The weather is getting colder, and winter holidays are on the way. It’s a time to celebrate, and for many of us that means traveling with our dogs.
We don’t want to leave our pups at home. It’s hard to find a sitter this time of year, and our dogs are family, too.
Having to travel with your dog can be difficult, and the holidays present some additional challenges. Also, with the ongoing pandemic, you may be wary of traveling at all. But if you do end up going somewhere with your dog, you’ll be glad that you prepared!
Here are nine essentials that you’ll want to have if you travel with your dog over the holidays.
A Comfy Carrier
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A carrier is a great way to help your dog feel safe and comfortable, especially during a long road trip. Being in unfamiliar territory can be stressful, so it's nice to have a place where your dog can retreat and relax.
You can also use a carrier at your destination as a place for your dog to sleep and get away from the commotion that can be around during the holidays.
You can find a warm carrier that can zip off and become a bed on Amazon here.
A Heating Pad
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Depending on where you're traveling to, you might expect some cold nights over the holidays. You'll want your pup to be warm and comfortable, and a heating pad is a great way to make sure they don't get too chilly.
I'd recommend getting one that will fit inside your dog's carrier to stay warm while sleeping.
You can find a highly-rated heating pad on Amazon here.
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It's especially important to keep your dog's paw pads protected from the elements in winter. Not only is the ground cold and able to cause frostbite, but de-icers like salt can damage your dog's paws.
Bring along some booties or wax that will keep your pup's paws safe no matter where you're traveling.
You can find the popular Pawz brand booties on Amazon here.
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If your dog has thick fur like a Siberian Husky, then maybe a winter dog jacket isn't much of a concern for you. But for many dogs, extra winter gear is a necessity.
If you notice your pup shivering in the cold, you'll definitely want to have a dog jacket for some extra warmth. Make sure you search for the right size for your dog.
You can find a highly-rated, dog jacket on Amazon here.
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Wherever you're traveling, it's important to be prepared for the fact that your host might not have a place for your dog to sleep. Make sure you have some nice, warm bedding for your pup to snooze on when the night gets cold.
There are plenty of beds that insulate well and reflect body heat back to your pup so they can stay cozy.
My senior Dachshund loved this self-warming dog bed that you can find on Amazon here.
A First-Aid Kit
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It never hurts to be prepared for the worst. If your dog gets injured, a vet may be hard to come by when you're in a different town over the holidays.
Make sure you can cover the basics with a first-aid kit.
You should definitely include any of your dog's regular medications, along with these 13 essential items for any dog first-aid kit here.
Tags With Local Contact Info
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You're probably responsible and keep your dog's microchip and identification tags up-to-date, but when you're out of town, you should take the extra step of including the contact information of the place you're staying.
You may have your phone on you, but if you're traveling, you never know how good reception can be.
Try securely taping additional contact info to the back of your dog's tag or collar just in case.
Extra Leash & Poop Bags
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No matter where you travel, it's always important to have an extra leash and poop bags, especially around the holidays. During holidays, items can easily get moved or misplaced, and you don't want to be left without a leash.
Make sure you keep one in the car or in your luggage as a backup, and don't count on your host to have spare poop bags.
A List Of Local Animal Care Professionals
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Your regular vet probably won't be available to you if you're traveling to a new place, so it's important to familiarize yourself with places that will be able to help you if your pup has an emergency.
Make sure you have the phone number for the local animal hospital and a place that can be on-call even during the holidays.
Hopefully you won't need it, but this information could save your dog's life, and the holidays are a dangerous time for pets.
What essential items do you bring when you’re traveling with your dog? Is your pup going to be with you for the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!