If you have decided to take your pet along on vacation, then you have probably started a list of things to take along. Have you started a list of things to leave at home? Packing for a trip can be nerve racking. There is no reason to take along excess items or items that may cause problems and heighten your frustration. Making a list for items to take and items to avoid is your best bet for easy packing. The things your bring with you will not only affect your anger but that of the people around you.

First of all, you should consider your travel arrangements. If your dog is flying, then there are different items you need to avoid than if your pooch is riding in your car. For instance, on a flight keep toys to a minimum. If your dog is riding in the cabin with you, then a comfort toy can be fine. However, you should never let your dog play with a noisy toy on the plane. Some people may be uncomfortable with your dog being there in the first place (“oh no, the dog is going to bark the whole trip”), so there is no need to add to their discomfort. If your dog is riding in cargo, then you may also want to leave the noisy toy at home. There may be another dog riding near him. Plane rides can make pets nervous enough, so there is no reason to add to their anxiety.

If your pet is riding in the back seat of your car, then it is up to you whether or not you want him to have a noisy toy. If you allow him to play with one, however, do not get angry with the extra racket. If you are taking multiple pets, try to avoid any item that they like to fight over. Enticing them on a trip with something they do not like to share is only asking for trouble. A good rule for taking toys is to pack your dog’s one favorite item. If it is an old shoe, then throw that in the back of the car. There is no reason to buy new toys for the trip. Your pet will be distracted enough by the experience alone.

If you are trying to condense your packing, then do not pack “extras” for your pooch. If your dog is stylish in his clothing, only pack one or two outfits instead of his entire wardrobe. One harness is all you need, along with one collar and one leash. If your dog has a favorite blanket to sleep on, then only take that blanket. There is no need to throw in extra padding in an effort to make your pet more comfortable. He is accustomed to routine, and a softer bed will not faze him. If you are traveling to a pet friendly hotel, then you may not even need to pack any type of bedding. Often, everything is provided for you. However, it is always a good idea to make your pooch’s travel carrier more comfortable for the ride.

Take enough food and water to last a day or two longer than the journey to your destination. It is important to take a little extra just in case you are delayed along the way. Once you get to your destination, then you can buy enough dog food to last the rest of the trip and the return home. There is no need to pack your car tight with a massive bag of food and multiple gallons of water. However, this advice does not hold true for camping trips or places where you cannot access clean water. In these cases, you need to make sure you are traveling with plenty of food and drink for your pooch.

If you have a nice, fancy feeding dish at home, then leave it at home. Your dog will be just fine eating and drinking out of a plain bowls the entire trip. The same is true for a crate. If he fits comfortably, has plenty of room, and can sleep in his carrier, then there is no need to bring along a crate. A crate will take up precious packing space, and it is practically useless if your pooch does not have a problem with his carrier.

While you get ready to pack for vacation, do not forget to make a list of things you do not need. A basic rule is that anything in excess is unnecessary. Your dog will be able to adapt without extra clothing or a massive crate. When traveling, take others into consideration. The person squeezed beside you on the airplane probably does not want to hear a squeaky toy the entire trip. If your pooch does not need an item to survive, then he probably does not need it on vacation!

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