Dog Travel Checklist: 11 Essentials To Pack For Fidos Trip

Not sure what essentials are needed when travelling with your canine companion? Don’t worry.

We have you covered! In this article, we provide an in depth guide into what doggy essentials are needed when going on holiday in the UK!

Here is our dog travel checklist. Let’s get packing… 

Table of Contents

What Goes on a Dog Holiday Packing List?

Road trips are a terrific way to spend time with your best friend whilst exploring the outdoors and trying new activities. However, it’s important that you are well prepared and have a detailed dog packing list to ensure you have a fun vacation!

The following items in our list below are supplies you shouldn’t forget as they are vital to a healthy happy dog on the road. From collapsible bowls to updated id tags, each is an essential item and allows you to relax on holiday without ever worrying that you have forgotten something. 

1. Collar, lead and harness

Whichever option you choose when you travel, you will need to pack your best friend’s collar and lead as he will be going for walks.

Check the stitching is intact and that the collar is a good fit. If your dog is a bit of a Houdini and is able to slip out of his collar occasionally it is worth investing in a harness.

If you are taking Fido abroad, you should consider a protective option such as Scalibor for the control of ticks, flies and mosquitoes which can cause serious health problems for your pet.

If you are transporting your dog by car on short car trips, you should have a safety car harness or crate. Never let a dog travel unrestrained it is dangerous for both the dog and the driver.

Take both an extendable and short lead. The extendable one will be useful if your four-legged friend can’t be let off the leash and if you are taking him with you a short lead is handy for keeping him close in restaurants or crowded places. 

2. Contact Details

It is the law in the UK that all dogs need to be micro-chipped but it is worth getting an extra ID tag with your holiday contact details or the kennels/dog sitter’s phone number just in case your dog runs off when travelling.

Leave the details of your local vet and emergency contact with the person looking after your furry friend and it is also a good idea to provide carers and yourself with a recent photo just in case the worst happens and Fido does escape.

You should always make sure your dog’s id tags are up to date in any case. 

3. Dog Food

Make sure you take enough dog food and dog treats for the duration of the holiday plus some extra in case of any delays.

Changes in diet can cause tummy upsets and if you are traveling with your dog you may not be able to buy his usual brand of dog food. Remember a tin opener if you use a brand without ring pulls and a separate fork to mix with is a good idea too. 

4. Coat

A lightweight waterproof jacket is great for dogs when they go on a holiday or a break closer to home, not only does it keep them warm if there is a chill it also stops them from becoming soaked in the rain and messing either a hotel room or the pet-sitter’s home. 

5. Bowls

As a rule of paw, most pups will eat food from any container or food bowls. However, if they are in a boarding kennel or strange environment, having familiar items from home will make them feel more settled. If you are traveling with your dog you may find it easier to pack the collapsable style of food and water bowls to save space. 

6. Bed / Bedding

Your dog will be more comfortable in strange surroundings if he has his own bed or bedding with the familiar smell of home and this applies whether he is boarded or you take him with you to stay at pet friendly hotels and remember, just because you are staying at a dog friendly hotel doesn’t mean the owners will be happy with your canine companion sharing your bed. 

7. Dog Poop Bags

Absolutely essential for your checklist and as responsible pet parents, you should take plenty of poop bags so whoever is walking your dog be it you the dog owner or someone else they have enough dog poop bags to clean up any mess throughout the duration of the holiday. 

Dog kennels should have poo bags and paper towels but check with dog sitters or home boarders if you need to supply them. 

8. Brush

If you have a long-haired dog, pack a brush. If your pet is out in the rain or off having adventures the chances are his coat will become tangled and may need to be brushed out to prevent matts forming. Grooming also relieves stress for dogs so is a great way for the pet to bond with their carer. 

9. Documents

If you are boarding your pet while you go away, you will need to provide proof of vaccinations including kennel cough and if you are going abroad with your pooch they will require a rabies vaccination. Once you have fulfilled the criteria required for your pet, your vet can issue you with a pet passport valid for travel within the EU

Even if you are on a holiday in the UK it is worth taking all vaccination documents with you as you may wish to go somewhere dogs are not allowed or attend an event and need someone to look after your friend for the day. 

10. Dog First Aid Kit

You will need to pack any medication your dog takes and if you are leaving your dog at a kennel or using a dog sitter print off the times needed and dosage for them to have at hand. If you are travelling with your dog it is a good idea to take a first aid kit these can be bought online and in pet stores and usually include things like tweezers, diarrhoea tablets, anti-bacterial wound powder, bandages and socks for cuts. 

11. Treats and Toys

There will be times especially if your dog or pet is in boarding kennels they will be spending time alone so it is a good idea to pack some of their favourite toys and treats to keep them occupied. Chewing relieves stress in dogs so a chew toy will come in handy and maybe a puzzle toy to give them some mental stimulation. 

A filled Kong is a great way of keeping your pets entertained and happy for hours. They are handy to have as a reward for good-behaviour and as positive re-enforcement for ongoing training. Just because you and your pet are on holiday doesn’t mean discipline and manners go out the window. 

Essentials For Your Dog Travel Pack

These items are not needed for your travel checklist if you are choosing to leave your dog with a boarding kennel or dog sitter but they will come in handy if you are a dog owner traveling on road trips with your dogs. 

  • Torch – Great for late-night walks
  • Kitchen Roll – To wipe bowls, any spills or give your pet a rub-down
  • Lint Remover – To remove any hairs
  • Sunshade for car – To prevent your dog from becoming too warm during long car journeys.
  • An old sheet – especially useful if your canine companion is used to being on the furniture
  • Towels – To dry off Fido if he has been out in the rain
  • Corkscrew – Not only does this come in handy for any wine you may pick up from the supermarket but it is a great way to tether your dog if you are having a picnic or lunch in a beer garden.
a dog asking questions


What do I need to do before my dog travels?

Dog travel can be scary for your pup and if traveling abroad, you need to ensure that your dogs have all their vaccinations up to date and you should take them to see a vet before travelling to see if they’re in good physical and mental shape to travel as not all pets will enjoy flying. You also need to make sure you have all the shot records with you.

What should I put in my dog travel bag?

You should put the bare essentials in your dog travel bag and on your checklist, these include their favorite treats, food, cleaning supplies, travel water bottle, toys, lead and a towel. Every pet needs different requirements but these are the standard things that should always be included in your dog travel bag. 

How long can a dog be in a car for road trip?

Vets recommend that dogs should be let out of the car every 2 hours for about 15 minutes at a time to stretch their legs and go to the toilet when on there travels. As long as you are having regular breaks for the dogs, it’s not unusual for journeys to last between 4-8 hours depending on how far you have to travel. 

How do I prepare my dog for car travel?

Firstly, you need to try and get your dogs comfortable and relaxed. That could be ensuring they have toys or a blanket with them, something that reminds them of home. 

Next, make sure you have water with you and leave the window slightly open so that they get a good breeze. Lastly, restrain your dog with a car seat or belt to stop serious injury to them on yourselves. 

Last Word

Booking a UK dogs holiday is just one click away.

Planning ahead, and making sure you have the essentials on your checklist when going on holiday with your pet or leaving them with a boarding kennel, dog hotel or dog-sitter will make both your’s and your dog’s time away free from stress.

Happy Holiday!



John Devlin

An online publisher for over nine years, working specifically in the travel and dog industries. When I am not writing about pet travels and places to visit, I enjoy walking with my 2 Golden Retrievers, fishing and family time.

Latest Posts