Essential Dog Travel Accessories

Dog travel accessories can range from the essential to the entertaining. Essential items include a travel crate, a leash, cleanup supplies, a collar with identification tag, and a supply of food and water. Entertaining items can include toys or treats to make the trip more enjoyable.

Travel Crates Make the Trip Safer

Your dog should have a travel crate in which he rides during the trip. The size of the crate you select will depend upon the size of your dog. The crate should be large enough for him to move about comfortably, but not so large that he feels uneasy. The crate needs to be secured in your vehicle with a seat belt during travel (if you have a small dog) or fit snugly in the vehicle's back seat (if you have a large-breed dog).

Several weeks before the trip, begin preparing your dog to ride in his crate by leaving the crate on the floor where your dog can investigate it. When he seems comfortable entering and exiting the crate, close him in the crate for a short period of time. Gradually extend this in-crate time to accustom him to the time he will be confined in your vehicle. Put your dog and his crate in the vehicle and take short rides around town to further acclimate him to crate travel.

Walk Your Dog on a Leash during Rest Stops

Plan on making rest stops during your trip, in which both you and your dog can get out of the vehicle to stretch your legs. Keep your dog on a leash when he's out of his crate. He will be easier to control and less likely to become lost. As you walk your dog during your rest stop, take along a poop scoop or plastic bag to clean up after your pet.

Keep Collar Contact Information Current

In addition to his leash, your dog will need a secure collar with an identification tag that provides your contact information. If you and your dog travel extensively, consider putting your cell phone number on the tag, or use the phone number of your vacation home, rather than your regular home phone number.

Provide Familiar Food and Water

To lessen the chance of stomach upset for your traveling dog, bring along a supply of familiar food and hometown water to use as a transition between home and your vacation destination. Also remember to bring bowls from which your dog can eat and drink. Offer water during rest stops.

Toys and Treats Can Make Traveling Fun

Toys can make travel more enjoyable for your dog, and they can also comfort a hesitant traveler. Pack a supply of your pet's favorite toys, and consider bringing along replacements if your dog is a particularly enthusiastic player.

Treats can be used to reward good behavior in unfamiliar surroundings, or they can be used to help introduce your dog to new people. Pack a supply of your dog's favorite treats to be used judiciously during your trip.