Dogs are great travel companions.

Whether you’re on a business trip or a vacation, your dog’s company will serve as a stress reliever. If you’ve kept your pup for years, its company might as well be necessary to have a good experience.

In this post, we’ve shared dog travel checklists for quick trips around the city, road trips, and air travel. Browse through and learn what you must pack to make your traveling experience with your dog super convenient and enjoyable. Let’s get started!

Basics to Pack

Each type of travel has its own respective needs. You won’t need to carry a first-aid kit for quick trips around the city, but you’ll very much need it when heading out for long road trips or camping.

However, in any case, there are a few essentials that every dog needs at all times. These are:

  • Water
  • Food or treats
  • Harness or seat belt
  • Poop bag
  • A plastic hand-held shovel

This guide by BuzzFeed goes as far as highlighting 21 things you might want to carry when walking your dog. Now, that’s a lot! You’ll probably mess things up carrying so much baggage each time you head out of the door that much stuff.

For that very reason, we recommend keeping your essentials list as short as possible. The five things mentioned above are a must-carry. But you can add more if you feel the need.

How to pack these things?

When you become a dog parent, you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders.. In light of this, we recommend buying a dog backpack as soon as you adopt a dog.

These bags are available in all sizes (i.e., small, medium, or large). You can browse a wide variety of dog backpacks online. Choose one depending on your dog’s breed.

Keep this bag ready with all the essentials mentioned above at all times. You might need a bigger bag for longer trips when heading on a vacation. We’ll discuss how to tackle that in a bit.

For Quick Trips

Dogs travel checklists for quick trips are more or less the same as keeping the essentials only. That’s because when we say quick trips, we’re talking about trips around the city. These could be:

  • Outdoor walks (to the park or anywhere else)
  • Visit the vet
  • Visit the shopping center

Apart from the basics mentioned above, you can keep medical records of your dog when visiting the vet. When going to the shopping center, park, or any other public place, you might want to carry your dog’s favorite toy to keep it busy.

If you’re taking your pet along with your kids or if there’s anyone else in the vehicle, you must get a dog car seat and seat belt.

For Road Trip

An average road trip lasts one week to ten days. But even if you’re taking a 4-5 hours long trip to the highway, it counts as a road trip with your dog.

For such trips, we recommend keeping the following:

  • Water
  • Food or treats
  • Harness or seat belt
  • Poop bags
  • Hand-held shovel
  • 1-2 toys (one of these should be either a ball or a stuff toy)
  • Kennel
  • Blanket or towel
  • A card or paper comprising information about your dog (including name, breed, age, medical conditions, and phone number)
  • Sunscreen

It’s best to attach the card or paper containing the information to your dog’s collar.

In case you’re heading out on a camping trip, you’ll need to carry additional items. Make sure you book a pet-friendly ground to camp. Also, carry these essentials along with those mentioned above:

  • Evidence of current vaccinations
  • Evidence of medical condition (if any)
  • Comb
  • Soap and disinfectants
  • Spare towel
  • Dog bed
  • Tweezers
  • Life jacket (if any water-related activity is involved)

Also, keep a good supply of food. If you’re camping for three days, keep an ample supply of food, water, and treats. You might want to carry more treats than you usually allow your dog. That’s because she’ll be dealing with additional stress, and you’ll need more of its favorite foods to relieve the stress.

For Air Travel

When it comes to air travel, the items on your checklist should be divided into three sections:

  • Pre-trip
  • During trip
  • Post-trip

That’s because there’s a lot of preparation you’ll need to do. First, begin preparing your dog mentally, physically, and emotionally a few weeks ahead of time. You can prepare your dog by allowing your dog to familiarize yourself with their crate or pet carrier.

Place the carrier in their living space and have your dog spend time in the carrier for at least 1-2 hours every day until the flight. Ensure they get comfortable with the carrier.

Slowly increase the time your dog spends in the crate or carrier so that they remain peaceful throughout the trip. Moreover, it’s a good idea to play airport sounds when placing them in the carrier. It makes the dog accustomed to it.

With that said, you’ll need a bigger dog bag for air travel. There’s a lot more that you need to carry.

Pack the essentials listed above along with the following items:

  • Your dog’s favorite toys
  • Passport
  • Pet Carrier
  • Pet License
  • ID tags
  • Medical documents like vaccination
  • Ownership documents (if applicable)

Keep water and documents separate. Perhaps, in separate pockets or sections of the dog bag.

Needless to say, it’s essential to check whether the airline is pet-friendly or not. Will they facilitate your journey with your pet, or will you have an at-your-own-risk situation?

Make sure you know the details thoroughly before you book your ticket.


What does a dog-friendly hotel mean?

A dog-friendly hotel is a hotel wherein dogs are welcome. The hotel management may or may not charge some extra fees for taking care of your dog. They may assist you with your dog’s cleaning, food, and activities. Dog friendly hotels may also have a dedicated area for dogs.

How do you calm an anxious dog in a hotel?

Dogs get panicky if they have to stay somewhere other than home. You can calm your pup by bringing along something that reminds the dog of home. It could be a toy, a picture, or a general home-related thing.

Experts also recommend exercise to calm an anxious dog and maintain a routine. Give the food and treats to your dog timely. Take him out or play if you can.

What should I put in my dog’s travel bag?

You should keep everything mentioned above as per the trip’s requirements. Browse the guide above and find out all that you need to carry.

Note that it’s never a good idea to carry everything along. Always carry limited and required stuff only.

Do dogs know when you are packing for a trip?

It depends on how you’re packing stuff. If you’re packing stuff in a bag that you’re dog associates with going out, it’ll know you are packing for a trip. But if you’ve never taken your dog on a trip, it might not be able to know what you’re packing for.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have your complete dog travel checklists for all types of trips, we hope packing and preparing are easier for you. Make sure you keep your dog’s medical conditions and general preferences in mind when preparing the bag!

Guest Blogger

This is a guest post written by another lovely dog blog or business.

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