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This October, my family will celebrate nine years with our dog, Vincent. His life with us has been one wild roller coaster ride.
Shortly after we adopted him, we became a full-time RV family. For nearly two years, he traveled with us. He went everywhere we went. From our home in Ohio to a campsite at the Space and Rocket Center in Alabama, to a hotel in Atlanta, to a road trip across Arkansas, to Texas, and eventually along the Gulf Coast. In his short life, he’s climbed trails in the mountains and splashed in cool water under a cascading waterfall during summer hikes in the south.
He doesn’t go as often as he used to since we’ve settled back down in our home state of Ohio, but he still enjoys a good road trip or drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a visit.
These days our road trips with Vincent are much shorter and much closer to home. It’s also much easier to prepare for a road trip with Vincent since we aren’t crossing state lines. Previously, we’d plan a trip to the vet to make sure all his shots were up to date and to get a well puppy certificate- basically a piece of paper saying that he wasn’t currently sick. I never had to show this since we don’t kennel him when we travel, but some campgrounds require them when you’re camping with pets so it’s nice to have on hand.
Today when I get ready to travel with him, I make sure he’s cleaned and well-groomed. We live in the country now and he loves to spend time outdoors rolling in whatever scent appeals to him.
Unfortunately, that’s not always pleasant so he can get pretty stinky. I keep wipes on hand to wipe him down, but a trip to Grandma’s calls for a special treat- a bath.
He doesn’t really love baths. But if I’m going to spend time in the car with him, he really needs to have one.
I also buy some special treats for the occasion. To make sure his breath is fresh and not stinky doggy breath, I buy PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX™ Treats. The treats are tasty so he loves them (I’ve even caught him trying to climb onto the table to sneak another treat in the morning) and the Triple Action Formula keeps his teeth clean, freshens his breath and reduces tartar buildup. The patented X-shaped DENTASTIX™ Treat promotes healthy gums as its chewy texture helps scrape away plaque to help clean hard-to-reach teeth.
With his bag of toys, food, and treats packed, our freshly bathed furbaby is ready to hit the road and trek over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. And the occupants in the close quarters of the car will appreciate his fresh breath so we can share lots of hugs and wet doggy kisses on the road.
Are you planning on traveling with your dog this fall? Here are a few tips to help you pack when that time comes.
What to Pack when Traveling with your Dog
1. Bedding, blankets, and toys.
I’ve learned that our dog settles down much easier if he has his own bedding from home. I pack his bed and his favorite soft blanket and he typically settles down within minutes when it’s bedtime.
2. Pet bath wipes.
You never know what your pet will decide to roll in or step in, this is true at home and on the road. I keep a container of pet bath wipes in Vinnie’s bag to remove dirt from his paws, moisturize his skin, and help him smell good between baths because a stinky dog is no fun when you’re riding in close quarters.
3. Poop bags, small flashlight, and leash.
If you’re accustomed to taking your dog on walks, you probably have these items handy and right by the door. We live in the country so Vincent kind of comes and goes as he pleases, so I keep these items in his to-go bag at all times.
4. Food, water, and treats.
This is especially important if your dog follows a special diet. I always pack a bit more food than I think we’ll need just in case we extend our travel by a day or two and I never want to run out of his favorite treats.
5. Health certificate and vaccine record.
You probably won’t be asked for this information when road tripping throughout the U.S., unless you’re camping. Many campgrounds will have specific pet requirements so inquire about their policy when making your reservations.
6. First aid kit.
My first aid kit for Vinnie pretty much consists of itch soothing spray and calming pills to help him remain calm on the drive or during a storm.
Have you traveled with your pet? What items do you find essential?