My boyfriend and I bought our house, and an SUV for two reasons. First, we wanted to invest in property, and second, our precious pup needed a yard. Have you ever tried to keep a 70lb pit-bull in an apartment? Imagine caging a Tasmanian devil..that’s what we were dealing with. Now he as an acre of fenced in green space! And the SUV..well that was for Wilbur (the pup) too.
See..we are those crazy dog parents who take our dog everywhere. Farmers market, parks, festivals..and of course, all of our vacations (that don’t require flying). Wilbur is part of the family, and essentially our child, so when we started traveling with him, it was quickly made clear to me that put putting him in the back of the car and just winging it wasn’t going to cut it. I’ve grown up with dogs, all big, all energetic, and all of them traveled with my family. There is nothing like having your four-legged best friend join you on your adventures!
If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you too need help on figuring out how to travel with your dog. So whether your pooch is a teeny tiny, or you have a bear of dog like me, with just a few tricks, and some key products, traveling with your dog can be stress-free and simplified for both of you.
The most important thing when traveling with your dog is safety of course! I put Wilbur in a crate that fits in my SUV’s trunk. It’s a soft-shell crate that is collapsible as well! Not only doesn’t it keep your dog safe, but it makes them feel comfortable and safe; additionally we use the crate in our hotel or accommodations, so it works double duty!
If you have one of those dogs that refuses to be in a crate because it needs the fresh air whipping it’s tongue and ears, then i’d opt for a harness to keep the dog in the car, but allows them some freedom. Wilbur may get to this point, but for now, he still loves the crate.
Food (the only thing that goes through Wilbur’s head)
Have you ever went on a long road trip and ate all of your snack in the first 30 minutes? Yeah me neither…
But after hauling Wilbur’s metal food bowls with us everywhere we went, I realized that was not really feasible. We took him hiking a few times when we quickly learned he needed more water than us, and sharing our water bottles with a puppy was not the easiest (or cleanest!) so I bought this simple portable dog bowl and feeder. Mostly I just kicked myself for not inventing these first!
Did you say doggy diaper bag?
I bring blankets everywhere I go, usually just older blankets that Wilbur already claimed as his own, but when we travel I use a waterproof blanket, just for travel. It’s durable, it resists mold, and it’s perfect for keeping your pup comfy and cozy. Alright as I’m writing this I am realizing HOW spoiled my dog is..but that’s because I truly believe every dog deserves to be spoiled.
If you just want to go all out, you could buy the complete kit. I don’t have kids yet, but I imagine this is like the ultimate diaper bag for dog moms. If you pack all your own items in a suitcase, take time to organize and check your list twice, you may as well do the same for fido, and I’m pretty sure this bag would cover the majority of their needs!
Does your dog freak out in new places?
Fireworks, sirens, new places, new dogs, new people..they are make Wilbur anxious. And then he is hard to handle, and then I become cranky, and it’s a vicious cycle. That is the last thing anyone wants on vacation! I found Composure treats, which Wilburs eats as a speed that is unfathomable, and they do wonders. Not only are they made of natural ingredients and have raving reviews, but they actually work. I’m not a pet-expert, nor do I claim to have any education in the form of dog behavior. For goodness sake, I am an interior designer! However, being a dog mom, and raising a puppy nearly from his birth, I have some to figure out a lot of things. And one thing I know for sure..these little “treats” make Wilbur as chill as a caterpillar. I give him a few before a long care ride, he snoozes the whole way, and when we arrive at our destination, he is calm and collected. Which is saying a lot for a pit-bull puppy.
- To store food that we bring, we use old tupperware containers and use baggies to bring treats!
- If your dog doesn’t need a crate, bring some type of blanket for them to sleep on.
- If your dog gets dirty easily (like mine!) bring baby wipes. Baby wipes are gently and perfect to wipe up a dirty dog. Bonus: they will leave them smelling good!
- Keep Benadryl on hand for things like allergic reactions and bug bites. This might seen excessive, but having a dog that reacts to everything, I’ve just kept child’s Benadryl in my purse or glove box at all times.
At this point you’re probably aware that I love my dog..enough that I wrote an entire blog post about traveling with him! Other than just items you can buy to make the trip easier, I recommend checking out an amazing resource called Bring Fido.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a website completely dedicated to helping you scope out pet-friendly restaurants, parks, beaches, hotels…you name it. It’s been bookmarked on my web browser for years now because I reference that often.
Ps, next time you travel with your pup and post about it, tag @myeclecticgrace in the post! I want to see all your furry pals and their adventures!