We’re pulling out of Houma on Sunday morning, so I’ve been trying to figure out Emmett’s packing list, just in case I needed to pick anything up. But! My goal was to get all of his belongings into one big bag, and I think I did it (with two exceptions).
If you’re packing for a road trip with you pup, the items you bring may differ from what I outlined below based on climate and accommodations. Camping is going to be very different from what we’re doing (hotels and family’s homes), and winter months require additional considerations, too.
However, this is a general outline of the key categories. My goal is to meet all of Emmett’s needs, then toss in a few extras to make the trip more comfortable.
What to pack:
Medications and supplements: With Emmett, we’re a traveling pharmacy. He has his immune support and joint supplements, a probiotic, thyrozine (hypothyroid med), and his chemo regimen, which includes an OTC acid reducer and two pills. One of the pills has to be refrigerated, so we have a little cooler for that, and it can’t be handled so I have a package of surgical gloves, too. WHEW!
Poop bags: ‘Nuff said.
Jump drive with vax records: This idea came from pet-friendly travel guru Amy at GoPetFriendly.com. Emmett’s rabies certificate and vax records are scanned and saved, and I stashed this in my purse.
Food and water: Plenty of food for each meal, all 8 days (of course, we could always stop somewhere if needed), plus a couple gallons of water jugs we picked up at the grocery store.
Travel food and water dishes: I bought Outward Hound ones that zip together.
Specialty leashes/collars: Your dog will be wearing his leash and collar in the car (right???), but if you need other ones – like, a harness for hiking or a rubber collar for the beach – pack those. Emmett is wearing his regular ones, and I’m packing his Proper Puppy set for special events and this incredible Rad Dog Release N Run leash they so kindly sent us.
Treats: Everything is a training opportunity! 🙂
“Busy” Toys and Chews: I do not ever advocate for leaving your dog in the car. Ever. Except… I’m driving something like 40 hours total roundtrip with just Em. I’m going to have to go to the bathroom. Busy toys are perfect to give your dog when you have to dash in somewhere. It’s also great to keep him busy when dining at a pet-friendly restaurant or visiting a friend’s home. He’s going to have extra chews, in addition to the toys, for the hotel and various other stops because I want to keep him busy and occupied so that he doesn’t have time to get nervous. (Although, this is Emmett we’re talking about. “Nervous” is a foreign concept to him.) My absolute FAVORITE busy toys are the Busy Buddies from PetSafe. I wrote about them way back in 2009 before I ever even got to meet the folks at PetSafe. We just really like these toys. (Incidentally: the photo contest winner will get TWO VERSIONS of our faves!!)
Grooming Items: Now, this category is entirely location- and activity-dependent. You’re going to want an appropriate comb if you’re going to be in a tick-infested area, especially. I’m bringing Emmett’s brush and a bottle of just-in-case shampoo, plus a dog towel (which you should bring regardless… hotels do NOT appreciate muddy feet!).
Bed or blanket: I’m bringing Emmett’s bed for in the car. He sleeps in the car, so I want him to have some orthopedic support since it’s going to be so long. But what you bring depends entirely on where you’re going and what you’re doing. Camping? You obviously don’t want a whole big plush bed, but a mat could do the trick. For a hotel or for staying in a friend’s home, a fluffy blanket works if you can’t heft your pup’s bed around.
Except for his bed and the cooler with his chemo, everything is going to fit in one bag. Mission accomplished! I may have room to toss in a few extra treats and toys! 🙂
I think that’s it! At least, that’s all that’s on my list… What do you think? Am I missing anything? Going totally overboard?
Oh, jeez. Now I have to figure out what to pack for ME!