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Treats, poop bags and acceptance: what to pack for a roadtrip with your dog | Pets


You know, as a dog owner, having a pet takes a lot. There are leashes, treats, favorite toys and more, and now they need to be wrapped up and put in the car or van.

So before you go, sit down and make a full list of what to pack, especially if you are going on a long trip.

For new doggie travelers, start with short trips to see how your dog adapts to car trips and life on the road. Some dogs get sick in cars, some dogs just don’t like driving and need to be desensitized. If you haven’t taken your dog anywhere, start with a day trip.

You will need to make sure that your dog has his own space in the car – room to curl up, but also to do a full sleep stretch. The more comfortable your pet, the longer you will be able to drive. A happy dog ​​is a calm and quiet dog.

If your dog is a nervous traveler despite the short trial runs, you can try calming sprays, calming chews, or, if your dog is crate trained, lead him to his safe space with some handy toys to keep him entertained. .

A key question when traveling with your dog is: is this place suitable for him? A place full of no-go zones won’t be much fun for them. Photograph: Erik Anderson / AAP

You should also make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, check his microchip and details on any ID tags he might have (you don’t want an old phone number when you lose your dog. in the middle of nowhere) . If you don’t have a dog collar, get one. It will be worth it if you think your dog is lost forever and you get a phone call from just a few trailers.

Be prepared to increase the treat quotient as your dog will learn to do a lot of new things and deal with a lot of new situations and stimuli. But be sure to factor these treats into your dog’s normal healthy diet. A road trip shouldn’t be an excuse for weight gain or unhealthy eating, but like us on vacation, you might need to relax the rules a bit. The first thing to know is to make sure your dog has an easily accessible supply of fresh water or to make plenty of stops so that he can hydrate himself. We all know dogs can die in hot cars, but it’s not just in parked cars.

You will have to accept that this road trip can get messy. You already know your dog is happiest when he’s encrusted in the dirt of a great adventure, but sometimes that adventure is going to happen on a brief stop, and you’re going to have a dirty dog ​​ready to jump in the car. You can prepare yourself a bit by taking a short hose and a quick-drying towel with you, but you’ll also need to carry a bit of acceptance.

A woman holds a bag of dog poop while playing with her pet on a beach
Bringing bags of dog poop is a priority – take a lot more than you think you need. And think about their sustainability. Photograph: PBWPIX / Alamy

Be aware of the local wildlife, both good and bad. We may all know that “anything in Australia can kill you” – from ticks to tiger snakes – but not your dog. He just sees a very exciting scaly toy, so make sure your dog is safe and under effective control.

With that in mind, a key question when traveling with your dog is: is this location suitable for him? You can take your dog anywhere, but should you? If your destination is a national park or a place full of other no-go zones, your pet isn’t having a great time.

Likewise, if your dog is elderly, has health issues, or just doesn’t like traveling, you should make sure that taking her with you is the best option. Don’t limit yourself too much, but be sure to consider the accessibility of the area and your pet’s abilities when deciding if your dog should come with you.

Once you’ve made the decision, it’s time to write down the packing list.

A bernese mountain dog puppy
Bringing a favorite ball or frisbee can help you exhaust your dog – a tired dog is more likely to want to get back in the car. Photograph: Tierfotoagentur / Alamy

What you will need for a weekend

Vaccination papers
It’s like a dog passport if you want to get doggy day care on the road or even just see a vet. Make sure you have it with you, take a photo of it, and store it on your phone as well. Arrange it in as many places as you can.

Dog poop bags
This should probably be number one, but make sure you take in a lot more than you think you need. And in the spirit of being in nature, think about the durability of your poo bags.

Grooming equipment
If you plan on doing a lot of grooming at home, wait for all the burrs, dirt, and dust that the wide open road offers. Take whatever you use home, and if you are traveling in a van, you should also consider a hair dryer for your dog as he will get wet – a lot.

An older dog lying down
If your dog is elderly, has health issues, or just doesn’t like traveling, it’s worth considering whether taking her with you is the best option. Photograph: DeirdreRusk / Getty Images / iStock

Dog bed
Whether your pet likes to sleep on a rug, pillow, or a chic plush offering, you need to pack something so they can relax. If he still smells of home for the first leg of the trip, that’s a good thing.

Crate or kennel
If your dog is crate trained, you will get a better night’s sleep by maintaining the routine.

Leashes, collars and harnesses
You will need your usual walking equipment, but also a travel harness that clips into the seat belt.

Medication
Keep a supply of flea and tick medicine and deworming medication.

Cover of Paul Chai's nomad's guide to taking your dog on the road in Australia
Ready for the road: the book by Paul Chai. Photography: New Holland

Favorite Toys
With all of this new excitement, your dog will need to be calmed down or distracted, so make sure you have their favorite sleep toy if they have one. For breaks you need to have a balloon or Frisbee handy so you can help exhaust them – a tired dog is much more likely to be happy getting back in the car.

Towels
Many. For the back seat, to wipe your dog down or for any dog ​​accident.

  • This is an edited excerpt from The Nomad’s Guide To Taking Your Dog On The Road In Australia: A Complete Guide To Traveling In Australia With Your Dog, by Paul Chai, published by New Holland. RRP $ 29.99.