The Ultimate Packing Checklist for Vacationing With Your Dog

If you’re a dog parent, you’ve probably considered taking your furry friend on a vacation. In that case, you will have a lot to do and a lot to pack to make sure your pet has as much fun on vacation as you will.

This dog-travel packing checklist will help you pack the right things you and your pet need to have an awesome trip together.

Learn how travel insurance works with pets and service animals

Dog Packing List

You can download our Dog Travel Packing Checklist by clicking the button below. The accessible interactive PDF can be digitally checked off using any device or easily printed for your use.

The essentials

The right carrier

This is No. 1 for a reason. The best carrier will work in a car and on a train or plane. Choose a well-ventilated carrier with secure latches that will survive minor bumps and drops. If you first bought a carrier for your puppy, make sure it can hold your adult dog.

“The right carrier” can also mean a carrier that can fit under an airplane seat or in other tight spaces, so you can bring your smaller dog onboard. Some carriers are able to collapse somewhat to fit into tighter spaces.

The International Air Travel Association has regulations for pet carriers that you should read.

You may want to bring several carriers: A cage-like carrier for air travel or other situations where confinement is paramount, and a tote for strolls around town.

This post reviews a variety of carriers, from hard-sided kennels to tote bags.

Video: 14 Tips for Traveling with Dogs and Cats

A backpack

Pet backpacks are a thing – and they’re actually a very useful thing for walking around with your small dog.

The best backpacks have screening on all sides to let your pet breathe and see, secure and supportive straps, and means for securing your pet inside the backpack should they decide to play locksmith.

If you can’t or don’t want to leash your dog, this is a great alternative.

Pet IDs

Especially if you’re flying with a pet, consider having them microchipped, if they’re not already. This is the best and most immediate way for someone who finds a lost pet to identify their owners. In addition, some countries require pets to be microchipped before entry.

Regardless of whether they’re microchipped, they should always wear a secure collar with an ID tag. If your pet needs special care, make sure that’s indicated on the tag.

Finally, carry a picture of you with your pet, to share with authorities and others should you and your pet get separated.

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Depending on where you’re traveling, you may have to produce some or all of the following for your pet:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • Proof of a blood titer test
  • Proof of freedom from internal parasites
  • A pet health certification

The last item generally requires a vet visit to complete. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a checklist for USDA-Accredited Vets to complete in order to issue the required paperwork.

Find an Accredited Vet here.

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Other essentials

  • Lists of vets in the area where you’re traveling
  • Lists of pet-friendly parks and restaurants
  • Pet medication
  • A pet first-aid kit (tweezers, nail clipper, eye and ear drops, etc.)
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Food (in a sealed container)
  • Harness (for car travel)
  • Travel water dish or a doggie bottle

Fun stuff

You bring your pet on vacation so the two of you can have fun together. Items that up the fun factor can include:

  • Toys (including favorites and special toys for the trip)
  • Dog frisbee
  • Treats and treat pouch or fanny pack
  • A favorite blanket or pet bed
  • Brush
  • Shampoo

Find your next trip: 7 Vacation Rental Escapes


  • Some of the most popular dog-travel apps include:
  • BringFido: Helps you find dog-friendly places around the world
  • DogPack: Helps you locate dog parks
  • Red Cross Pet First Aid: Helps you fix doggy health problems or find a vet near you
  • Dog Vacay (now part of Rover): Helps you find a qualified dog-sitter

Other things to bring

  • Calming solutions: Pheromones like or natural calmers like chamomile can help reduce anxiety in dogs – but check with your vet before trying anything.
  • Old sheets or towels to put over hotel furniture and hot car seats
  • Puppy pads
  • Poop bags
  • Car window shade
  • Battery-powered fan
  • Safety vest and dog headlight
  • Wipes and paper towels
  • Lint roller
  • Dog jacket/sweater
  • Dog shoes

Travel Protection

No matter where you and your best furry friend head on vacation, things could go smoother with the peace of mind provided by travel insurance and assistance services from Generali Global Assistance.

They offer a variety of plans and coverage options, and getting a quote is easy.


Get travel protection for all kinds of trips
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