crate is also essential for those flying with dogs as not many airlines allow dogs in the cabin. Make sure you ask your airline about their crate requirements.
Travel Safety Seatbelt
For those who don’t have space in their car, or perhaps your dog isn’t crate trained, you should use a safety seatbelt for dogs. Now, before you start wondering how the heck you’re going to get your dog to sit strapped into the car for the duration of your trip, these seatbelts anchor them down by connecting to their harness.
We prefer a lead with a seatbelt connection for a few reasons: It’s slightly longer than the ones we’ve seen in store, giving Lilly enough space to sit and turn around but not enough space to hop off the seats or climb over to the front and it’s comfortable for us to use as a general day to day lead.
It’s a legal requirement in some countries for dogs to be restrained while driving. Another option is a boot divider but that’s not ideal if you have luggage and only really serve to protect passengers, rather than the dog as well.
Next on our list of must-have items for dog travel is a comfortable harness! We use one daily for both car rides and walks. We like the way they look on her, the added handle to help manoeuvring her on hikes and we feel it’s safer to attach the seatbelt to a harness rather than a neck collar. When she was a puppy she chewed through several harnesses so I think we’re pro’s when it comes to durability and we love Rogz harnesses. They’re lightweight, durable and Lilly seems comfortable in it.
Secure Collar & Dog Tag
Even though we use a harness for walking, Lilly always wears a collar with her dog tag on. Lilly’s tag (from a namesake store Lilly Und Hund) contains her name, a contact number, our website and a note saying she’s tagged so in the event of her wandering off, whoever finds her will know straight away how to contact us.
Water Bottle & Collapsible Bowls
Compact & lightweight bowls that can be folded or flattened are soooo convenient when you’re travelling or hiking with a dog. We use collapsible bowls and a water bottle with a fold out bowl for those quick stops on long drives.
First Aid Kit & Meds
We don’t necessarily have a first aid kit but we always have some basic care things on us just in case. Tick tweezers, pet safe baby wipes and mushers secret are things we always have to hand. As we start planning more full day hikes, we’ll likely add to this. When we do, we’ll update our dog travel checklist!
On top of her quarterly flea, tick & worm treatment we give Lilly a tick repellent daily with her food. Billy No Mates has drastically decreased the amount of ticks we pull off her after our walks so it’s a staple in our dog travel kit. It was pricey to get shipped to Portugal (€40+!!) but it was absolutely worth it. I’m not kidding, before we started using it we’d pull more than 15-20 ticks off her every. Single. Day, but now it’s maybe 1 or 2 every other day depending on where we’ve been. 100% recommend it.
Pet Seat Covers
Are you planning to take your dog on a road trip? You might want to think about how you’re going to protect your car seats from fur, dirt, saliva and maybe even vomit if your pup isn’t used to car journeys (although I highly recommend teaching them how to be comfortable in the car before going on any long trips). We use a mix of blankets & towels but we’ve recently been eyeing up this pet hammock because it looks easier to keep clean since we won’t always be able to put the blankets through the wash when we’re on the road.
To go with this, a microfibre towel is never a bad idea! Lilly hates water, so we never have to worry about her running into puddles or lakes on a hike but they’re great for brushing her off if she’s sandy or a little dirty.
This will very much depend on what breed you have because not all dogs need a winter coat, or cooling vest so you’ll need to adjust your dog travel gear accordingly.
Lilly is a Portuguese podengo, a breed that is built for hot temperatures. She handles hot weather incredibly well and actively seeks out hot spots to lay in even when it’s 35’c+ outside but she feels the cold really easily. We have to plan accordingly, making sure she has blankets and her winter coat whenever we go anywhere remotely cold. For rain and snow coats we really like Hurtta Dog Wear but they have high quality coats for every weather!
We don’t use boots when we’re in extreme weather. Mushers secret helps to protect her feet from ice or hot tarmac without having to subject her to wearing boots.
As mentioned previously our day to day lead is this one with the seatbelt attachment, but that isn’t the only lead in our dog travel essentials. We actually regularly use a mix of three leads. Here’s the other two:
Long Lead: When we set up camp, or visit a park, we like to give Lilly a little extra freedom with the use of a long lead. These come in a variety of sizes from 5m all the way up to 30m+ and are great for giving your dog that off-lead feel without the ability to completely run off.
As you know, Lilly is a Podengo so on top of being great in the head, she’s an extremely well bred breed for hunting. This means her instincts are strong and while we work through this to improve her recall, we like to keep her on a lead to prevent her from chasing her latest toy (usually lizards)
Retractable: Our 15m long lead is great for on camp or big open tracks but it can be a bit impractical for gnarly hikes so in these cases we use a 5m retractable. It gives us quicker ability to ‘reel her in’ when we need to and makes it easier to avoid getting tangled in trees or bushes.
HOT TIP: We always have Lilly’s lead attached to our bag, jeans or belt via a D clip. This has been a really handy hack for helping us go hands free on hikes without having to let go of the lead completely.
Food & Snacks
It goes without saying that food is up there in the list of travel essentials for dogs but don’t forget their favourite snacks too!
Lilly love bully sticks & when we’re on a long drive they’re the perfect thing to keep her occupied without much mess. When we’re not driving, she loves a stuffed kong and of course we always have a good stash of mini treats on us for behaviour/training rewards.
If you’re looking for new ways to keep your dog’s mind active, whether at home or on the road, we love this Facebook page.
We love Natural Treats. Use this link and code LillyPod10 for 10% off
This is another daily must for us so of course it’s going to be included when thinking about what to bring when travelling with a dog. Lilly is always in training for something so we always have treats on hand,they’re not just a Dog travel essential, they’re a life essential and because of this we’ve needed to find a handy way of taking them with us wherever we go.
At the moment, I’m using a bum bag but as the weather heats up I’m finding it uncomfortable and the buckle has come undone more than once or twice (not great, considering Lilly is usually attached to it) so I think it’s safe to say I’ll be upgrading to a proper treat pouch that I can just clip onto whatever shorts/trousers I’m wearing at the time.
I’ve been eyeing up this one because I like the extra pocket and poo bag dispenser – which leads us nicely onto our next must-have items for dog travel:
Toys & Chews
Parents pack their kid’s toys, we pack our puppy toys! Yes, you’re going on a big adventure which will give them plenty of mental stimulation but having their favourite toys & chew toys will help them unwind at the end of the day. Our must haves are the Kong frisbee, a couple of tough plush toys and of course a trusty ball.
When it comes to travel essentials for dogs you can never pack enough poo bags, especially if you’re heading off the beaten track and won’t be able to pick some up while you’re away.
We try to get compostable poo bags when we can so that they break down easily once they reach their final destination.
Remember to always pack out what you pack in when hiking and no matter how much stray dog poo there is in the streets always pick it up when wandering around towns or cities.
If you’re going to be staying in hotels or Air BnB’s, this packing list for dog owners on the go wouldn’t be completed without including an Enzyme cleaner for those occasional accidents. Whether it’s sick, pee or drool, an enzyme cleaner will break it down to remove stains and any potential smells that might linger afterwards. It’s one of our dog travel essentials for both the car and accommodation!
Travelling with your dog is a really fun way to bond and experience new places together and these travel essentials for dogs will go a long way to making your trip even easier. Which of these essential supplies for dog travel are you adding to your packing list? Do you have any other packing tips for travelling with a dog that you think should be added? Let us know in the comments and we hope you have a fantastic trip!