Create a Pet Travel Kit

Keep all your pet’s travel items together in a large bag or bin – something that can be carried easily.

Food and Water

  1. Enough food for your trip

    WHN Expert Tip: Individual-Size Portions

    I like to take out and measure each meal of food for the dog and put each meal in a small, resealable plastic bag. I know if I just grab one of those bags it’s the right amount of food and I don’t have to bring a measuring cup. - Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advisor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish

  2. Bottled water or water from your tap at home, at least 7 days' worth for each pet (may not be allowed if flying)

    WHN Expert Tip: BYO H2O

    A change in the water might cause diarrhea and intestinal distress for the pet. If you’re going to a different area, use bottled water. Also, your vet may be able to prescribe an anti-diarrheal medication or suggest a brand of canned food for your pet to prevent loose stools. – Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

  3. Can opener
  4. Pet feeding dishes
  5. Treats

Medical

Ask your vet about the best medications and items for your pet.

  1. Medications
  2. Anti-diarrhea medication (ask your vet)
  3. Antiseptic cream/cleaner (ask your vet)
  4. Pet first aid kit
  5. Scissors
  6. Tweezers

WHN Expert Tip: Sedatives and Tranquilizers

Dogs’ inner ears are much more sensitive than humans’, making them more prone to motion sickness. A sedative pill, prescribed by your veterinarian, can help to not only relax your dog but also lessen motion sickness - Dr. Tod Schadler, associate dean of clinical studies at Ross Univ. School of Vet. Medicine

Items

  1. A traveling bag, crate, cage or sturdy carrier. Read our Choosing a Crate article for finding the right crate or carrier for your needs.
  2. Blanket (for comfort or covering cages)
  3. Disposable garbage bags for clean-up, pooper scooper, cleaning spray
  4. Disposable litter trays, litter (aluminum roasting pans or plastic containers are perfect)

    WHN Expert Tip: Disposable Litter Pans

    I suggest that you use some kind of plastic containers with lids that are about the same size as a litter box. That way you can keep the litter in the box and it’s easier to clean. - Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advisor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish

  5. Extra collar, harness and leash (make sure they fit properly)
  6. Flashlight
  7. Grooming/hygiene items (brush, shampoo, nail clippers, etc.)
  8. Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  9. Old sheets to cover bedding, the floor, and furniture at your destination
  10. Paper towels, moist towelettes
  11. Towel
  12. Toys

WHN Expert Tip: Exercise Pens

I like to pack collapsible pens that are at least about 36” high. They’re not escape-proof but at least it’s something to set up when we stop at rest areas and let the dogs exercise. - Matt Stelter, Drs. Foster & Smith representative and professional Collie owner and handler

Important Documents

Keep these documents in a waterproof bag or folder.

  1. Health certificate

    WHN Expert Tip: Plastic Shipping Sleeves

    For photocopies of health documentation, we use plastic shipping sleeves (normally used for address labels) to secure the documentation to the top of the travel crate. These sleeves are great as they show the content, stick to the crate easily and usually have a resealable closure - perfect for airport officials to quickly and easily access the documentation.

    - Rachel Farris, >PetRelocation.com

  2. Photocopies of medical and vaccination records (especially the pet’s rabies vaccination!)
  3. Copies of prescriptions and instructions for medications
  4. Photocopies of pet insurance cards and policies
  5. Photocopies and details of ID tags, tattoos, microchips and licenses

    WHN Expert Tip: Make a Cell Phone Tag

    Have a little tag made that has your cell phone number on it (many pet stores have machines that do this) – stick that on your dog’s collar when your traveling. If your dog gets away from you while you’re traveling, they’ll call you at home but you won’t be there! - Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advisor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish

  6. Recent photos of your pets

    WHN Expert Tip: LOST!

    I always pack a photo of my pets in case I need to make a “LOST” poster of my pet. Always keep your dog on its leash! – Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

  7. A written description of your pet:
    • Pet’s name
    • Breed
    • Sex
    • Age
    • Description of coat, color and markings (scars, spots, etc.)
    • Height
    • Weight
    • Microchip or tattoo numbers
    • Color of collar/leash/tags
  8. List of important phone numbers:
    • Veterinarian (numbers for your one at home and one at your destination)
    • 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital (also for the one at your destination)
    • National poison control hotline
    • Pet insurance agent
    • List of pet-friendly hotels/motels nearby

WHN Expert Tip: Emergency Contact Information

I like to keep an emergency ID info card in my car with me. It includes a calling number so in case I’m unconscious they can call someone I know to come and get the pet instead of taking the pet to a shelter or animal control. – Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

Want more travel tips? Top pet travel articles:

- Pet Air Travel Tips

- Pet Car Travel Tips

- Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels

Last Updated: 5/2009