10 Essential Things to Bring on Vacation with Your Pet

When packing for any trip, you must remember to bring all the essential travel supplies. Toothbrush, clothes, a book, shampoo, and many other things are certain to be on your packing list. However, when it comes to packing for yourself and your pet, the already hectic process can get even more complicated.

Here are ten of the most essential items and supplies to bring with you when traveling with your four-legged friend.

1. Vaccination records

This is one of the most important things on the list. Even if you’re only traveling within the borders of your own state, it’s much safer to carry a current record of veterinary inspection with you whenever you go out on the road with your pet. In fact, when crossing state borders, it’s illegal to bring an animal with you unless you have a copy of their health certificate and rabies vaccine record on-hand. Same goes for flying anywhere with your pet; you’ll need to have your pet’s medical paperwork with you to get on the plane.

2. Your pet’s ID tags

It’s always possible that, no matter how careful you are, your pet could get lost while traveling abroad. That’s why it’s important to make sure your pet has identification tags with your current cell phone and home phone numbers on them. ID tags should also have the pet’s name, in the case a stranger finds your pet and needs to gain their attention and trust.

3. A harness, collar, and leash

No matter what your vacation plans are, it’s vital to bring a harness, collar, and leash with you when traveling with your pet. Whether you’re waiting in an airport, exploring a national park, or going for a leisurely stroll around a luxurious resort, you’ll want to have some way to safely control your animal while you’re out and about.

4. A well-ventilated, padded mobile crate

This is especially important if you’re taking your pet on an airplane. Although many airlines will allow small pets and service animals to travel with their owners in the plane’s cabin for a fee, larger pets will need to be crated and secured in the cargo hold for the duration of the flight. For this, getting a portable, well-ventilated and padded crate means that your pet is mobile, but also guarantees them a comfortable seat on the flight.

5. Entertainment

Just like anyone, pets can get bored on long road trips and flights. Make sure to bring your pet’s favorite toys to entertain them while you travel from point A to point B, and to distract nervous animals from the stress of driving and/or flying.

6. Pet bowls, food, and fresh water

It’s important to bring your pet’s preferred food and bottled water with you when you travel. Sudden changes in diet or water quality, along with the anxiety that traveling can bring on, can make your pet feel a bit under the weather. And because no one likes to feel sick on vacation, it’s important to keep your pet properly hydrated and fed throughout the duration of your trip.

7. Doggie bags and/or a litter box

Always remember to keep the places you visit clean of pet-related messes. If you’re traveling with a dog, bring plenty of doggie bags to clean up after your four-legged friend on walks, and if you have a cat with you, don’t forget the litter box! It’s also not a bad idea to bring a couple old washcloths and cleaning supplies with you as well, in case of accidents.

8. Grooming products and brushes

When you’re doing your hair, putting on nice clothes, and getting ready to go out on the town or to a fancy restaurant, remember that your pet likes to look and feel nice, too. Don’t forget to bring your pet’s brushes, combs, shampoo, and anything else you might need to keep your animal friend’s coat clean and healthy while away from home.

9. Any medications and first aid supplies

If your pet needs any special medications or is currently undergoing treatment for any condition or disease, that’s one of the most important things to remember when packing for your trip. Always, ALWAYS make sure to double-check your vacation bags for your pet’s necessary supplements and medications, because, especially if your pet is taking a subscription medication, this will be very hard to replace while away from home. In addition to your pet’s medications, always pack a first aid kit containing essential pet-related health supplies. The Humane Society’s website has a fantastic article on items to carry in this kit.

10. A good, clear picture of your pet

This is a vital item to carry with you when traveling with your pet. If you and your animal get separated during a flight, or your pet runs away while you’re abroad with them, it’s absolutely essential that you have a good, clear and recognizable image of your pet to add to any “missing pet” signs and posts, or to show to airport staff or other authorities. If people don’t know what your pet looks like, it’s going to be a lot harder for them to find your four-legged friend and bring them home.

If you have everything on this list, you’ll be much better prepared for whatever life throws at you while you’re away from home. Whether you’re on an airplane, a boat, or in a car, you and your pet will appreciate having these items with you on your journey.

Have you ever traveled with your pet? What did you bring with you to make sure that you and your pet had a fun, comfortable experience? Leave a comment and let us know!

One comment

  • Judith Bakerson

    I am going on a vacation with my pets recently. This article is really going help me. Thanks.