Tis’ the Season to Travel!

2057_165Fa la la la laaaa, la la la laaaaa!!!

…Or not.  Christmas and New Years’ is one of the biggest travel times of the year, and we’ll be talking about that this week on AgilityFusion.

I compiled a list of ‘going-away’ things your dog will need in his or her suitcase.  And this is just for starters!!!

  1. Second-favorite toy and chewtoys. I’m not big on taking the favorites outside of the house, since they’re apt to losing themselves. Also make sure the toys aren’t too squeaky or smelly for car use!  I prefer a kong and a nylabone for in the car, and a squeaky and ball for the times outside of the car.  Keep in mind that you WILL smell what your dog is chewing in the car, and if you have a sensitive stomach like me, the scent of dog meat can send you into carsickness.
  2. Travel Water/Food Bowl. When traveling, it can be a pain to pack several bowls. I know I don’t have a matching set that can nest inside each other- and since I have no less than six bowls, that’s saying something! Try Outward Hounds’ travel bowls.  I love these. They scrunch up and take almost no room, but hold enough to satisfy even the largest nutritional needs. They also don’t tip!  So they are good at the bottom of your car.  Personal testing shows that they dry out quickly, too, so you don’t have to worry about giving your dog water and then having a damp bowl hanging around collecting mildew in your car or bag.
  3. Collapsible Containment Tent. One of my favorite travel items are collapsible kennels.  While they won’t protect your dog in the car, they are perfect for using inside hotels, or bringing to friend’s houses.  If you bring your dog everywhere (even to your friend’s homes!) and you don’t want to leave them in the cold car, ask them if you can set up this tent in their garage or foyer.   It folds up into a small bundle that you can always have on hand.  And when you need it, it instantly pops open – no poles to set up.   Dogs have to be well crate trained to use these, and not diggers or chewers.   They do take some training, but once trained, they are invaluable because of the convenience and small size they take up.
  4. Collar and tag(s). Without them, your dog is a stray and the chances of them making it back to you sink abysmally.
  5. Retractable leash bags are handy when you’re travelling- they hold plenty of poop bags (might I suggest ziplocks instead of grocery bags, this once?) and treats and keys.  I like to take my retractable leash with me because I can let my dog have the freedom of ‘offleash’ with the safety of ‘onleash’ in case I want to go for a nice long walk with mom or a friend.
  6. Travel agility equipment.  Depending on where you’re going, of course, travel equipment is a great idea!  Your dog can have some agility fun in the family backyard or a park near the hotel, just to get the jitters out of his paws before he gets back in the car.  It’ll relax you, too!  Try something like the “Travel Jump set“, a “Hooper’s set“, or the “Agility in a Bag“.
  7. Bland treats are a must! Traveling new places can upset stomachs with nerves, but you still want to be able to give your dog a treat! I’ve found that puppy milkbones work awesome for not making my dogs’ tummy upset and still giving him something yummy.
  8. Bottled water from home comes in handy.  I know I’m picky because I have a spring-fed well (poland springs can’t TOUCH my water), but really, some water is just truly nauseating and I don’t want my dog drinking it.
  9. A camera, just so you can remember this trip with your dog and you for forever!