Planning for vacation time with Fido demands an organized approach. Realizing you don’t have any flea or tick protection when you are halfway up the mountain to your campsite turns into an annoying detour to scrounge up supplies. Making a list and checking it twice is the sure road to a happy, healthy, and relaxing trip with your best friend riding along.
Think about a typical day with your dog. Mentally go through all the things you do with them, and provide for them, and then write it all down. Food and water are foremost. Bring bowls that stack together and won’t break. Ample supplies of dog food to include two extra meals is a smart way to be ready for anything. Now consider what types of medicine they will need. Flea and tick prevention of course, plus pain relief in case soreness sets in after scampering up the trail (get this from your veterinarian; do not give the dog over the counter meds for pain relief).
Be practical in your packing. A simple mat to sleep on will suffice; no need to haul his overstuffed donut bed to an outdoor adventure. Bring a brush and shampoo in case he makes friends with wildlife, or more probably, rolls in their poop. All natural baby wipes work for a quick clean-up so you can share a tent or bunk in an RV without gagging. Leashes and collars are a must. Bring a harness for hiking trails and a training collar for trips to town. Long leashes are great for offering more freedom but you’ll need a short one for car rides and walks in public. Use the mat to roll up some of your dog’s gear and you’ll know where to find it when you arrive at your destination. Pack clear plastic bags for storage and colored ones for poop patrol. If you have room, pack a collapsible crate. Your dog stays under control while you drive and it doubles as his personal den in your room in case you trade mosquito bites for room service at the five star resort just down the mountain.
I like to pack my dog’s gear in a pocketed duffle or backpack. Throw your list of his stuff in there, too, so packing for the trip home is just as organized. Nothing is less fun that unpacking at home when your stuff and dog stuff is in a damp jumble at the bottom of a sack. Most important thing to pack? A camera. You’ll want to record the huge grin on your dog’s face when you say, “want to go for a ride?”