Packing for a vacation with your dog

By Guest Writer, Emma Lawson

If you consider your dog a family member (and of course you do), then taking him for a vacation with you is a must. Whatever your means of travel are – plane, your own car, or hitchhiking – it’s possible. All it takes is a little more planning ahead. And if you bring your kids as well – that can be quite of a challenge. In all that chaos it’s not unusual to forget something crucial (like your youngest daughter, for example) but the stuff listed below should make things at least a bit easier for you.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Photo Credit: Flickr


After you’ve picked your destination, get online and browse for a pet-friendly hotel. Also, make sure you double-check it before the actual trip – hotel’s pet policy can change and you may be unpleasantly surprised. If you’re going to the seaside, check the local beaches and see if there are any that allow pets. This also applies to restaurants and sights you want to visit. Have in mind that some countries have certain dog breed restrictions, so you might want to check if your pit bull is welcomed. If you travel abroad, you’ll probably need health certifications, so go visit a vet before the trip and make sure your dog’s vaccinations are current. Be aware that traveling might be stressful for your dog, so your veterinarian may prescribe some sedatives if needed.


Once you start packing, you may realize making a checklist isn’t a bad idea. Think about things your dog uses at home and start with that. Pack a leash and a collar, his bed or blanket, vaccination records and other documents your dog might need. Don’t forget poop bags, old towels (in case your dog gets wet), and grooming equipment. As we mentioned before, travelling can make dogs anxious but it helps if they have a familiar thing with them, so make sure you pack a few favourite toys. For a battle against dog’s worst enemies – fleas and ticks – you may have to bring several things – tweezers, special shampoo or powder. You can save some space in your suitcase by using Bravecto chewable tablets – give it to your dog before the trip and they’ll be protected for up to 3 months.

Food and water

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you should stick to the food he usually eats. If you’re not sure you’ll find the same brand in the place you’re travelling to, bring supplies from home. Tap water quality varies from city to city, and switching may cause diarrhea for your dog. You should pack some amount of water from home or give him bottled or distilled water. Don’t forget eating bowls. Space-saving tip: purchase collapsible bowls. And last but not the least – treats! Award your dog for good behaviour or just calm them down if they become restless during the ride.

Just in Case

In the worst-case scenario, you dog might get lost. Be prepared and put a name tag on his collar. Include your cell phone number on it as well. Also, bring a recent photo of your dog – in case you need to print out posters. If your pet gets hurt, it’s good to have a first aid kit or at least clean gauze and tape.

And that’s it. You might need to spend more time organizing a vacation or pack an extra suitcase, but that’s nothing when compared to gratitude your dog will feel for not leaving him behind. Families do stuff together and vacations serve as family bonding occasions. So show your pets that they truly are members of your family and take them with you.

About the Author: Emma is a passionate writer, teacher, mother to two boys and proud owner of one beautiful German shepherd. She writes about helping others, tips on how to get educated about health and pet care, and what you can do to lead a quality and healthy life.