Packing a bag for a human is almost always a challenge. Will we go for dinner somewhere we need fancy shoes? Will it be hot enough for sandals? Shall we pack enough underwear to inexplicably wee ourselves twice a day for the entire duration of the getaway? All difficult questions, and it doesn’t get any easier to answer them for bringing a dog. But, what we can do, is answer at least the core items you might want to bring.
Highly territorial animals, dogs like to know what’s theirs and what isn’t (as well as test those boundaries with your slippers). Bringing your dog’s bed is often a wise choice as it gives them an area that’s theirs to settle down in, or retreat to if they’re nervous. If the space is providing a bed, then you might want to consider a blanket or a stuffed toy, purely to remind them of their home – and keep them calm.
As little as any of us would like to think about it, accidents happen. Be sure to be ready for them if disaster strikes, and come prepared with a list of your emergency contacts, or local vets should you potentially need them. It’s an uncomfortable idea to entertain, but you’ll be happy you did, if you end up needing it.
Much like their owners, dogs will need a little backpack for all their adventure provisions! This could be a tiny rucksack of their own that you shoulder alongside your bag, a space inside your rucksack, or our personal favourite – if your dog is big enough – dog panniers. Consider bringing: a travel water bowl, (filled) water bottle, treats & poop bags.
Just like you, your canine friend needs little snacks, pick-me-ups and even regular meals – especially if they’re taking on adventures like hiking with you, where they’ll burn lots of calories. Changing their routine, and being in new environments can also be stressful for them and they might not eat as much, or as frequently as usual – so feeding can be challenging. One solution can be to use something like Lily’s Kitchen’s On the Go Bars, which pack in the nutrition of a meal in a solid snack-stick.
If you’ve the space in the car, a portable hose is never a bad idea. Your own muddy kit (or kids) aside, dogs tend to behave really well, until they see an available mud bath. It can be very useful to be able to wash them off before they get in the car, let alone into a space you’re staying – which may not have an available hose either.
An obvious accoutrement to a hose, you will be wanting to dry off those little paws after a hosing, and not every space will offer towels, especially dog ones! Blankets are also always wise – whilst it’s possible if you have a short-haired breed they might get a little chilly, it’s less about the warmth factor and more about the familiar smell. Having blankets that remind them of home can help them acclimatise to new surroundings or to long and potentially stressful car journeys.
This is the perfect compromise to places that you can’t let your dog off the lead but want them to enjoy a little room to explore. This could be for a number of reasons, like walking somewhere where safety is a concern – like a coastal path. If the space that you’re staying in doesn’t have an enclosed garden for you to let the dog off in the morning, it might be useful to use to ensure your dog doesn’t bolt into the wild to live a new life as king or Queen of the English jungle.
It sure is getting warmer these days, and if we get a repeat of 2022, keeping your dog cool is vitally important, as they’re even more susceptible to heat than we are. It can be hard to rely on keeping anyone cool after a certain temperature point, let alone our furrier amigos, so having one of these on hand can make a world of difference.
Ok, so not exactly a dinner jacket – whilst they might be able to join you to dine somewhere local and dog friendly, a dress code for our four-legged friends is rare. It might however, get a bit chilly – perhaps on a coastal walk, or a hike. Getting a little jacket or fleece for them can be a great investment, as if they’re full sized, it’ll last a good long time