by Nicole Ellis, Certified Animal Trainer & Pet Lifestyle Expert
2020 is a year of massive change but hopefully one thing that has changed for the better is that you’ve been able to spend more time and go on more adventures with your dog(s)!
As a dog trainer and pet parent to two dogs, and a trainer on Amazon’s show, The Pack, traveling with dogs was my normal long before we’d heard the word ‘pandemic’. It’s something I really enjoy - packing up my car and hitting the road with my dogs is such a joy. But I have to admit it can also be stressful.
How do I keep it stress-free? Making a list and packing ahead of time is my number one tip. It’s all in the preparation.
Now that I’ve got you thinking about your next adventures with your pup, here’s my go-to list of what I bring to ensure we’re ready for any type of adventure, from camping to just heading out for a day hike.
#1: A Leash
News flash: Not everyone loves dogs as much as we do (crazy, I know). You might have a walk to the trailhead from the parking lot and even once you get to the trail with your dog on a leash, some trails aren’t "off leash" safe during certain times of the year. Local leash laws apply to trails unless posted otherwise, so check for signage about dogs in the park. Due to this, make it a habit: always pack a leash.
#2: A Collar With Tags
Make sure your dog’s tags are current. In case of an emergency you don’t want to regret this. (Along these same lines, make sure to update your microchip information if you’ve moved or changed your contact info.)
#3: A Water Bowl + Water
I keep a collapsible water bowl with me always, for water stops wherever we might need them. We want our pets hydrated and happy and having a bowl with some water on hand helps accomplish this.
This is a staple in my backpack for protecting paw pads. From snowy conditions to sandy beaches to hot pavement, having paw balm helps keep those pads moisturized and also protects against the elements during our adventures together. For our more extreme adventures my dogs wear booties, but when they come off, the moisturizer balm goes on.
#5: Poop Bags
The only trace of your adventures should be in your camera roll. From beaches to road trips no matter where you go with your pup, be sure to pick up your dog’s poop and pack it out.
Traveling during a pandemic brings extra precautions and keeping a paw and hand sanitizer with us allows our pups to get socialization and enjoy the trails while staying safe at the same time.
Upon returning home, to our van, hotel or our real home, we wash off the day with our Skout’s Honor Probiotic Shampoo+Conditioner. And in between days, when they may not be as messy, we use the Probiotic Deodorizer for a quick refresher. If you want to know why we use probiotic grooming products, read about it here (link to blog on probiotics).
Lastly, with dinner every night, my pups always get Joint Support Chews, helping my youngster and my 12 year-old dog be able to wake up ready for wherever our adventures take us next.
Hope this inspires you to pack your bag, grab your leash, call your pup and go explore!
Nicole Ellis, Certified Animal Trainer & Pet Lifestyle Expert