Hi friends! Amber from @shesoutwandering here with Zoe, Myla, and Enalina from @lovedogs_traveloften. Traveling around the country with pups isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it! Bringing along necessary items to keep them safe and make the transition easier is a must. I personally keep an overnight bag packed at all times with the items listed below (and a few others). This is “their” bag, and whenever I put it in the car, they know that we are moving and that they are coming too. I want them to be just as excited as I am about the change, and creating a positive experience is a priority.
Vaccination paperwork, medication/food prescriptions, copies of certifications, microchip identification, and ownership registration. Any paperwork that you feel would be important in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to bring a printed up-to-date photo that shows a clear image of your pet along with any markings that may identify him/her in case of emergency. Keep copies of these items in a folder in the dog’s overnight bag.
This could be included under important items; however, it is so important I felt that it needed its own description. Pet insurance is the absolute best thing I have ever done for my girls. While on assignment in Asheville, NC, my oldest Bernese Mountain Dog became very ill, and I had to rush her to a nearby emergency clinic. The fabulous team saw her promptly. She was admitted to the intensive care unit and kept overnight. She was treated for hemorrhagic gastroenteritis of an unknown cause. The emergency care cost was greater than $5,000, and because of my pet insurance coverage, I was only responsible for 10% of the total amount (less the deductible). I would have personally done whatever I needed to afford the care she deserved; however, pet insurance greatly helped reduce some of the stress during an already stressful situation. She will be 9 years old on April 1st.
A Security Camera:
a WiFi-enabled security camera that can be accessed from an app on your phone. A recording feature is also important. The camera can be easily set up on arrival and used to check in on your four-legged family member. It’s a great resource when answering the famous question, “What does your pet do while you are working.” I personally have recorded footage of exactly what is happening in their new space, and the answer is usually sleeping. Some systems even allow you to receive notifications when movement is sensed so that you can quickly check in on the situation. The camera provides a sense of safety and security for both of you while on the road.
Did you know they make therapeutic music specifically for helping pets to relax? It’s fantastic and a must in my opinion when on the road. I play songs anytime I leave home to help my family members remain calm. If it’s a long car ride, I will use the playlist until they fall asleep. If I leave for work the first few nights, I find the calming music helpful in my absence.
A six-foot lead and an extra collar-
Another learning curve. I was in a major city when Zoe’s collar broke, and she began trotting down the sidewalk along the busy street. Fortunately, she has a fantastic recall, but this unexpected event could have turned tragic. I had another collar in the overnight bag, and we were able to continue our day unscathed. I specify a 6-foot leash because it is the recommended length for owners to maintain safe control while allowing their pups to explore. Longer leads (especially retractable) can cause injury to both the pet and owner and place pets in harmful situations.
Bring along your dog’s “favorite” toy. This may seem like common sense, but designating one toy that your dog enjoys the most to always be present during travel and relocation will help them to associate their new space with home. When we arrive at a new place, I do two things: I unpack their favorite toy, and I give them a new toy as a surprise. Every time we get to a new location, they know that their “favorite” toy will be there, and they will be rewarded for coming to a new space.
And finally… your DOG-
It’s important to work hard to train your dog to a level of obedience that is respectful for others when in public so that all humans and animals can enjoy the day together. I have made a conscious effort to spend my time outside of work with them as much as possible by seeking out pet-friendly restaurants, shopping, parks, and hiking trails. The more I travel with my pups, the more I realize that at the end of the day, they don’t really care what we are doing, just that we are together. The above tips will help keep your pet safe and comfortable, but, ultimately the time you spend with them is what matters most.
We hope you found this list of items to always bring when traveling with a dog helpful. Did we leave any items off that you think are important or helpful? Comment those items below. Have pictures of yourself and your dog or pet on assignment? Tag us on our Instagram with the hashtag #gypsynurseadventures. We love to see all your adventures and adorable animals!