Skip to Content

Travel with a Dog Gear Guide

When you’re traveling with a dog, you always should take time to plan ahead. Just like with humans, planning ensures a comfortable journey for both you and your pup. What you need to bring really depends on the length of your trip and for this article, we are assuming a trip length of a weekend or greater.

Our trip planning routine always makes sure we have our basics covered: food/water, sleeping, play, and comfort. What you actually may bring will vary depending on the age of your dog and any special circumstances. For example, if your dog needs special food or supplements, then you’ll want to bring those along.

Table of Contents

  1. Food and Water
  2. Sleeping
  3. Play
  4. Comfort
Keeping Your Dog Hydrated on Outdoor Adventures | Long Haul Trekkers

Food and Water:

Dog Food

  • It seems obvious, but don’t forget to pack your dog’s food. We’ve almost made this mistake countless times and unless it’s on our list, we’re going to forget.

Dog Food Storage

  • Make sure you’ve got something to actually transport your dog food. We’ve used ziplock bags before, however, Sora is keen to going full honey badger and tearing into the bags for some knackered snacking. We’ve switched to a stuff sack reusable style bag that ensures Sora and any other critters can’t chew through.
  • Recommendations: We’ve used the Ruffwear – Kibble Kaddie Portable Dog Food Carrier and the Kurgo Kibble Carrier as food storage devices. Both have served us well.

Dog Food / Water Bowl

  • Having a clean place for your dog to eat keeps them clean and happy. Regular scooping cups can work as needed, but we’ve found Sora likes to chew those up after consuming her meal. A quick switch to a silicone or sack style collapsible bowl works perfectly. They can fold up, weigh very little, and best of all are completely reusable as a water bowl.
  • We also like using a bowl that doesn’t splash water when traveling in a car or mode that is bouncy.
  • Recommendations: In the past we’ve used bowls from a variety of brands. We recommend a silicon bowl over a fabric based one as the waterproofing of the fabric can wear down over time and you’ll eventually have a leaky bowl. We’ve landed with Dexas Travel Pet Cup with Carabiner the as it’s easily cleanable, durable, and packs small. For no-splash we use the Kurgo Splash-Free Wander Dog Water Bowl.

Food Supplements (as needed)

Gear Review: Kurgo Loft Wander Dog Bed. This travel dog bed is an essential part of our camping dog gear. | Long Haul Trekkers



  • If you read our blog, you know we always talk about bringing Sora’s bed is a must have when traveling. It keeps her warm, makes her feel comfortable, and gives her a little extra padding on her elderly joints.
  • Recommendations: We use several different types of beds depending on the trip. For backpacking we like the Ruffwear Highlands Bed, in the trailer and flying we prefer the Kurgo Loft Wander Travel Dog Bed.

To see more about what we think of the Wander Loft Bed, check out our review.

Small Towel / Paw Cleaner

  • Dogs have paws and paws get dirty. And dirt doesn’t belong in the bedroom. We often will wipe Sora’s paws clean when she is coming inside for the night. This works particularly well when it’s raining or if she’s been playing in mud.
  • Recommendations: Any hand towel will work just fine. We recently got our hands on the Dexas MudBuster Portlable Dog Paw Cleaner and it’s come in pretty handy too. It’s a step up from just drying the paws as it has bristles and uses water to gently scrub the paws. It took a little coaxing at first to get Sora use to using the device, but it works rather well.
Sora playing in the snow along the McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway


  • When traveling with your dog, the most important piece of gear is the leash. Sure, it serves a basic purpose, but having one that you like and fits comfortably with your hands can make all the difference. We travel with a few leashes and use them depending on the situation. We have a standard 6 footer for regular walking, a short bungee style for running, and occasionally we travel with an extended distance bungee. Each one comes in handy depending on the situation.
  • Recommendations: There are so many leashes on the market it’s hard to recommend just one. Our favorites include Ruffwear – Slackline Adjustable Length (6ft) as it’s very lightweight, reflective, and has the crab claw style end piece. For running we use the K9 Excursion Running Belt with a Kurgo Spring Back Leash. When in Europe we traveled with the Ruffwear Ridgeline Leash as it was great for tying Sora to trees when setting up camp. Lastly, we started using the Rad Dog Release N Run Dog Leash + Collar combo when in the woods without any risk of other dogs. It’s a nifty design as the leash retracts into the collar so your dog can run around free and you don’t have to carry a leash. Simply pull the cable when you need to grab your dog.

Learn everything you need to at the Ultimate Guide to Running with a Dog.


  • Collars are very straightforward and since the dog wears them 24/7, it’s important they’re comfortable for your pup. We prefer ones that are easy to clean as Sora loves to get muddy, and have additional usage, like a bottle opener!
  • Recommendations: We use the Kurgo Muck Collar as it has a bottle opener on it and it’s 100% waterproof which is easy to clean and PVC-free. When traveling in locations where Sora will be off leash at night, we prefer a light up collar. Though we have not tried this version, the LED Dog Collar, USB Rechargeable looks pretty awesome and handy when walking Sora in the rain or in the night time where cars are present.


  • It’s no secret that active breed dogs get bored really fast. If we don’t keep Sora’s brain active, she starts to get destructive or acts out. We always carry a generic toy like a tennis ball or stuffed animal (bought a Goodwill) and a brain game toy. Whenever she’s showing signs of too much energy, we will bust out a toy for playtime. This stimulation usually helps ease her mind.
  • Recommendations: Any toy your dog likes will work. For the brain games, we like the Ruffwear – Gnawt-a-Rock Durable Dog Toy, as it forces Sora to use her brain to figure out how to get the food out.
5 Things to Do in Salento, Colombia | Long Haul Trekkers



  • Sora sheds enough hair that when we brush her it looks like a squirrel exploded. We regularly try avoid having clumps of fur taking refuge in the corners of our tent and house. This means brushing Sora once a week or at least every other week. To be good guests, we try to brush Sora in advance so as no minimize the donations of fur.
  • Recommendations: We only use one brush and we’ve had it for 10 years, the FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs.


Nail Clippers

  • Like a tooth brush, we trim Sora’s nails while traveling. It prevents floors from being scratched, people being clawed, and keeps Sora more comfortable. We try to use one that’s small and compact and designed for cutting dog nails as they’re stronger than human nails. So, no toe nail clippers.
  • RecommendationsBoshel Dog Nail Clippers are highly rated on Amazon for a reason. They make cutting nails easy, assuming your dog lets you!


We occasionally will travel with additional items depending on the season like a Ruffwear Swamp Vest when it’s really hot, or the Rex Specs Dog Goggles when the sun is going to be strong, or a Kurgo Surf N Turf Life Jacket if we’re going to be swimming.

That’s everything in our travel with a dog gear guide. Are there any other products you use to when traveling with your dog? Please share in the comments below.


Traveling with your dog? Check our guide before you go to make sure you have all the dog gear you need.
Want to travel with your dog? Check out our travel with a dog gear guide.


Sunday 19th of July 2020

Hi, I was wondering do you have any recommendations for dog carrier backpacks? Like G-Train or K9 ones? I'm getting an Aussie Shepherd and want to take him out for hikes and bike rides, but I'm worries that while it's small it may get tired quickly or cannot climb easily to some places, so I was thinking if getting a dog carrier backpack would be a good idea.

Jen Sotolongo

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

I've honestly never used a backpack for my dogs before, which is silly, because it prevented me from going on longer hikes. I've heard great things about the G-Train and I have also seen friends just use their own backpack!

Ana @ HappyJRT

Friday 1st of March 2019

Great article!

I’d just like to add that you should always have a dog first aid kit with some basic items (tick remover, bandages, etc.) and ointments (antiseptic, etc.) at hand, just in case.


Friday 15th of December 2017

Thanks for valuable information and sharing with us keep it up


Tuesday 14th of November 2017

Great list. Our dog travel adventures take place on a sailboat so the one thing I'd add to your list is our no-spill water bowl that allows us to keep fresh water for Honey in the cockpit even when heeling or in bouncing seas.


Tuesday 28th of November 2017

Great addition! We also have a no-spill water bowl that we keep in the car. What brand do you use?


Tuesday 14th of November 2017

To bad you cannot name the products you like.


Thursday 16th of November 2017

We had an issue with links not showing up, but they do now.