As we all know, the best people are actually dogs. That’s why your canine companion is the perfect road trip partner. Plus, dogs never ask you to change the radio station. They get REALLY excited about grassy rest stops. And, maybe best of all, they’re light packers.
While your pup doesn’t require a lot of luggage, the following essentials ensure that she will be happy and healthy riding shotgun:
1. Sealed jugs of water and a sturdy bowl.
The ASPCA recommends bottled water to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomachwith new tap water.
2. Ice cubes for the road.
This is easier for a dog to ingest than large amounts of water while traveling. Hydration is essential!
3. Dog food.
… This is an essentials checklist, okay?
4. His leash and plenty of poop baggies.
(See above note about essentials.)
5. Treats and maybe a clicker.
This is a fabulous opportunity for focused training.
6. A first-aid kit for Fido and any medications he may need.
7. Your pup’s favorite blanket and/or stuffed animal to help her feel comfortable.
8. An extra blanket for her, just in case …
9. Updated tags on his collar.
Be sure to get your dog microchipped too, if he isn’t already.
10. Dog-safe insect repellent (for camping, “glamping” and rustic cabin-in-the-woods scenarios especially).
11. Dog-safe sunscreen and maybe some shea butter in case of sunburn — if you’ll be catching lots of beams. Which, of course, you will.
(Pro tip: any natural sunscreen safe for babies is safe for dogs, too.)
12. Your pup’s favorite sweater if you’re going someplace where it gets chilly at night.
13. Grooming supplies, if your dog is more high maintenance than you.
14. A chew toy to help prevent your dog from chowing down on sticks.
Great for the car ride, too!
15. Balls. Lots and lots of balls.
Think you have enough balls? Think again.
16. A camera (better than your phone’s).
Whether you’re sleeping in tents or at classy pet-friendly B&B’s, enjoy the trip! There’s no better way to bond with your best friend than voyaging somewhere she can romp and play and pee on things, a.k.a. nature (or at least outside).
UNLESS your dog doesn’t enjoy traveling, of course. If car rides make your pooch anxious or ill, don’t attempt a big trip. And if you’ve never made a long drive with your dog before, assess her comfort level with smaller trips of increasing duration before committing to a whole weekend — or longer! — of adventure.