Packing for a road trip with a dog

I can’t even count how many times I had to pack for a road trip with Enzzo, especially during the time we lived in Geneva and traveled to Germany basically every weekend. With time, well, it’s been over 5 years of road tripping with a dog here in Europe, our packing essentials changed and improved. I honestly believe that each time we pack more and more, so now Enzzo practically has his own luggage!

I have previously shared tips for planning a road trip with a dog around Europe, and have been meaning to share some tips on packing for a road trip with a dog for a while. The truth is, you need more than you imagine, and soon enough you will realize that overlooking some of these items might give you a headache later on:

Passport: for a road trip in Europe, having your dog’s passport is a must. It contains his vaccines and micro chip number. It’s not often asked on the borders, but it’s important to have it with you any time you travel to another country.
Food & water: water for the road, and the food enough to last the entire trip or at least until you find a supermarket to get a package. A suggestion is to take the food in a big plastic container, make sure to calculate how much food you will need.
Water and food bowls: if his bowls are heavy or not practical to take along, you can get foldable ones.
 Portable water container and food bowl: they are very practical to take along on a city trip, for example. Normally they are small, easy to carry on your purse.
Collar and leash: even if your dog is used to walk off the leash, it is a must, not every place allow dogs off the leash. On the collar, make sure to hang a tag with your phone number and his name in case he gets lost or anything happens.
First aid kit: on pet shops/stores you can find first aid kits for dogs, they are cheap, small and can make a big difference in case something happens.
Medicine: in case your dog is taking a specific medicine or vitamin, remember to bring it along. Also, you’re never too careful to bring medicine for cases of emergencies or for diarrhea, poisoning, hot spots, etc. Of course, speak to the vet before and see what he recommends.

Towels: always handy, especially if there will be water and swimming on the trip.
Bed: for his comfort, but above all to make him feel more at home even being away.
Toys: his favorite toys or any other that will be fun to bring along, like a ball, Frisbee, etc.
Snacks: bones or small snacks, for the road and for when you need to get his attention on the streets, etc.
Poop bags: oh yes, don’t you dare forget those, especially if the trip is in Europe.
 Crate: for the road trip in case your dog moves too much or hates car trips. Some are foldable and very practical.

If you are planning on or will need to groom your dog at some point, don’t forget these:



A reflecting collar/vest: if you plan to take your dog for a walk at night.
Muzzle: depending on your dog’s breed and to where you are traveling to, a muzzle sometimes is mandatory, like is some regions here in Germany.
A ramp: if you have a big dog that has difficulties to jump from the car, is old or your car is simply too high for him, consider getting a ramp. It has been one of the best things I got for Enzzo.

The longer the trip, the more you will need to pack, just like for yourself. Put all these items together and you will realize your dog will also need a suitcase for himself. I still haven’t found an ideal one for Enzzo, but I will keep looking.


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Road trip with a dog