It’s the time of year where, inevitably, travel is likely with your furry companions. Whether you are traveling for a weekend excursion or going away for a few weeks, it’s important to be prepared when packing your pet’s bag just as your own. That means packing for everyday life as well as emergency situations. It can be hard to think of everything, so below is a list to help get you started.
FOOD & TREATS
It is important to pack enough food for the entire duration of your journey plus some extra. If you feed wet food, you may need to bring a can opener to open your pet’s canned food. It is also helpful to have a secure container to keep your pets’ food dry and free of contaminants. A few examples are pictured below. One of them has a carry handle for easy transportation, a pour spout to avoid messes while traveling, and a measuring cup included to maintain portion control on the go! Of course, there are many options available and it is important to choose the right one for you.
Don’t forget the treats! Although not a staple of their diet, treats can be helpful to reward pets for behaving well in stressful and new situations. Treats can also be used in conjunction with mentally stimulating toys to keep pets distracted for prolonged periods of time.
This may seem self explanatory, but sometimes access to water can be limited while traveling. It is important to have a bottle of water designated for your pet so that water can be offered frequently. Buy something large so you will never run out like a 64 oz. or 84 oz. water bottle. Refill it frequently when you do have access to water to keep in fresh and so you have enough in the event of an emergency.
Bringing food and water on your getaway isn’t enough without anything to serve it in! Whether you have designated travel bowls or just bring the ones you use daily, make sure you don’t forget these essential items. I recommend the collapsible silicone bowls for travel since they are compact, easily cleanable, and attach to any bag with a carabiner for quick access. As a side note, if you have a dog owner on your holiday shopping list, silicone collapsible bowls makes a great gift item to have attached to their leashes!
All-in-one carrying bags exist for all of the previously mentioned supplies. Purchase something appropriate for you and your pet to meet everyone’s needs.
I can’t tell you how many times I have received a phone call from an owner in distress that they are on vacation and don’t have enough of their pets medication. Pet prescriptions are not like human prescriptions – you can’t just call the local CVS and have a prescription filled there for you. Just like with food, you should bring enough of a pets medications to last the entire duration of your trip plus extra, just in case. If your pet is a diabetic, you will want enough insulin, syringes, and blood glucose testing strips for the whole trip.
If there’s one piece of advice I can leave you with it is bring lots of toys! Toys keep pets mentally stimulated, distracted, and calm. There should be a wide variety of toys available in your bag like chew toys, mentally stimulating toys, cuddle toys, scented toys, and active toys, just to name a few. I love the KONG line of canine and feline pet toys. They are vet tested and proven to work! Not to mention they are a reputable brand that has been producing pet products for years. Do you know about the KONG Box? It’s a great holiday gift idea and supports dogs in shelters with every purchase! Visit their website to learn more!
FIRST AID KIT
Whether we plan on it or not, emergencies can happen while we travel. It is important to have a few supplies on hand so that it can make getting to a local veterinary hospital for further care a little less stressful. Pet first aid kids include non-stick gauze pads, elastic wrapping, and cleanser to care for minor scrapes and wounds. They should also include gloves to keep human hands safe during wound care, too.
Unexpected emergencies mean unexpected medical bills. Pet insurance can help! There are many companies providing pet insurance, all with their own pros and cons. I recommend Trupanion Pet Insurance, which I use for my own animals. Their customer service is top notch and they offer a free 30 day no waiting period trial when given a certificate issued by your veterinarian. It’s the perfect gift to give your pet for the holidays! Visit their website for more information.
Keep your pets warm and dry when traveling with comfortable blankets. Always have a few extras on hand in case of accidental soiling. Even better, spray these blankets with calming pheromones like Feliway or Adaptil to provide comfort and relief to your furry friends in these stressful and confusing travel situations.
No matter how well behaved your pet is, it is very important to always have a method to restrain them like a leash and harness, carrier, or crate. Carriers and crates should have, at minimum, enough room to stand up and turn around. When traveling, it can be good to give them a little extra room, too.
WASTE CLEANUP SUPPLIES
Having supplies on hand to clean up your pets waste is important and is part of responsible pet ownership. For dogs, always have extra rolls of fecal bags to collect feces. Leaving dog feces on the ground can incur a fine in many states. Dog feces can be carrying intestinal parasites without you knowing it which can contaminate the environment and possibly infect other animals. Please clean-up after them to prevent this from happening. For cats, bring plenty of kitty litter, a litter box, a scoop, and bags to dispose of waste.
Did you know that in the state of California, it is required by law that all pets be safely buckled into a car just like people? It is only a matter of time before this trend spreads to the rest of the country, but for now, lets all practice safe driving with our pets anyway. Pet seat belts are manufactured to attach from your pets harness to your car’s seat belt insert. In the unfortunate event of a motor vehicle accident, a seat belt can save your pet’s life just like it can save yours! Sleepypod creates the only crash-tested seat belt on the market today. Traveling with kitties? Sleepypod also makes cat carriers that can be buckled into your cars existing seat belt. Don’t worry, they are crash tested, too! See my previous post about Sleepypod pet carriers for further reference.
Have more travel related questions? Post them below! Don’t forget to include a picture of your pet in a seat belt or carrier with all of their travel supplies! Safe travels!