packing a dog for a roadtrip

We all know that dogs have become part of our family & we want to bring them everywhere we can. As the outdoors become more and more accessible for your pup, it’s imperative that they are as prepared as you are. Here’s what Chase brought for his time on the road.

*Disclaimer: As you read below, this is what works for us, this isn’t to say that all dogs will do well with what we have done. Chase has some allergies and some sensitivity. He also does do well off-leash. Dogs will differ in all these categories and will need a variety of care & training. We’ve worked with Chase on and off leash to get where we are today- but we still need consistent training and reinforcement.

PLEASE don’t take your dog to these areas if you cannot control them, and don’t assume all dogs will do well off-leash. This is for the safety of the area, visitors, as well as safety for your pet!*


Hiking Gear:

Food & Water- sometimes, the most obvious things we forget, so I wanted to include them on the list to be sure!

Collapsable water bowls- makes it super easy to provide ample water on the trail & clips nicely to the outside of my backpack.

Treats- we use Costco Beef Jerky sticks as they are easy to pack and they can be broken into small pieces. Most importantly, Chase loves them.

Dog Boots- for the number of rocks & trails that we take him on, this really protects his paws from thorns & rocks. We originally purchased ones from Top Dog, although they weren’t very durable. We’ve going to purchase a new pair from RuffWear.

Social CBD Paw Balm- this really helps soothe his feet after running or hiking, and he truly loves it. Especially when he doesn’t wear boots, we’ve seen immediate results with the dry paw pads after a couple days of use.

Headlamp & Flashlight- this is good to have in general! However, if we find ourselves on a trail longer than anticipated, or when we set up camp late, we loop the headlamp around his neck and have him walk around with it on. It doesn’t shine in his eyes and it ensures that he is always visible to us. You can also use a red light collar for the dark.

Towel- we have a microfiber towel for whenever he swims/we encounter weather. However, we can also use it to wrap him if he gets anxious at all.

Other Items:

Toys- as a super chewer, we have found that dog tires are a really good toy for Chase. If your dog is creating trash while playing, please bring the remnants out with you.

Bed- or anything that gives your pup a ‘place.’ Even when on the road, try to create normalcy in their experience.


Medical Equipment:

*Disclaimer: We are not vets. This is what we have accumulated from conversations with Chase’s vet and other outdoor enthusiasts. We also hope to never need some items on our list. PLEASE make sure you get what is right for your dog. What we are listing is for basic first aid. This isn’t a one-stop list either. If you are using these tools, PLEASE bring your pet to a real vet afterwards to ensure they get all the care they need. Also, some of these are medications. BEFORE you go on a trail, please consult with your vet to get appropriate dosages & use cases.*

Medical Records- have them with you in the event you ever need to make a pit stop with another vet. It will be helpful to have your pups information handy.

Wipes- not only to clean his paws off when he is disgusting, but can help clean off a wound so you can get a better look & aren’t wrapping him when the wound isn’t cleaned.

Super Glue- to temporarily patch up paws.

Tweezers- for removing foreign objects from your pup.

Soft Muzzle- although Chase is extremely gentle & unlikely to bite, we have this in the event we have to treat him on the trail and he is trying to prevent us when he is in pain.

Gauze Pads & Non-Stick Bandages- to prevent it sticking to their fur.

3% Hydrogen Peroxide- to disinfect any cuts and can be used to induce vomiting. But check with your vet before administering this.

Milk of Magnesia- can be used to counteract poisons. Before administering, contact to your vet to get appropriate dosages for your pet.

Syringe- to flush wounds or give oral medications.

Fluids- we’ve had situations where Chase has gotten sick on trips & has had to receive fluids. Not even on a hike necessarily, but where we were quite a ways from civilization & we needed to ensure he didn’t get too dehydrated on our way back. We have some packed now in the event this happens again.