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Guess what? Stetson and I are on the verge of an exciting adventure. Our first big trip together since his guide dog days. Tomorrow we’re heading into the desert heat to meet up with our pet blogging friends at the 8th annual BlogPaws conference! So, to answer your question: Are you going on a road trip with your dog? Yes! And today we’re going to discuss our dog travel checklist to ensure Stetson has everything he needs in the Valley of the Sun.
Oh and did I mention? Stetson gets to see his baby brother, Dublin who’s working as a guide dog in the Phoenix area!
Dog Travel Checklist
I travel with my dogs in the car nearly every day. So goes the life of a service dog puppy raiser. It’s our job to expose our puppies to different people, places, and things including restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, grocery stores (the market), and pretty much anyplace the general public goes.
Traveling in my car with my dog on a day to day basis is much different then a 6-8 hour journey across multiple (California and Arizona. Does 2 count as multiple?) states! So what’s a dog traveler to do when someone yells: “Road Trip!”
Let’s start with our dog travel checklist.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE (6)
- Pet Friendly Hotel – Ensure pets are welcome at your hotel. We’re staying at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horses Pass for a pet blogging conference. Pets will be allowed nearly everywhere in the hotel! We’re so excited 🙂
- Microchip – Stetson has a microchip. You probably won’t lose your dog, but just in case you want to have him microchipped.
- Vaccination Records – Stetson went to the vet a few weeks back to get blood work done as well as his vaccinations. We also picked up copies of his medical records to take on our trip.
- Medications/Supplements – Stetson doesn’t take regular medication, but he does take supplements including fish oil and glucosamine. Make sure you get all meds and supplements filled before your trip.
- Local Vet Information – A quick Google search found several Chandler vet offices including this one which is 24 hours: BluePearl Veterinary Partners, 86 W. Juniper Ave, Gilbert AZ 480-497-0222
- Your Vet Information – In case we need some additional information from our vets office: Hamilton Animal Hospital, 21552 Brookhurst St, Huntington Beach, CA 714-964-4744
ESSENTIAL ITEMS (16)
- Collar – Stetson doesn’t wear the same martingale collar Archer wears during training. Instead he has a standard flat collar.
- Leash – We’re bringing Stetson’s leather training leash we’ve used with him since his guide dog training days.
- Tags – Stetson has his personal tag with my information, his county tag, and his microchip tag (actually I’m missing his microchip tag).
- Poop Bags – we have our poop bag holder permanently attached to our leash, but we will be bringing extra poop bags on our trip.
- Food – Stetson eats Wellness Core Grain Free dog food one cup twice a day.
- Water – It’s going to be hot this week. I’m bringing plenty of water for Stetson and for me!
- Food Bowl – We’ll be bringing one of Stetson’s special slow feeder dog bowls.
- Water Bowl – We’re bringing our Tazlab travel water bowl.
- Travel Water Bowl/Bottle – We’ll have Archer’s travel water bottle during the trip. Sorry Archer…
- Travel Crate – One of our latest purchases. We could have used our MidWest Life Stages Double Door Crate w/ Divider (affiliate link), but they are a bit on the heavy side so we opted for a cloth travel crate instead. You’ll probably see a review in the weeks following the BlogPaws conference.
- Dog Toys – Stetson is not big on toys, but he will play with them from time to time. There will be no shortage of toys given away at BlogPaws, but we’ll bring a couple of Stetson’s favorites on the trip.
- Dog Chews – I’ll grab a couple bully sticks for Stetson which will keep him occupied for hours.
- Doggy Backpack – When we’re out with our pups we put some of the most important things in our doggy travel backpack like water, blankets, paper towels, and other cleanup supplies.
- Blankets – For the car, the crate, and to lay across the hotel sheets.
- First Aid Kit – I don’t have a pet first aid kit!? I’ll put together a quick DIY doggy first aid kit for Stetson.
- Recent Photo – I’m sure we all have a millions pics of our dogs on our phones, but just in case snap a quick shot of your dog because there’s always a chance he’ll get lost.
CLEANING SUPPLIES (3)
- Paper Towels – Standard sheets in case there are any accidents or messes.
- Baby Wipes – Great for quick and easy cleanups.
- Nature’s Miracle – He’s been potty trained since his puppy days, but you never know. New place, new schedule, new everything. An accident could be waiting to happen. Better safe then sorry…
- Clicker – We’ve gotten in the habit of bringing our clicker everywhere with us. Stetson is not clicker trained, but he does have a marker word. I’m sure we’ll have a clicker in our pocket out of habit.
- Treat Pouch – Nowadays I’m almost never without my treat pouch. Stetson doesn’t need it, but I’m sure he’ll appreciate the extra treats on this trip.
- Treats – We usually use kibble for treats, but I’m going to bring some Wellness Core Air Dried food for Stetson’s special treats.
- Training Harness – We’re bringing Stetson’s Easy Walk No Pull Harness.
- Dog Safety Harness – Since his days training as a guide dog Stetson has always ridden on the passenger floor boards. So we won’t be brining a safety harness, but we recommend a safety harness for your dog when traveling. Linus and Adelle both wear them when in the car.
- Travel Bed – We’re bringing one of the smaller doggy beds to pad the bottom of our travel kennel.
- Dog Booties – We’ll be in the scorching heat so booties are not optional, but necessary. We picked up a set at our local PetSmart.
- Lint Roller – Especially since I may be attending a red carpet event. I will have a lint roller, but I prefer to match my clothes to my dog. Stetson is black so you might see me in mostly black clothing this weekend.
- Air freshner – It’s always nice to keep your hotel room smelling good.
- Brush – Stetson is shedding like a maniac right now. I’ll probably get him out either early morning or late at night to remove some of that excess fur.
- Shampoo – Stetson is getting a bath as we speak. I don’t plan on giving him another on this trip, but you never know…he may find a nice bit of mud to roll around in outside.
- Tooth Brush and Tooth Paste – Stetson practices good hygiene especially when meeting new people.
- Bitter Apple Spray – Stetson is long past his days as a puppy biting and nipping everything in sight, but you never know what your dog might decide to chew on in your hotel room.
- Flashlight – A flashlight will be helpful if we take a few night strolls since it’s so hot during the day.
- Ziplock bags – I was thinking of the scenario of when I had to bring the dog poop into the car because there wasn’t a trash can nearby. Double or triple ziplocking that poop might came the smell out of the car…maybe not…it’ll probably still smell like a permanent fart in your (Ali’s) car 🙁
- A Calming Aid – If we were bringing Linus we’d pack his Thundershirt. There are other products you can bring to keep your dog calm if he’s not used to traveling.
- Camera – We all have our little cameras in our phones, but when traveling with your dog you might want to snap off some better pics with your DSLR. Don’t forget to charge the battery and make sure your memory card isn’t full.
That’s 42 items on our checklist! Do you need everything on this dog travel checklist? Probably not. Something that is very important to one person does not matter to another. Like I’ve always said every dog is different. It’s up to you to decide what you need on your checklist and what you do not.
That’s longer then my travel checklist! Do you have anything you’d add to this list? Please tell us what we’re missing in the comment section below. By the way, the good news is if we forget anything on our list we can visit our local PetSmart to get most of the above items.
That’s it! Next time you hear from me I’ll be
baking in the desert heat sitting in a comfy, air conditioned room listening to some of the top pet bloggers in the world.