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When my husband and I plan a weekend getaway, we make sure that wherever we go, Rocket comes with us. It's actually more like Rocket demands to come with us. Either way, we have to pick pet-friendly hotels or camp and visit areas where dogs are welcome. Rocket is a member of our family so there is no reason why he shouldn't come! Plus, he LOVES going on trips.
In 2 weeks, we will be traveling to Telluride, Colorado for a long weekend getaway. If you haven't been to Telluride, you should consider it not only for its beauty but it is VERY pet-friendly! Dogs are even allowed to ride the Gondola with you as you catch a birds-eye view of the beautiful scenery below.
Since I travel with Rocket quite often, I have learned the ins and outs of doggy packing including the essentials. I have forgotten so many things over the years that I think I have it down ‘to a T'. Let's start with his bag.
First of all, isn't this bag from The Smoothe Store adorable? If you are a dachshund lover like myself, prepare to go on a shopping spree. The entire store is dedicated to sausage dogs! The Smoothe Store has everything doxie-related from clothing and home goods for humans to blankets, beds, and toys for your dachshund. Yes, if you ever wanted a pair of weenie pj's, (and honestly, who wouldn't) you will find them here. Sarah, the owner, says The Smoothe Store is named and inspired after her beloved dachshund, Smoothe whom sadly passed away in 2011. Her store helps keep Smoothe's memory alive. You can read more about The Smoothe Store HERE.
1. Paper Towels – In case of spills or accidents
2. Towel: For wet paws or a bath
3. Food – I always bring an extra 2 days worth of food
Fail story confession – I ran out of Rocket's food on a trip once. Since Rocket's food is difficult to find, I had to buy a different brand and he ended up having THE.WORST.DIARRHEA.EVER. Save yourself the trouble and bring extra food.
4. Leash, collar/harness, and ID tag
5. Cleaning supplies – In case of accidents
Typically, when you stay in a hotel with your dog, they put you in a dedicated ‘dog' room. There is a zillion smells to keep your dog's nose busy for hours. Among those smells is dog urine. Rocket never ‘marks' when he is at home or outside. But for some reason, as soon as he enters a hotel room, he takes a squat. (Yes, my male dog squats to pee. I think his legs are too short to lift, haha). Long story short, bring cleaning supplies.
6. Dog Shampoo/Conditioner – Pour into small travel containers for light packing
Human shampoo is not ok to use on your dog. You can really irritate their skin or they can have a bad reaction. Rocket LOVES to roll in the most offensive smelling stink so I have learned to always bring doggy shampoo. Always.
7. Poop Bags – Bring extra
These can double as trash bags for your car. I keep a couple of rolls in the glove box of my car. Can someone please explain to me why it's called a ‘glove box'? I've never understood this.
Pawtector is like an invisible layer of protection for paws. I put Pawtector on Rocket to protect his paws when we hike. It also works well to soothe irritations from bug bites and scrapes.
9. Ziplock Bags – I ALWAYS find a use for these
I have been known to use ziplock bags when Rocket gets sick in the car and I just want to zip seal the stink. They have also been used as back up poop bags and as a water bowl when I have forgotten an actual bowl.
10. Food and Water Bowls
Additionally, remember to bring a HeartWorm pill if you will be on vacation when it's time to administer it.
12. Health Certificate of Proof of Vaccinations from your Veterinarian
Chances are, you won't need these, but if you are asked to show paperwork and you don't have it…vacation spoiler. I have flown on a plane with Rocket over 50 times. They say that you are required to have a health certificate for your dog to fly but I have never actually been asked to show it. Be on the safe side though because they will not let your dog place one paw on the plane if they find out you don't have one. You can get a health certificate from your local vet. For hotels, a proof of vaccinations will usually suffice but it's best to call ahead of time to be sure.
Next, I will pack Rocket's Travel Carrier. I love this bag because it has a strap for the seatbelt, thoroughly securing Rocket in the car. It is also perfect if I need to bring him on the plane as it fits perfectly under the seat. I have had this bag for 9 years! It's still in great condition and I use it all the time. If you have a medium or large dog, you can safely secure them in the car with a crate.
Related Post: How To Travel With Your Dog
What's inside Rocket's travel carrier?
1. A favorite toy
2. Soft Blanket
This personalized dog blanket from The Smoothe Store is our absolute favorite. It is unbelievably soft and has little dachshunds and Rocket's name all over it!
3. Soft Bedding for the bottom of carrier
4. Luggage Tag
I keep this luggage tag on Rocket's carrier just in case. Plus, I love to color coordinate and this looks so perfect with his blanket and toy!
In addition to everything mentioned, I will bring a small bed for Rocket to sleep on. The travel carrier is great for well, travel but Rocket prefers his super cushy, comfy bed when it comes time to toss those paws in the air and sack out.
A couple of tips for traveling with your dog
- Before you hit the road, familiarize yourself with the location of a 24-hour Emergency Vet near your destination. I recommend adding their number to your phone.
- If your destination is more than a few hours away by car, try and stop for a break every 1-2 hours so your dog can stretch their legs.
- Don't leave your dog unattended in the hotel room or campsite. They are in a new environment and may be scared. Additionally, they may bark when left alone and could disturb other guests AND/OR tear the room to shreds. We usually try and find a hotel room that has a kitchen so we can cook meals instead of leaving Rocket alone while we eat at a restaurant. He appreciates this.
Going on vacation with Rocket is one of my favorite things to do. Whenever I start to pack, he jumps in his travel carrier and just waits by the door. I'll have to post a video of him doing this. It's so funny. It's as if he is saying, “Great guys! Where to this time?” Seeing him so excited makes my heart happy. If you travel with your dog, I hope this list will help your next trip go smoothly.
Do you have any traveling tips or must-bring doggy items? Please tell us in the comments below!