Ultimate Pet Travel Checklist: Essential Packing List for Your Dog

Dog Packing Checklist

Preparing for any trip involves meticulous planning, especially when it involves pet travel. Anticipating the adventures ahead is challenging enough on your own, but when you decide to embark on a vacation with your dog, the complexity increases.

While basics like food, water, and treats are essential, they barely cover what's necessary for a fulfilling and safe pet travel experience. To ensure your vacation with a dog is as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible, regardless of your planned activities, here's the ultimate packing list for your canine companion.

Ultimate Pet Travel Packing List

Whether your pet travel plans include a quick overnight stay out of town or a week-long exploration of a national park, certain items are indispensable. Your dog packing list should include necessities such as food, bowls, an extra leash, and more. Before setting off on your vacation with a dog, ensure you've packed the following in a large bag for easy pet travel:

  • Bowls for food and water
  • Food (consider a roll-top shoe bag for convenient storage)
  • Any medications your dog requires
  • Treats in a small bag or tote pack
  • Toys to keep your dog entertained
  • An extra collar and leash
  • A brush or comb
  • A recent photo of your dog, in case you get separated
  • Blankets or old towels for your dog to rest on
  • Dog waste pickup bags
  • Grooming wipes for cleanliness
  • Your dog's microchip number and the monitoring company's contact information
  • Travel bed
  • A foldable travel crate, for crate-trained pets
  • Seatbelt harness for safe car travel

Doggie First Aid Kit for Pet Travel

A first aid kit is vital for pet travel, ensuring you're prepared for any mishaps. You can start with a basic human first aid kit and add dog-specific items, or opt for a pre-made pet first aid kit. The American Kennel Club suggests including:

  • Canine first aid manual
  • Gauze and non-stick bandages
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibiotic spray or ointment
  • Milk of magnesia (after consulting with your vet for dosage)
  • Digital thermometer
  • Scissors and tweezers for splinters and ticks
  • Magnifying glass

Pack these items in a sturdy bag like the Pack-it gear along with your pet's medications, soap, and a bottle of water for wound cleaning, a soft muzzle, and your vet's phone number.

Packing for Camping and Outdoor Adventures

Pet travel to the great outdoors, such as camping, requires a few additional items to keep your dog comfortable and safe:

  • A dog bed or old towels to avoid sleeping directly on the ground
  • A lightweight sleeping bag for cold nights
  • Dog boots for rugged terrain
  • A rain jacket for short-haired breeds
  • An LED collar light for nighttime visibility
  • A dog life jacket for water activities
  • A backpack for carrying collapsible dishes, first aid supplies, and other essentials while on the move

What To Pack For Air Travel With Your Dog

Pet travel by air introduces another layer of considerations. Small dogs that fit under the seat may travel in the cabin in a soft-sided crate, while larger dogs will need a durable crate for cargo. Essential items for air travel include:

  • Bowls (attachable to the crate for cargo travel)
  • A blanket or old towels for comfort
  • An item with your scent
  • A favorite toy (if permitted by the airline)
  • Absorbent mats for moisture control during the flight

Traveling with your dog can significantly enhance your vacation experience, making it unforgettable. However, the key to a successful vacation with a dog lies in thorough preparation and planning. For more tips on pet travel, including road trip advice with your furry friend, refer to our comprehensive guide to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Find here more information about travelling with your pet on Air Canada.