Packing tips for the ‘pooch’

Like many traveling dog owners, we have over the years put together a list of pet-friendly travel items and tips, but occasionally we’ll come across a new idea. Here are some items we recommend:

Car Harness

Dogs should be restrained in the vehicles whether it is in a designated dog seat (for smaller dogs) or a dog seat harness.  It can be even something as simple as a regular chest harness with ring on the back with a short lead through the ring, then looped through a secured seat belt. Any way to secure the dog’s range of motion is recommended in case of sudden breaking or collision.

Molly is ready for a road trip, secured in her harness

Old Sheets

These come in handy for many situations. They can be draped over the car seat as added protection or even over the doggy car seat blanket.  Old sheets from home can be draped over the furniture at the pet-friendly hotel unit also, in case your dog is tempted jump on the sofa or chair.


Our dog, Molly is crate-trained, so our collapsible wire crate can be easily stowed on top of the suitcases in our trunk. Most hotels do not allow guests to leave their pets unattended, but an increasing number of resorts will allow crated dogs to be left alone. Pet stores also sell canvas or mesh foldable travel crates. If a crate isn’t an option, you may want to bring your pet’s own blanket, pillow or dog bed.

Washcloths and stain removers

Just in case there is an accident, it helps to have washcloths and cleaning products from home. After a resort tried to charge extra fees for “ruined washcloths” at check out, we carry our own. We pack a small container of a powdered cleaner such as Oxy-Clean or a travel-size spray bottle of liquid stain remover such as “Nature’s Miracle.”

Dog Park Locations

Check online to find the nearest dog parks in your destination city. Because your dog will be on the leash or in the room for the majority of the time, it’s a good idea to have access to the nearest fenced dog park where they can run around freely. Listings of dog parks in Arizona can be found in online directories or on your destination’s municipal website.

Other useful items to consider:

  • Spare copies of dog license, health and immunization certificates, microchip documents
  • Extra leash and collar
  • Homemade pet first aid kit including some items such as self-sticking adhesive wraps, bandages, Benadryl and puppy pads
  • Comb for removing cactus needles, burrs or thistles after hiking
  • Finally, remember to bring plenty of “chewies” and treats to reward your dog. They will enjoy vacations too!
Molly and I take a break from shopping at Sedona's Tlaquepaque



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