Have Dog, Will Travel

Aug 30, 2013 by

We all know that Boudin is an Adventure Pup, but sadly, he is not a very well-traveled Adventure Pup.  Yet.

Ready for anything.  Bring it on.

Ready for anything. Bring it on.

We took him on his first overnight trip back in June, when we went to the Breaks Interstate Park in the Kentucky.  I didn’t realize until that day that packing for a traveling dog is not exactly a five-minute endeavor when you’ve never done it before, and I left getting the dog’s accoutrements together until the last minute.  You’ve probably guessed where this is going: we wound up shoveling a bunch of stuff into the car, way more than we needed to bring, and still ended up leaving behind some things we really wished we’d brought (like paper towels).  Looking at all of the dog’s earthly possessions (how did he get so much stuff??) shoved willy-nilly into the back of the car made me really dread the day we’ll be trying to take a baby somewhere.  I was pretty disappointed in myself, considered how well I have human travel down to a science.  I vowed to do better.

Last weekend, we went out to the Breaks again, and this time, I had some foresight about the whole puppy packing thing.  We’re going to Asheville with the furry dude tomorrow, and after planning the work and working the plan last weekend, I’m confident in this new procedure.  I’ve laid it out for you below, in case any of you are planning puppy travels soon.  And are huge organization nerds like me, even when it come to the animals.

Not pictured: his collapsible crate and the little bed inside it.  We don’t just let him roam free in hotel rooms.

puppy packing overview

This is not excess, this is necess(ity).

1.  Bag.  This is key.   I got a big reusable plastic shopping bag for like $0.99.  Way better to pack everything in here than have it rolling all over the car.  Fewer trips back and forth, as well.  The plastic makes for easy cleanup if something spills.

2.  Food.  Duh, the dog needs food.  For wet foot, these handy-dandy plastic can covers keep everything fresh and contained.  They are awesome. (Don’t forget your can opener, or open cans before leaving.)  For dry food, since we were only going overnight, I packed one day’s worth of food inside the travel bowl itself, which has a drawstring and connects to the travel water bowl with a zipper.  These bowls are great in that they stay together, and they collapse completely flat when empty, but we learned the hard way that the water bowl is not leak-proof overnight.  Convenience and space-saving wins out during travel, though.  So we empty out the water bowl before going to bed.



#3.  Cleaning Supplies.  Here’s something we learned the hard way: bring a roll of paper towels.  They don’t take up that much room in the bag, and they will be useful for everything from cleaning up backseat barf to wiping off muddy paws.  To that same end, bring one trash bag and one plastic grocery story bag for sanitary containment of trash and used cleaning supplies.  Easy to tie up and toss.  As for cleaning products, I have a ton but I limited myself to bringing the best one: Bissell Crud Suds.  This stuff is amazing.  It foams up to clean and deodorize, and the brush on top helps to scrub stains out of fabric and carpets.  I wish it came in a smaller, travel-sized bottle, but it doesn’t.  This is crucial for cleaning up what the dog might (will) do in our car, or a hotel or friend’s home.  And then of course, I packed a mini lint roller.  He’s a shedder.

#4.  Travel Sundries.  Just like with human travel, it’s way easier to bring travel-sized liquids, medications, etc, with you instead of full-sized sundries.  But if you thought it was hard finding your personal toiletries in small sizes, it is impossible to find little dog toiletries at all.  That meant a bit of extra work for me, buying travel containers and labeling them, but in the end it saved a lot of space.  I also got a zippered cosmetic bag to keep these and other little things in (like the lint roller and poop baggies), so that they didn’t get lost in the big bag.   You see here another can’t-live-without pet product I have found: Nature’s Miracle 3-in-1 odor destroyer.  It’s 3-in-1 because it kills odors on fabric, hard surfaces, and in the air, using natural enzymes instead of bleach or harsh chemicals.  Best de-stinker around.  We’ve also got Wal-dryl and Pet-Ease here, which are both for doggie motion sickness.  If we were going on a longer trip, I would also pack a little travel bottle of hydrogen peroxide, since it’s as good for scrapes and cuts on dogs as it is on humans.  But Miles said I was already being obsessive.

Travel-sized bottles: they aren't just for humans anymore.

Travel-sized bottles: they aren’t just for humans anymore.

#5.  Leash and poop baggies.  A whole roll.  Taking no chances.  I like the biodegradable ones.  They’re more expensive in traditional stores, but you can find them cheap and in bulk at places like TJ Maxx.

#6.  Travel-sized puppy wipes.  This is the exception to the “can’t find puppy sundries in travel sizes” rule.  These puppy wipes come in big bags and little bags, and they are just the ticket for wiping up muddy paws or slobbery jaws.  As an added bonus, Boudin LOVES to be wiped with these things.  I think it reminds him of being licked by his mother when he was a tiny pup.  I keep them in a plastic bag, though, because the little sticky flap on the front loses its stick rather fast, and once these things dry out, they are next to useless.

#7.  Treats.  Small ones for all occasions, and two big ones for when we leave him alone in a strange room for several hours.

#8.  Water bottle with dish.  These Top Paw things are great.  A bunch of other Barter dogs at the dog park had them, and I hesitated for a while to jump on the bandwagon, but I shouldn’t have.  It’s a water bottle with a pop-out drinking dish on the bottom that stands up by itself.  Genius.  And space-saving.

#9.  Towels. A small microfiber, ultra-drying one because we know there will be swimming.  And a spare big one for the back seat, because we know there will be barfing.

#10.  Toys.  In limited number!  One for chewing, one for snuggling, and one for the water.  That’s it!  End of story!  It’s only an overnight trip!

Because we ain't goin' far without toys.

The toys have taken over the house, and now they’re set on the car.

Everything fits so nicely in his bag!  Look at that jet-setter.  He’s packed.  He’s ready.  He knows the score.  He would like me to bring the car around now.

Handle my luggage carefully, servant.

dog packing

1 Comment

  1. Jean

    I can’t imagine a more knowledgeable, organized puppy parent! Obsessive? Nawwwwwh!!!

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