Best Dog Travel Checklist – FREE Download!

The key to packing your pup for a trip is a great dog travel checklist done in stages. While a vacation can be exciting and relaxing, the preparation can take a bit of work. But it’s all worth it. Of course, the prep includes getting your kids ready, yourself, your car, and your home ready. If you’re like me you have a list for everything. Do you also have a checklist for your dog? After I forgot most of my dog, Henry’s supplies at home, I learned a few great tricks. I now break my dog travel checklist down into manageable parts so I don’t forget anything. I’m certain my tricks will help you as well.

Additionally, I’m including a FREE dog travel checklist. Don’t forget to download your copy!

*Updated: May 22, 2024
a happy dog is excited to go on holiday with a great dog travel checklist
disclaimer note
Budget Tip:

Traveling with your dog can seem overwhelming at times. But a little preparation will go a long ways and you'll avoid any unnecessary trips to the store for items you forgot at home. Forgotten items purchased where you can are often very expensive (talking from experience). I also, like preparing in steps. Then on your vacation you can simply relax and spend more time on walks, hikes, exploring, and making memories knowing your trip is within your budget. That's priceless and a major win!

1. Pre-departure for your dog travel adventures

  • Verify your dog has his records up to date
  • Make a hard copy of his health certificate and vaccine records 
  • Refill any RXs he may need
  • If your dog is an anxious traveler, you may want to talk with your veterinarian about CBD, other alternatives, and prescriptions to assist him in his car travel.
  • Ensure that his ID tag is correct and readable
  • Check out where you will be staying and make sure it’s pet friendly
  • Ensure there are local veterinarians, just in case
  • Write down your dog’s microchip number, where he’s registered, and make sure all the information is up-to-date just in case you get separated.

Next, I move on to what I like to call my Henry’s grab-and-go bag. This will include things he may need on the road or will need soon after we arrive at our destination.

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2. Grab-and-go bag for your dog

cute dog peeks out as dog mom is ready for a vacation with the best dog travel checklist

Do you give your dog Benadryl? You might be surprised to learn that a dog can develop a severe allergic reaction to Benadryl after years of use. This happened with Henry. In this article, I discuss what happened and the costs associated with it.

If you’re frustrated with trying to open doggie poo bags, you’ll want to read this article about a simple free hack that solves the problem with items you already have at home. 

After the grab-and-go bag is packed, I turn my attention to his “suitcase”, which could just be a bigger duffle bag. These are things your dog shouldn’t need while traveling but will need during your vacation.

3. Dog suitcase


Another great tip I learned from my mother as a child was to always pack 2-3 days extra of anything essential item when packing for a vacation. This includes things like medications or food. I’ve been grateful for this piece of advice on more than one occasion. 

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4. Car dog travel essentials

So, what really are the cost benefits of planning with packing my dog’s vacation supplies?

This is a great question. And I know it can happen often because let’s face it, life happens. I learned the hard way that when you rush, you tend to forget. That means you have to make an emergency run to the nearest pet store to get everything you forgot. Unfortunately, that can be very pricey. For me, it meant buying double supplies of items I really didn’t need at the moment like a big brush, bowls, dog wipes, vitamins, and a leash.

Yep, I pulled a major oops! The good news was that I got some credit card points. But I didn’t need that added expense at that point. So, from that experience, I learned how to pack for Henry in stages. I won’t make that mistake again. And I also created the dog travel checklist, which you can download for free. It really does help.

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Summary of the best dog travel checklist

In this post, we examined how to break down your dog’s travel checklist into manageable bits, including pre-departure, grab-and-go dog bag, dog suitcase, and finally, dog car essentials. While it can be overwhelming to prepare for a vacation, preparation is key and a proper checklist is always helpful. 

a little dog is packed and ready for holiday with the best dog travel checklist

Have you traveled with your dog? Do you like this best dog travel checklist?

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

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