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November 24, 2014

“Must-haves” for Pet Travel

We’re gearing up for a Thanksgiving road trip to NJ. I like to travel light, but I feel like I could make an endless list of things the dogs “need.” In reality the pups need very little, but there are some extras which can make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. The
We’re gearing up for a Thanksgiving road trip to NJ. I like to travel light, but I feel like I could make an endless list of things the dogs “need.” In reality the pups need very little, but there are some extras which can make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. The trick is figuring out what those “must have” extras are and what you can leave behind. In the ongoing trial-and-error experiment that is my life, here are the goods I’ve found go the furthest when we’re furthest from home. 1. Antlers: 24.1

This new antler gets even more attention than the old one. If the pups are in the mood for chomping, in the car or at our destination, I’ve found nothing keeps their attention like the antler


In fact, it’s so popular I’ve ordered a second one to avoid these staring contests. Antlers are lightweight and don’t smell, a double bonus when traveling

2. Crate: 24.3

Heavy? Yes. Cumbersome? Yes. Essential? For now. I no longer crate Penny at my apartment, but when we’re traveling, a crate is essential for her safety. While I run holiday errands I’ll feel much better knowing Penny is chomping on an antler in her crate and not looking for trouble around my mom’s house

3. Blanket: 24.4

This green guy is the “The Little Blanket That Could.” It survived puppy-Eko and is chugging along unscathed by puppy-Penny. It’s small, comfy, lightweight and a familiar piece of home. No matter where we go, wherever I lay down the blanket is where the pups go to lay their heads 


Penny would have gone to the fire anyway, but you get my drift

That’s it! Of course we have food, waste bags and treats (yes, treats are essential), but aside from that we’re minimalists. It makes traveling with the pups easier and more enjoyable if I’m not lugging beds, toys, grooming supplies and anything else I don’t absolutely need. If something unexpected comes up, I can usually rig together a temporary replacement. More often than not, I don’t need anything else. Traveling with pets isn’t a one size fits all process though.  So I’m interested to hear what your “must haves” are when you hit the road with your pet. If you have any good ideas, I might just have to borrow them before we leave!

Comments for “Must-haves” for Pet Travel

  1. meANXIETYme says:

    We carry water and a collapsible water bowl, too, but I suspect you do that already. 😉 The blanket idea is great, because it not only smells like them, it smells like home. Must be great for getting them settled.

    I do, however, want to know what kind of antler you wound up with! We keep considering getting one, but researching them gets overwhelming and we know no one else who buys them so personal recommendations are slim. Thanks!

  2. dashlilly says:

    Yes their own blankets!! And treats. Tons and tons of treats. Dash and Lilly are really particular with treats and food so I err on the side of just bringing a ton with us. I splurged the other night and bought a “game” for dogs. We are heading to a mountain cabin–quiet times and small area to move about in when we are inside. I am wondering if this game will offer some entertainment. Will see!

  3. Melody says:

    Where do you get your antlers? I would love to get one for my pups. Thanks!

  4. coastingnz says:

    Blankets is the main one for us. Even for in the car – our younger fella Ziggy likes his routine so packing for a holiday can be stressful for him – he’ll be waiting in the car already with his blanket so as not to be left behind. As if……

  5. Elyse says:

    Have a great trip — you seem to have all the essentials! And thanks for the info on Michigan Antler Art — their prices are so much better than the pet stores!

  6. T&S says:

    Don’t forget winter coats 🙂

  7. Great timing on this subject, Will. We just returned from a weekend trip to the coast; Khoi’s first long ride (not like yours ). We discovered he’s prone to car sickness. Windy roads don’t bother him apparently. It was when we got back on the freeway and rolled up the windows that his puppy tummy started to churn. He may have been telling us he didn’t want to go back home. The ranch was waaayyy too much fun. We will carry the necessary cleaning supplies until he out grows it.
    And you’re right about the antlers. Best chew ever. The dogs walk around the ranch with whole racks. By the end of the weekend, the points are gone and they’re spikes again! I really need to get a picture of that.

  8. Boomdeeadda says:

    Always enjoy my visits and your light hearted advise. We used to take Buddy’s pillow to campfires or visiting neighbours. He loved it and was trained by command ‘Pillow’ to stay there if people were having hot dogs etc at a campfire. Not everyone welcomes your pet on visiting, so we were always sure to ask before hand if it was ok. You never know when peoples circumstances change (maybe they got a new pet of new carpet or something).

  9. stevebuddy says:

    Will, Eko and Little Penny, it’s been some time since I read your post, I am catching up. Buddy and I just got back a week.ago, living on the road, it was Buddy, me, our conversion van, and or camper, we loved it. A must do, and with a dog is great.
    But a first aid kit for the pups is a must ! Then also peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap, just in case they get skunked ! I find this works better then the store stuff, plus there are other uses for everything, like the peroxide, my vet has told me before to give to my dog after she ate some rib bones, also bread and butter, the bread helps coat the bones in there tummy, and the peroxide will make them toss there cookies, but call your vet, but it’s nice to carry just in case the vet tells you to use. The mix for skunked is 1qt of peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and teaspoon of dish soap, then use a rag and wash your dog down, when done then bath your dog.

  10. I love your blanket photos. Have a safe trip and a great turkey day.

  11. The blankie is essential. We traveled a lot with Sally & Tino…and they always knew where their spot was by their respective blankies. Have a safe trip!

  12. Marcela says:

    Great post Will. One thing that you need to get for sure is an easy to assemble kennel. I bought one at a thrift shop and I love it because, since I am mechanically challenged to put it mildly, it makes my life much easier. I haven’t crated Alex since she was about 3 or 4 years old, she is 12 1/2 now, but Bella I still crate when I am not home. Yes, it is best for them to be in a crate when traveling and when you are not going to be home.

  13. houndstooth4 says:

    Two of our dogs are Greyhounds, so we make sure to pack coats for them this time of year, especially when we’re traveling long distances. We don’t take grooming supplies, either, but a package of pet wipes is usually kept in the car in case of emergencies and it doesn’t take up much room at all.

  14. Dottie Wells and Tuffy-Cat says:

    You two have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving…… and to you and Emily also, Will. LOL
    Dottie and Tuffy-Cat

  15. Sounds like you’re all READY for your trip! We hope you have a really safe, fun, and food-filled Thanksgiving with your family and let’s hope the weather cooperates as well. We may have some snow here but that won’t stop us from 4-wheeling up to the mountains in W. Virginia for Thanksgiving……..Sam will be cozy at home and we’ll bring him a turkey goodie bag! ENJOY!!

    Happy THanksgiving from Sam and Pam

  16. Great tips for doggies and safe travel!


  17. I’ve been completely blown away at how Sam loves elk antlers. He’s never stayed engaged with treats like that for long but repeated goes back to the antler I gave him back in Feb. that is less than halfway gone! I found a company that sells the whole enchilada, splits, and burrs in multiple sizes too. They all last long, don’t get all slimy or smell like other chewy treats and can divert a busy pup in no time. 🙂

    Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving…from our house to yours.

  18. Emmadog says:

    Don’t forget a proper seat belt to stay safe on the road. We had to take the crate with us to Florida, sure wish Bailie would grow up! Katie and I were done with crates at ten months, but not Bailie!

  19. I always have Mazie and the Girls’ medical info just like mine in case of an accident. I had the cool little medi-alert on Mazie’s collar but that collar and alert have disappeared in the twilight zone somewhere (with my favorite nail clippers and brush). Safe travels 🙂

  20. Tina says:

    We travel fulltime in a 45′ motorhome with our three rescue dogs. They are all about 60-70 pounds, and we do crate them when we leave them in the RV for any length of time. They feel more secure, and so do we! They love to travel, and when we say “get ready to go” they each find their special place in the RV. Like your two, they snooze away the day, and really are great travelers. Life is good!

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