Road Trip Packing List - Everything You'll Need for Your Pup
So you've decided to embark on a long road trip with your dog - now what?
If you're anything like me, packing is the most stressful part of the whole journey. What to bring, what not to bring, and packing for all of those "what if" moments.
I put together a list of all the important items Ziggy needed when we set sail on our road trip from Connecticut to Colorado to help save you some headache while you prep for your trip:
1. Crate, seatbelt, or car hammock.
Safety is the top priority on a long road trip like this. Your dog may start to get a little antsy at some point, and it's not safe for you or your pooch if they are trying hop in the front seat with you. And in case you were to get in an accident, you want to be sure your dog is safe and secure in one spot.
2. Food and water.
For kibble eaters: You've got it easy! No need for a different food, but I would suggest getting a compact and air tight container to carry your dog's food in. If you do have a final destination, you may also want to bring just enough food for the drive and buy more when you arrive - it's best not to leave food sitting in a hot car and you don't want to carry heavy bags of food in and out with you.
For fresh/homemade food eaters: Spot & Tango recently released a new line of food called UnKibble, with all the benefits of fresh feeding but without the need for refridgeration! I have yet to try this for Ziggy, but dog friends of ours LOVE it! Another great option is the Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food (they even offer perfect meal sized cups so you don't have to worry about measuring or mess!)
For raw food eaters: Ziggy typically eats Darwin's raw meals, but for this trip I picked up Orijen Freeze-Dried Raw patties. I don't have to worry about refrigeration or spoilage - I just break up a couple of patties in a bowl and add water to rehydrate them! Another great option for raw eaters is Stella & Chewy's Freeze Dried Dinner Patties.
As for water, we picked up a couple of jugs of water before starting our trip so that we always had some on hand and didn't have to worry about stopping and buying more. Water is especially important to have on hand as stress and change in temperate/humidity can quickly cause dehydration.
Hopefully your pup will get lots of shut eye along the way, but at some point they're going to get a little bored and need some mental stimulation. Bring along some toys and chews to keep them occupied - preferably ones that won't be a choking hazard along a bumpy road or if you can't keep an eye on them.
For Ziggy, I packed some plush toys (since I know he doesn't destroy them), rubber balls, as well as an Everlasting Treat Ball, so he can chew on the treat inside without the risk of choking on small pieces. I would avoid giving them rawhides or bones if the car is moving - save those for rest stops.
4. Travel bowls.
Leave the metal or ceramic bowls at home and pick up a couple silicone collapsable bowls like these. They're way more convenient, store away easily, and can be brought on walks and hikes for water breaks. You can find these at any pet store, but I got mine really cheap at Homegoods!
5. Calming treats and/or motion sickness relief.
If your dog hates the car or gets nervous on longer trips, these will be a must. If your dog is calm and likes the car like Ziggy, these couldn't hurt to bring along just in case! Better to be prepared and make the car ride as smooth and enjoyable as possible for your dog.
6. Medical history from your Veterinarian.
Once of the most important things to bring along is your dog's medical history, including the date administered for all of their core vaccines. You'll need this in case there's a medical emergency along the way, in case a hotel needs proof of rabies or other vaccines, or if you want to drop fido off at a day care while you take a day to explore the area.
7. ID tags, leashes, and collars/harnesses.
Notice how each of these things have an "s" at the end - that's right, bring MULTIPLE. You never know when something may get lost along the way or too dirty to use, so it's safer to have a back-up on hand.