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10 Dog Travel Essentials 🐶 | Top Gear for Outdoor Adventures

Updated: Mar 30

If you know me, then you know Pico. He's my forever adventure partner and best friend. As I'm writing this, he's napping in his dog bed next to my desk and we're celebrating five years together!

Outdoor adventures are one of my favorite ways to spend time with Pico and let him burn off energy. I always try to make his trips as safe and comfortable as possible. He's what I like to call an "anxious adventurer." He loves being with me and coming on all the trips, but he doesn't love car rides and is easily spooked -- even his own shadow will scare him haha!

This list contains some of my favorite dog mom picks for keeping Pico happy while traveling.

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Table of Contents

I've owned my fair share of the plastic collapsible dog bowls over the past five years, but these foldable fabric bowls are by far my preference. Pico used to chew up the plastic ones when he was done with his meals. Maybe he thought they were mini frisbees.

These fabric bowls hold more and collapse down smaller than the plastic type. I love that his entire meal fits in one bowl and they can be smushed down to fit anywhere, rather than folding down into a flat disc.

The carabiner makes these perfect for keeping on the outside of your pack and ready to use whenever you stop for a water break. I use these bowls both for water and food. They're super easy to rinse out and clean.

Investing in a car hammock has been great for Pico and for the cleanliness of my Prius' backseats. Pico tends to get carsick, especially on longer drives or winding roads. At least one puke situation has been contained from getting on my seats by using this!

I love how easy it is to set this hammock up and store it when it's no longer needed. It keeps all the hair and drool off my fabric seats and can be thrown in the laundry between trips.

This hammock also makes Pico feel more secure in the back since he's in a contained space, but can still see to the front and watch me drive.

I got this light up collar for camping trips with Pico. When we're in an isolated area, I like to let him off leash to explore on his own. This collar makes it super easy to keep track of where he is.

Funny enough, I'm pretty sure Pico is scared of the dark! Once the sun goes down, he'll get jumpy and start barking or whining. Once he's geared up with this light, he calms down immediately. The confidence boost this collar gives me and Pico is well worth the small cost.

When Pico and I visit campgrounds where I don't feel comfortable letting him off leash (like when there are other dogs nearby), I'll set him up on this long leash. This gives him the ability to wander around and explore without me needing to hold onto his leash.

Since the leash is made of a covered metal cable, I don't have to worry about him chewing through it and running off. He's a bit of an escape artist.

Something to keep in mind is that he does get tangled around trees/rocks/bushes, so I do check periodically to untangle him and make sure he can still roam free-ish :)

This poop bag holder is a game-changer. I use this on a daily basis, but it comes in extra handy on trips. What sold me on this one is that it holds two full rolls!

If you're a newer dog owner (or even if you're not), you WILL forget to replace an empty roll from time to time. I lost track of the number of times I did this and would need to run home to get a back and go find his poo again lol!

Having two rolls gives you way more time to remember to replace that empty one before running out completely.

I will also always go for the fabric roll holders because it's so much easier to rip off a bag when you can squeeze the roll to hold it in place.

Lastly, I love that this holder sits flush against the least instead of dangling down. A perfect addition to your dog mom or dad kit.

Although I haven't needed to use it yet (knock on wood), I never travel without a dog first aid kit. It contains all the basic materials you'll need for minor injuries on trail or around camp. It even has a pamphlet that instructs you on how to use everything it contains and basic emergency procedures.

I let Pico carry this around himself -- more on that in a sec!

In addition to Pico's monthly flea and tick prevention, I use a spray repellent anytime we're headed outdoors. He loves to wander through tall grass and I'd much rather take preventative measures than need to pluck any pesky pests off of him later.

These sprays contain natural repellents in the form of dog-safe essential oils. An extra perk is that Pico smells nice during our adventures.

Once we're home from any trip, he gets a good bath to wash off the repellent and any dirt and dust.

Pico suffers from a case of "bred to be a working dog, but living a domestic life." Since he's a cattle dog, he craves tasks and jobs to do!

At first I felt a little bad making Pico carry his own supplies, but it quickly became apparent that he loved it! This fun turquoise backpack has come to symbolize longer treks and adventures for him.

Look how happy he looks exploring Diablo Lake in Washington! Precious boy.

In his backpack I stash his food and treats, his first aid kit, foldable bowl, and an extra roll of poop bags.

Remember to try keeping the two halves roughly equal in weight. Once Pico works his way through his packed meals, I'll make sure to redistribute everything that's left so his pack stays equally weighted on his left and right.

This is a fun extra for traveling somewhere that we'll have a big open space to play fetch. I used to practically throw out my shoulder trying to get balls far enough to satisfy Pico, but this Chuckit is a life-saver.

There's definitely a small learning curve to using one of these, but then it's incredibly easy to launch the included balls a super long distance. Regular tennis balls can also be used with this device!

More than a couple times Pico has gotten sick over these years we've spent together. During those times, I've been grateful to have pet insurance for him. I've been with Healthy Paws since I adopted Pico and they've come in handy to minimize those expensive vet visits!

Since moving to Los Angeles, Pico has developed allergy symptoms to something in the environment here. Fortunately, allergies are covered by his insurance. After reaching our annual deductible, his expensive allergy shots are almost entirely covered by Healthy Paws.

Pico's sensitive stomach has also led to many vet visits over the years and I've saved hundreds by submitting those costs to our insurance.

More importantly than all that, having insurance gives us peace of mind. Especially when we're traveling, I don't want to worry about finding the money to cover any unexpected medical emergencies. We can travel worry-free knowing that he's protected.

If you do sign up to Healthy Paws through my referral link, they will donate $25 on your behalf to help homeless pets. It's a win-win-win!

Traveling with your furry friend is one of the most rewarding experiences. Not only do you get to have a companion for your trips, but they get to see more of the world by your side. It's such a fun bonding experience and I know I feel safer on my solo trips with Pico by my side!

If you have any questions about traveling with a dog, feel free to reach out to me here or on Instagram. I wish you and your doggy friends safe travels and happy trails (and tails).

Happy adventuring,


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