We have been travelling Australia with our dog – Bobby the kelpie cross – for over a year now, and although she needs a lot less stuff than the kids she still has her own dog travel essentials to consider. We’ve put together a dog travel packing list from what we’ve learned by travelling long term with a dog – there is a link at the end to download the list as a handy printable version too.
There are dog travel accessories that we’ve learned we definitely can’t do without, items that are important for dog safety, and then all the fun stuff that we spoil her with too!
If you are thinking of taking a road trip with your dog then read on for our top dog packing tips.
Dog Travel Packing List – Health
Before getting to all the fun stuff we’ll first list the important items that you need for your dog’s safety and wellbeing.
1. Health and Vaccination Records
Get your vet to print off your dog’s vaccination certificate and keep it somewhere accessible. You’ll need it if you ever want to get doggy day care or use kennels during your trip. Also set a reminder on your email or phone for when the vaccinations are all due. Having a print off of up to date medical records for your dog can also be a massive help if you need to visit the vet on your trip at any time. Also keep a record of your dogs microchip ID and remember to make sure your contact details are up to date when you leave.
2. Flea and Tick Treatments
Paralysis ticks can be deadly to dogs so it is essential to have up to date treatment for both – keep some spare with you in case you are in a remote area when it’s due. Do this for worming and any other regular treatments or medication your dog has too – and keep a record and reminders of when they are all due.
3. Pet Insurance
This is just as important as travel insurance for your trip – we have visited vets on three occasions over the last year and we’ve got back 80% of our fees through our insurance which has been great and more than paid for the annual premium. Keep all the details in a handy place for if you ever need them. We simply make a claim online and it gets paid into our bank.
4. Collar and ID tags
Make sure your dog has a secure collar with a name tag and your mobile number engraved on it.
Dog Travel Packing List – Safety
Here are some items to help keep your dog safe in the car and on holiday
5. Dog Crate
We bought one of these for Bobby about 6 months into our trip when we realised she needed her own safe space outdoors where she could relax and be safe from attention. We would find people walking up to our bus to say hello to her, pat her uninvited and kids would run in to say hello and she was getting very stressed by it all. We’ve been crate training her since then and she now has a safe space to sleep and eat outdoors. We bought a collapsible dog crate which folds flat so is super easy to store too.
6. GPS Tracker for Dogs
If your dog is an explorer or a wanderer you can buy this awesome GPS tracker for dogs which makes it easy to keep track when your pup goes bush! It works with an app on your phone, is waterproof and can give you extra peace of mind when travelling.
7. Dog car safety
Each state has it’s own rules about restraining your dog while you drive, but for your family and pet safety it’s worth considering investing in a dog car seat, dog car restraint or dog seat belt. You can find lots of different types or harnesses and restraints to suit your dog and vehicle – and read the reviews here.
Dog Travel Packing List – Essentials
8. Quality Dog Lead / Dog Leash
Keep at least one spare! For us dog leads are like socks – they always go missing and it’s mandatory in a lot of places to have your dog on a lead. We find it good to have a few in different lengths too.
9. Dog Bed and Blankets
Having a familiar place to sleep is essential for your dog’s wellbeing – bring your dog’s bed from home to make them feel at home on the road. Keep some extra blankets handy for cold nights (unless you want your dog in bed with you to keep warm each night!)
10. Extra Towels
Keep a stack of extra towels handy for after those doggy swims to make sure you’re van doesn’t have the stinky dog aroma for your whole trip!
11. Poo Bags
Keep them in every pocket and bag! We always run out – you can buy them in bulk here.
12. Dog Shampoo
Another way to make sure your car or van doesn’t smell like dog for the duration of your trip is to give them a wash regularly. Keep some dog shampoo on hand and take them in the shower with you!
13. Dog Grooming Tools
Don’t forget dog brushes, nail clippers and tweezers (in case you find any ticks) and keep your dog groomed and happy.
Dog Travel Packing List – Food and Fun
As well as needing your dog’s daily diet you will also need to stock their favourite treats on board. It’s also really important to make sure your dog stays rehydrated so portable drinking solutions are an absolute must have.
14. Travel Drinking Bowl
Make sure your dog always has access to drinking water – you can buy foldable dog bowls that are easy to take with you on walks too.
15. Food Bowl
We love stainless steel bowls for Bobby’s food – they are really easy to clean and keep hygienic.
16. Dog Toys
Don’t forget to pack balls, ropes, squeaky toys and anything else that amuses your pup – some days you’re dog will run for hours on the beach or on a newly discovered bush walk but other days you’ll be on the road for a few hours and you’ll need to burn your dog’s energy off with a play.
17. Dog food and treats
Keep your dog’s diet exactly the same when you start travelling – and keep a stash of dog treats always on hand to reward them for being awesome!
Dog Travel Packing List – Non- Essential Luxury Items
If your dog is half as spoiled as ours then he or she has lived a charmed life! Here are some luxury extras that can make your dog super comfortable on your next trip.
18. Self Heating Pet Blanket
Our first advice for travelling is to chase the warm weather! But if you end up in Tasmania in Winter make sure your four-legged-friend stays warm with lots of extra bedding or a self heating pet blanket.
19. Dog Umbrella
It’s really a thing. Check it out for yourself here (they even have built in leads) I wonder if they sell dog gum boots too?!
20. Paddling pool
If your dog loves water you can invest in a kids’ paddling pool for those super hot days – if you’ve got the room you can buy the hard plastic shell ones, or just a simple inflatable one that is really easy to store.
Don’t forget to pack the dog!
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