In my last post I mentioned everything to be thinking of when planning a road trip with your dog, but what are the items you should bring that are key to road tripping success?
It may seem very traditional in a day and age where Google Maps and GPS do away with paper maps completely, but I’ve found that having a detailed local backroad map can be the key to finding the best camp spot, stopover sight, or hike. We regularly travel through places with no cell service as we avoid busy areas with our pup, and being able to locate and discover new areas safely, or finding a location we can let Whiskey roam off leash, all depends on a detailed map.
KEEPING IT CLEAN
Keeping the car clean with a pup that swims, runs through bush, and rolls in dirt (plus worse things) can be quite a challenge. We always keep baby wipes in the car, along with a beach towel, blanket, and one of those microfibre cleaning mitts (great for rubbing sand off). For longer trips, we can’t do without paper towels and pet enzyme spray. Of course, don’t forget the poop bags, and for extra protection, some freezer zip-lock bags are wonderful to keep the smell contained until you can find an appropriate garbage bin.
TREATS AND DISTRACTIONS
For the times we need to leave Whiskey in the car (never on warm days!) we always have bully sticks, antlers, or another hard chew to distract her. We always keep bags of treats for recall and training, and sometimes we’ll bring her favorite soft toy and a ball to keep our car feeling like home.
TRAVEL DOG BED
Something that’s essential for us to bring is a great travel dog bed! We love Bowser beds as they seem to last the longest and have survived months of road tripping so far without a tear.
Lights, especially light-up collars, are so important if you are camping and will be off-leash in a new area while it’s dark. Not only is it so much easier to keep track of your pet, but people can easily see it’s a friendly dog that is rustling in the bushes and not a wolf or other animal. I never go camping or road tripping without my light up collar!
CHECK CORD, GPS, COLLARS
In almost all cases, a long line or check cord is essential for outdoor camping to tie your dog up if you don’t have time to make a run or stake-out. They are also great to let your dog drag behind as they roam free if you aren’t sure about their recall (just step on the line to stop them) in new areas. I like the PVC kind that doesn’t tangle easily and stays clean. Another great tool to have is a GPS tracker in new areas with dogs that fright easily, enjoy escaping, or those that run large. In the same vein, I would always bring an extra collar and leash on longer trips.
WATER AND FOOD
Regardless of what you normally feed, I always like to have an extra can of sealed wet dog food in the car, just in case, as well as a couple extra liters of water for emergencies.
It’s always good to put a couple extra items in your first-aid kit for your pup. Although most items in a first-aid kit work for canines, I would throw an extra set of booties in there (for raw or cut paws) as well as some superglue (to hold cuts closed until you can get to a vet), and perhaps some Manuka Honey (natural antibiotic).
Do you have any tips for road tripping with dogs? Comment below!
Adele is a photographer, adventurer, visual effects artist, entrepreneur, and most importantly, mom to Whiskey. Whiskey is a Hungarian Vizsla, one of the most active breeds, and captain of all hiking, camping and roadtrip adventures. Follow their adventures on @mywhiskeygirl on Facebook and Instagram or their blog, The Dog Walks Me.