Essential Items to Bring When Traveling with Pets

Essential Items to Bring When Traveling with Pets

Traveling with pets is extremely fun, but it can be a challenge as well. Whether your fur baby’s an expert traveler or a novice, you’ll require essential items to bring when traveling with pets.

Here is a list of all the important things needed to make sure your pets are safe during the trip.

What to Bring for Your Pets during Trips

We’ve listed all the essential items to bring when traveling with pets. We’ve also segregated them into categories to make it easier to determine the items to take with you.

Before sharing the essentials for your cats and dogs, let’s see the general items needed when traveling with your pets.

Updated Vaccination Records

One of the essential items to bring when traveling with pets is their updated vaccination records. You can bring a copy of this and a health certificate from your vet. It’s to show that they can and are safe for travel.

You should also search for vets located in your destination area. Keep this information in hand just in case of an emergency.

Pet Passports

Pet passports sound adorable, but they’re not exactly what you think. They don’t come with your dog or cat’s mugshots and paw prints as their signature.

Pet passports are certifications from your vet, stating that your pet is healthy and has current vaccinations as well. To carry their documents, you can purchase passport-like journals for easier handling.

Do note that these types of passports aren’t that necessary for interstate traveling. But if you’re traveling to a different country with your pets, it’s a smart idea to have one.

In fact, these passports may be required by the law, just like with the European Union.

The government of other countries would care about pets entering their area. They wouldn’t be pleased if a pet had a case of distemper or rabies that may spread, causing an outbreak.

Note that different countries have a variety of rules and regulations when it comes to pet quarantines and vaccinations.

It’s best to research your destination’s pet import rules and regulations to be safe.

Additional Protection and Identification

Protect your pets and keep them from running away by letting them wear a leash and collar. Of course, having an extra collar/harness and leash is among the essential items to bring when traveling with pets.

It’s best to include ID tags to the mix since these contain information about your pet. These contain your contact details and other updated information that’s necessary in case they get lost.

Travel Dispensers

Just like you, your pets need access to fresh, clean water during long trips. It’s also vital to know that having water is essential to maintain your pet’s health while traveling.

To prevent instances of dehydration, your cats and dogs should have fresh water readily available. How much would they require for the trip? As much water as they consume when they’re at home.

Now that’s settled, you’re probably thinking about how to meet their needs without making a mess in the vehicle. If you’re driving and hit a bumpy road, expect water splashing around and the bowl flipping over.

To avoid issues such as these, utilize a pet travel water dispenser. They’re mainly designed to prevent spills while staying in place.

Some versions of these only dispense a shallow amount of water at once. These collapsible travel bowls are made from thick material and have square-shaped bases to prevent tipping.

If you’re interested in these types of travel bowls, you can easily find them in many pet stores.

For keeping pet kibbles, you can use fabric travel bowls. If you plan to purchase one, make sure that the fabric utilized is safe for your pets.

The Favorites

Included in the list of essential items to bring when traveling with pets are their favorite treats. Not only that, but it’s smart to bring a day’s worth of their usual food. This is in case your checked bags do not make it.

When you’re stuck in a vehicle for some hours, you’ll most likely end up getting restless. That’s the same for your pets.

Once they get used to the vehicle’s movement, some cats and dogs will nod off to nap. But unless they’re given sedatives, they’ll have too much energy from being confined in a small space. Or, they need some of your attention.

The best way to kill two birds with one stone is by bringing their favorite toys.

Pet entertainment doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Just give your pets their favorite pillow or chew toy from home, and it’ll work magically to distract them.

These items have that familiar scent on them; thus, they will keep your fur babies calm. If they have a favorite stuffed toy or a snuggle blanket, put it inside their carrier or crate.

Portable playsets will do too, and these can rid of excess energy from hyper dogs. These playsets are often mini obstacle courses that encourage running and jumping. It’s an ideal way to have pets release their energy to relax once they continue the trip.

You can also bring a ball or stick to fetch since these types of playtime can tucker out your pooch.

Grooming Supplies

Grooming supplies are essential items to bring for your pets when on trips. Pack these accordingly depending on your cat or dog’s brushing or coat requirements and the activities they’ll engage in.

A pack of wet wipes and their regular grooming brush would suffice to keep them looking their best. For long-haired pets, it’s a way to keep their coat smooth and tangle-free.

First-Aid Kit

The last thing you want to happen to your pet is for them to get sick or injured during trips. But as everyone knows, things can go wrong sometimes, so it’s always best to be prepared.

If you’re traveling via car, you likely have a first-aid kit that’s suitable to address human injuries. When traveling with your fur babies, you will need to have one ready for their needs too.

You can purchase these first aid kits that are premade in stores. Or you can pack your own from the available items that you have for your pets.

Pet Microchips

Technically, microchips aren’t essential items to bring when traveling with pets since these can’t be packed. However, you’ll need these, especially when your pet (hopefully not) suddenly runs off and gets lost during your trip.

When you have your pets microchipped, you can relax somehow since you can readily track down your fur baby.

Data inside these chips contain an ID number, which often features nine digits if they’re coming from the US. For the European Union, their microchips often have 15 digits in total.

The microchips work off from RFIDs or Radio Frequency Identification technology. The varying number of digits present on the ID numbers will note different radio frequencies.

When pets get lost, we always hope that they end up in an animal shelter or any safe place. If they do end up in a shelter, the personnel can scan the chip for the ID information. Once done, they’ll find ways to contact the owner to return the lost pet.

Seatbelt Harness

Every state has its automobile seat belt rules and regulations. About half of the states will give drivers tickets solely because of not wearing their seat belts. The other half can find drivers for this issue only when they’re pulled over for traffic violations.

But no matter what state you’re traveling to, it’s always best to be safe and wear your seatbelts, passengers included.

If those passengers are your pets, treat them with the same care as you would with other family members.

ID Tags

Having ID tags is one of the fundamental basics and essential items to bring when traveling with pets.

Ensure that your cats and dogs are always wearing their collar with a tag on it. It doesn’t matter where they go, they should always be with it.

Pet tags and collars are also vital during travel. It is where you can put updated information about them and their pet parent – meaning you. Other than an ID tag, it’s best to have rabies and travel tag with your details.

The Essential Items to Bring When Traveling with Pets – Dogs

Poop Bags

When traveling with your pup, you’ll need lots of poop bags. The worst experience is having to scoop up after your dog with a coffee cup on the side of the road.

Cats need these too if you plan to walk them during the trip.

Supplements for Anxiety

Does your pet get anxious, especially when around new people? Do they get restless in places or when they stay cooped up for long?

One of the best ways to keep them from getting more anxious is by cuddling and reassuring your dogs. However, sometimes you need a bit more help to alleviate their stress.

With that, an essential item to bring when traveling with pets is some full-spectrum CBD oil. It can help relieve your pet’s anxiety during lengthy rides or when they feel nervous in unfamiliar places.

If you’re traveling to a different country, make sure that it’s allowed to bring such types of supplements with you.


If your pooch is a messy little brat, then you’re not alone. Dogs are known for having an innate talent for getting immensely dirty. When you’re traveling with them away from home, keeping them clean can be a bit of a challenge.

With that, the essential items to bring when traveling with pets, specifically your dogs, are towels. Having a couple of towels are useful if your pup enjoys getting muddy or wet.

These can help keep them clean or dry, especially when they suddenly get wet and dirty during the trip.

The Essential Items to Bring When Traveling with Pets – Cats

Portable Litter Box

Nothing’s more unpleasant than having to go to the bathroom while driving down a long stretch of highway. Imagine how your pets may feel during lengthy trips while cooped up in their little carrier.

If you’re with a dog, you can monitor his/her behavior and pull off for regular stopovers. With cats, things are a little more complicated.

Only a few pet parents allow their felines to hop out of the car to relieve themselves. That’s because there’s a big chance for them to scurry off.


One of the essential items to bring when traveling with pets is their scratchers. It may be a bit excessive to bring these, but cats need to sharpen their claws even during trips.

It’s one way for them to relieve their stress. Plus, it’s also much better if they scratch on scratchers than on your car seat or expensive furniture in hotels.

If the scratch post is too big and impossible to bring, disposable corrugated cardboard scratchers are another option.

Feline Pheromone

Utilizing a spray or feline pheromone mimic collar can help your cat relax on the trip. Hence, these are essential items to bring when traveling with pets.

Cats naturally release these when they rub against something. When they return to that same familiar spot, it’ll be comforting and relaxing to them.

You can utilize the pheromone spray on your cat’s beddings in their carrier. Or, you can try feline pheromone mimic collars, which creates a relaxing and calming atmosphere for cats.

Other Preparations

Aside from packing essential items to bring when traveling with pets, you need to prepare a couple of things first.

First, you need to inquire with your vet to see if your pet’s healthy enough to travel. It’s also best to stay up-to-date on all their vaccinations.

Additionally, you need a lot of patience while preparing. It’s something you can’t pack, but it’s worth mentioning.

When traveling, your pet won’t know what’s happening, nor do they know why they’re going. Also, your pets likely won’t be used to going on hours without going outside or stretching their legs.

If they get anxious and start getting restless, it may result in unwanted accidents. If you’re with a dog, they may tend to start barking more than usual.

During these times, it’s best to be patient with your pet. Also, be patient with yourself, as well as the process of bringing your pet along for a ride.

With the right and essential items to bring when traveling with pets, get ready for a fun adventure. You and your pets will surely be in for a treat.