Traveling with your dog requires some necessities to keep them calm, safe, and comfortable. You can add on all the bells and whistles you want, but there are some things you simply can not skip out on. This may include a dog seat belt for the car, a car seat protector, doggie essentials carrying bag, portable dog bed, and more. We have compiled an in-depth list of everything you will need and the best products out there for the job. From the car ride to the hotel stay, these are the travel necessities you and your pup will need.
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A Quick Look at the best travel necessities for dogs
Here is a quick look at the best dog traveling necessities. Each was thoroughly researched by our team and compared to similar products on the market. They were specifically chosen based on the essential needs for any dog, plus the factors of safety, durability, price point, and real customer reviews. For an in-depth review of each, keep scrolling!
Your Packing List
Every dog is unique due to their size, breed, and temperament. For example, you many have a rugged Border Collie who does not mind roughing-it. On the other hand, you may have a smaller Bichon who needs some extra sense of security. These unique qualities will dictate your doggie packing list when heading out for travel. However, no matter what type of dog you have in tow, these essentials should always be packed:
- Dog seat belt or booster seat
- Car seat cover or blanket
- Pet ramp to aid less-mobile dogs
- Dog travel bag to organize supplies
- Dog poop bags
- Dog food
- Food bowl
- Water bowl
- A sufficient amount of fresh water for entire trip
- Travel dog bed
- Your dog’s collar and leash
- Any medications your dog is currently taking or is recommended by the vet for travel
Now that you have a decent packing list to start, what if you are missing something? Have no fear though! Up next, you can see our top picks for doggie travel necessities and each product’s in-depth review.
Best Dog Travel Necessities for the Car
1. Seat Belt for Safety
The Vastar Adjustable Seat Belt for dogs is the best of your affordable dog seat belt options. In fact, this particular product is our #1 pick for dog seat belts for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, when it comes to dog safety in the car, you simply can not skimp on a reliable seat belt for them. Dogs are even more prone to bouncing around with every twist and turn in the car, which is why you need something to keep them nice and steady. It will also help to keep your mind at ease while you focus on the traffic up ahead.
The Vastar Adjustable Seat Belt has received an excellent customer rating. It is heavy duty Nylon-made with a zinc alloy swivel snap to buckle your pup in safely. Plus, it is easily adjusted between 19.68 and 32.28” long, which can keep your dog snug or give them more ample room. The tab on their seatbelt clip is 2cm, so you will need to check to see if that is compatible with your car. For more detailed review and car compatibility information on this #1 dog seat belt, head on over to The Best Dog Seat Belt. There, you will also see other options that may fit your vehicle better.
2. Car Seat Cover for Protection
Let’s admit it, road trips with the pup give new life to hitting the road, however, you will always wind up with tons of fur across your car. Instead of constantly using a vacuum or banishing your pup to the car’s trunk, there is a better method: using a seat cover. In fact, you now have tons of great options for doggie car seat covers and each come with their own benefits. Our absolute favorite choice is the Barksbar Seat Cover because you can change it from standard bench coverage to a full-blown hammock-style covering.
It secures onto all four head rests. Ultimately, providing a definitive layer of durable fabric between your excited pup and the entire back-seat space. We have found that this hammock-like effect also gives your dog a nice laying space that protects them from rolling around during stops and turns. Additionally, the Barksbar Seat Cover is made from heavy-duty, waterproof polyester, which even has velcro openings for your seatbelts if needed. At less than $40, it fits in most standard cars, trucks, and SUVS (you can mold it for basically any back-seat space or lay it down flat in the trunk). For more in-depth details on this best dog car seat cover and more options that may fit your particular needs, check out The Best Dog Car Seat Cover. There you will find other picks, like the best seat cover for passenger seats, kid friendly picks, trunk picks, and more.
3. Booster Seat for Small dog Safety
The devoted doggy booster seat is great for pups that need a comfortable and safe place to sit while you’re driving around. Your pup will love this booster seat because of it’s soft and luxurious inside; you’ll love how safe and supported it keeps your pup while you’re driving. It includes soft padding for your pup and is high enough for your pup to see out of the windows easily. The seat also has an adjustable safety leash to keep your dog safe and in place during sudden stops.
The booster seat is also easy to install; all you have to do is slip one strap over the head rest, and the other clips underneath the seat. It’s also made with a metal frame rather than a cardboard frame to prolong usability and prevent the base from losing its shape. The inner lining will keep pet hair from dispersing around your car and is also easily removable for washing. The booster seat is 14″ wide, 7″ deep, and can hold dogs weighing up to 20 pounds; it also includes a pocket with a zipper to keep your pup’s supplies organized on long trips.
4. Pet Ramp for Less-Mobile Dogs
Pet ramps are great for dogs with joint problems, or pups too small to jump in and out of a tall car or truck. If this is your first time using a ramp with your car, some training may be required. You can make them more comfortable by first laying it flat on the ground and allowing them to walk across it; you can then elevate it slightly, and increase the elevation routinely until you place it against the car. This will allow your pup to warm up to the elevation and give them more confidence.
The Solvit Pet Ramp is one of the most popular pet ramps on the market, and after some research, we can see why! This ramp is one of the most affordable ramps we’ve seen considering it’s various benefits. It weighs just 10 lbs, and is able to support pups up to 150 lbs. The ramp is 57″ long, and 16″ wide, making it ideal for just about any vehicle or small staircases. Unlike a lot of other ramps on the market, this ramp is easy to clean; it’s also made with a high traction material to ensure your pup feels safe and sturdy as they walk up and down. Unfortunately, the material that they use to give the ramp traction can be too rough on some dogs’ paws. You can, however, put a piece of carpet on top of the ramp to make it more comfortable for them.
5. Car Travel Bag to Organize
Keep your car organized when you’re traveling with your pup with this multi-use car organizer. The various pockets and compartments allow you to store all of your dog’s necessities in one place without making a mess in the car. Made of durable polyester, the High Road Dog Travel Bag car organizer is a heavy-duty way to store your dog’s favorite things.
The bag is 15.5″ wide, 11″ high, and 4″ deep. It also has an adjustable strap that easily fits over any headrest in your car. The main compartment easily stores up to 24 cups of dog food and easily wipes clean. It also has 3 outside storage compartments that can fit your pup’s necessities, such as water bottles, treats, toys, and leashes. You’ll also love that the organizer has a built in poop-bag dispenser.
6. Dog Waste Bags for Safe Clean-Up
On a car ride or once you reach your destination, it is only natural that your pup will need some potty breaks. This is not only a biological necessity, but it is an important part of their daily routine. Specifically for a road trip, try to plan a potty break around the same time your dog normally would at home. At the very least, this means in the morning, after meals, and before bed. Especially for on-the-go, we highly recommend using Earth Rated’s Dog Waste Bags to clean up. For full details and review, check out this article on The Best Eco-Friendly Dog Waste Bag. They are eco-friendly and even offer a fully biodegradable option. Even better, we have found that they are highly resistant to tearing. At under $8 on Amazon, you can get 120 baggies.
Best Dog Travel Necessities for the Hotel
1. Dog Travel Bag to organize
Whether you’re going to the dog park for the day or taking a lengthy vacation, the Overland Dog Gear bag will help you stay organized. The bag is lightweight yet durable and able to hold just about anything your pup needs during a trip. It includes two collapsible dishwasher safe water and food dishes, as well as a mat to keep the area clean.
You’ll immediately find that this bag will keep you organized no matter how crazy your travels get. There are a variety of secure pouches, pockets, and zippers that allow for plenty of storage, and up to thirty cups of dog food. The bag also comes with two lined pouches that easily carry food, water, or treats to keep your pup occupied. If you’re flying with your pup you’ll be happy to hear that the bag easily attaches to suitcases to make traveling easy and even meets airline carry-on requirements.
2. Portable Food and Water Bowl
At the very least, you definitely need a container to place food or water in for your pup’s feeding time. Most travel dog bowls you will see on the market are collapsable and made from BPA silicone, which is perfectly fine for day trips or short hiking ventures. However, what if your going to be on a weekend getaway and need to also store your dog’s food without it getting stale? That is why we are in love with the Vittles Vault Gamma Travel-Tainer.
This mug-like, airtight container is the real deal. It breaks down to reveal two bowls for dog food or water, plus a storage space to keep your dog’s chow. This not only keeps everything neat and together for packing, but it’s airtight sealing prevents the food from going stale or being exposed to the weather elements. All of which are made from FDA-approved food safe and BPA-free plastic. For a more in-depth look at why we highly recommend this travel dog food container, check out The Best Dog Food Bowls. While you are there, you may even find another excellent food bowl for right at home.
3. Travel Dog Bed
Whether you are making a pit stop at a hotel or have finally reached your destination, Fido is going to need a place to rest their bones too. Hotels, rentals, and relatives do not usually provide dog beds, so it is nothing you can count on. Instead, it will be wise to invest in a portable dog bed. Especially if you travel often with your pup, this will come in handy no matter where you end up. The Chuckit! Travel Dog bed, in particular, is our favorite pick for many reasons.
First and foremost, it has received excellent customer reviews and many owners are thrilled to have purchased it. Plus, it is nylon-made, which is both water-resistant and machine washable! Just hand it from its built-in loop strap to air dry.One of the best features about this particular travel dog bed is that you can use it both indoors and outdoors. Which means it will be perfect for that camping trip! Furthermore, it rolls up nice and compact; taking up less packing space and becoming extremely easy to carry. We have found that its material and stuffing is more durable than most travel dog beds, but you will need to keep an eye on your pup if they like to chew. It measures 30” x 39”, which fits most breeds.
Other Things You May Need
Car rides and hotel stays are the most common scenarios you will run into while traveling with your pup. However, depending on your destination you might be left wondering, “well what else do I need?” You could be heading to the beach, your relatives house, out on a boat, or more.
Beach Trip Essentials
Especially during the warmer months, taking your furbaby for a beach trip is a wonderful idea and many pet parents are starting to make this a regular habit. Most importantly, your pup will be battling the sun. Dogs get sunburn just like humans, even more so if they have less hair or white-colored fur. The sun will hit them hardest around the face and tummy, so having doggies sunscreen is a must. However, dogs need specially formulated sunscreen that works with their skin sensitivities and pH balance. To find your best option, head on over to The Best Dog Sunscreen. There, you will get great in-depth information on what dog sunscreen is, how it will protect your dog, and what dog sunscreens are the best.
Dog toys become an essential for any vacation, but particularly for the beach or water play you need a special kind of toy. These types of toys are more durable, float in water, and are easy to spot in a crowd. Lord knows, you will not want a frisbee that can get lost in a second. For the absolute best beach toys (which double as great water toys), check out this article on The Best Dog Toys for the Beach.
Hiking Trip Essentials
Even if the beach is not your ideal location, you might be headed for the mountains on an adventurous hike. Not only do you get some time to unplug and breath in the fresh air, but your dog is more than happy to exercise with their loving owner. In fact, many herding and working breeds need this kind of get-away to burn off excess energy. However, before your head onto the trail, make sure you understand the park’s rules and regulations for pets. This article on Hiking Necessities for Dogs will bring you need-to-know safety tips and packing essentials.
Boating Trip Essentials
Boating with your dog is a whole new experience that can be extremely fun for the whole family. However, it takes special precautions and you will want to stock up on the essentials before your head out onto the water. These include dog life jackets, boat leashes, a place for potty breaks, and more. To find out exactly what you will need and which product is best for the job, take a look at this article on Boat Safety for Dogs.
Traveling with your dog can also mean taking air travel. However, with rules and regulations from each unique airline, things can get a little tricky. Many owner steer away from taking their pup on long-distance trips due to the airplane factor. But, especially if you are moving to a new home, this is sometimes unavoidable. In fact, once you gain some knowledge on dog essentials for air travel, you will feel more confident taking your pup anywhere. First and foremost, always check with your local vet to see if your dog is okay to fly. Second, it is time to research what your airline requires for pet travel. For small dogs, you have the option of carrying them on-board with you. However, larger dogs will need to be boarded separately. For key tips, steps, and insight on these regulations, head on over to Flying with Fido.