Travel Tuesday: 5 Items Perfect for Traveling with a Dog
Over the past six months, our travel lives have changed a lot. That’s thanks to the fact that we now have a dog, Rigby, who joined our family back in August. Since then, while we haven’t traveled as much as we typically due (in a bid to make sure she got adjusted to her new home and such), we have taken her with us on a few trips. In that time, we’ve found a few items that have helped make that experience more enjoyable and convenient for all of us.
With that in mind, here are five items we’ve found are perfect for traveling with pets — specifically dogs.
Traveling with a Dog: 5 Items to Try
This one is surely the most obvious — and there’s certainly no shortage of options. For Rigby, we purchased a Sherpa carrier bag before we even brought her home for the first time. In fact, while the carries is apparently airline-approved, we have yet to put it to the test. Furthermore, seeing as she’s a snub-nosed breed, I’m not sure we’ll be trying to take her on a plane too often if at all. Still, having such a case seems like a no-brainer for us and I’m sure it’s a similar story for others who plan to travel with their dogs.
When traveling, the idea of carrying a pair of clunky, metal pet food dishes sounds awful. But, of course, your dog is going to need something to eat and drink out of while away — and disposable options are less than ideal. Luckily, I have a solution.
Similar to our discovery of foldable kettles, these silicon pop-up bowls have been great for us. Not only do they serve the purpose of holding Rigby’s food and water but are also easy to clean. Of course, the foldability also means they’re super storable. We picked up a three-pack, which means we have a dedicated food bowl, water bowl, and… a bonus one. These have definitely worked well for us anytime we venture away from home and, after some slight initial hesitation, our dog seems to enjoy them as well.
As I mentioned, we have yet to take our dog on a trip involving an airplane. Instead, it’s been road trips for us. I mention this because, while traveling by car, we don’t have to worry quite as much about how many pieces of luggage we’re packing. In turn, we’ve found it helpful to dedicate a backpack to all of Rigby’s must-haves.
Specially, we’ve turned a Petunia Pickle Bottom bag into our doggy backpack. Truth be told, this is actually a diaper bag (and one we got because we often write about the brand for the Disney site we work for), but it works pretty perfectly for holding various Rigby items as well. For example, there’s a dedicated bottle pouch where we can store water, plenty of pockets for her food, aforementioned foldable bowls, her leash and collar, and of course lots of treats.
In reality, likely any backpack or other bag will fit the job, so I wouldn’t go out of your way to get something pricey to fill this need. Still, I do think that having a dog-specific bag is immensely helpful when possible.
Speaking of road trips, with Rigby spending a lot of time in our backseat (both on longer trips and on a daily basis), we figured we should probably do something in the way of attempting to keep our interior upholstery in decent condition. That’s why we elected to pick up a car seat cover, which can either be used in a “hammock” style or laid flat.
With my wife being a fan of all things outer space, the one we choose was the Molly Mutt “Rocketman” design — which is available on Chewy, but we purchased ours at a local pet shop. According to her, the cover was not only simple to install but it’s also easy to convert between the two modes. We’ve also had success with vacuuming it when needed. On that note, looking at what we vacuum up from the cover, we can only imagine how our backseat would look if the cover weren’t there to protect it.
At $65+, this item wasn’t exactly cheap. Nevertheless, my wife described it as being one of our best pup-related purchases so far. So, if you plan on taking your pet on the road, I’d definitely recommend picking one of these up beforehand.
Finally, since taking your dog’s crate with you on a trip may not be feasible, a playpen may be a suitable stand-in for some situations. We’ve found that this gives Rigby her own “home base” and space to hang out while we’re in unfamiliar places like hotel rooms. Plus, since our playpen folds down, it’s not too much trouble to bring it along. In fact, you could conceivably fit it in checked luggage (depending on the size of your dog).
Unfortunately, these soft-sided playpens aren’t going to replace a crate in every way. For one, as we learned quite quickly, Rigby can easily knock the playpen over. There are pockets on the side we tried to put sandbags in to help prevent that and, while that helped, she still had no trouble pushing it over when she wanted to show us how much she disliked being zipped up in it. Then again, if your dog is less bothered by this than ours is (or at least was during the early days of our relationship), then perhaps such a playpen could double as a crate of sorts while away — but you’ll of course want to be careful.
Either way, I think these could be useful while traveling with your pet.
With only six months of pet ownership under our belts, we’re certainly no experts on the topic. Despite this, our little Rigby has already endured some major road trips with us. During those travels, the items mentioned above have been extremely helpful. So, if you haven’t tried these items before, I’d recommend you and your dog consider giving them a shot for your future travels.