Heading on holiday but not sure what to pack for dogs? We love a UK trip to the south coast with our Scamps! But if there’s one thing I don’t like – it’s packing. I almost always forget something – whether it’s my deodorant or my socks. But hopefully, with this handy list, at least you won’t forget any of your dogs’ belongings.
From doggy suncream, to paw wipes and name tags, these are all the essentials you should pack for dogs when going on a break. And my poo bag hack is brilliant, in my opinion.
Here’s what we pack for Phoebe and Frank for a staycation:
The first thing to pack for dogs is their food. We measure out Phoebe and Frank’s food using their cups, and put each serving into a poo bag! For our nine day break, that’s 18 poo bags (breakfast and dinner), which means that they can be used conventionally after the food has been used. Frank has larger portions than Phoebe as he’s a bigger dog, so we put all of his food in one carrier bag, and Phoebe’s in another. We then take a couple of wet trays with us, such as the Lily’s Kitchen wet food, which the Scamps love.
Whilst we have an abundance of poo bags doubling up as sandwich boxes for the dogs’ dinner, we of course take extra. You wouldn’t want to be stuck on the beach without one. Our poo bags come free with Phoebe and Frank’s food delivery, and Oscar’s recently switched to bio-degradable bags that are more environmentally friendly.
Collars and nametag
We once took our previous dog, Lyla, to a caravan site and had a knock at the door from someone asking if we’d lost a dog. The little scamp had sneaked out stealing BBQ sausages from other campers and we’d not even noticed. Collars with ID tags including a mobile number are super important – and make sure your dogs’ microchips are up to date before you leave, too. Our favourite collars are the Doodlebone range which are super affordable whilst sturdy enough for bull breeds, and come in a range of gorgeous colours.
Lead and harness
Another pretty obvious one. We use a halti harness for the dogs in the car to keep them safe and secure. Then we use a dog seatbelt clip to secure them in. You can pick these up pretty cheap from most places. We have double-ended leads which can loop and make a short double leash, or be clipped at one end to make a longer one. If you’ve got a pup that likes to run across the beach, you can also get super longline (not retractable) leashes that will keep your dog safe.
We’re fortunate that our campsite offers dog friendly accommodation and comes with a kidney bed. This is Frank’s first year without a crate, so luckily we won’t have to pack that. But we are packing one of their beds – the bigger of the two – so they can share if they wish. To save space, we’ll be putting this on the back seat on top of the car seat cover so that they can lie in it whilst travelling.
Again, our accommodation comes with two metal dog bowls, so we tend to use one for water inside and one outside. We pack Phoebe and Frank’s bowls from home for their food – but this year, it’s the only thing we managed to forget – oops.
Collapsible bowl/water bottle
I love the Beco collapsible bowls for travelling. They pack away flat taking up next to no room in your bag. We pack a bottle of water in the car so they can have a drink when we stop at services. We fill this up and take it with us each day of the holiday and decant it into the bowl whenever the dogs fancy a drink. You can also get dog water bottles which cup the water for your dogs to drink, but I much prefer the Beco bowl. This one is a medium and the ideal size for a quick drink for bigger breeds.
Frank’s currently on a course of steroids and ear drops for an allergy. If your pooch is on any medication, be sure to make sure it’s clearly labelled and pack it somewhere safe.
I really worry about Phoebe’s skin, as she is such a sun worshipper. Frank prefers to find a shady spot or to lie on the cool lamainate flooring, but Phoebe claims the sun lounger as her own and there’s no chance she’s coming in out of the sun. Our Cornish holiday can sometimes see long days at the beach or sunny coastal walks. This Petkin doggy sunmist is an SPF15 that will keep my pooches protected from harmful UV rays. I mostly apply this to the tips of their ears, nose, paws and their bellies, where they have less fur.
And after a run around the beach, sandy paws and cars don’t mix too well. So I picked up these super handy paw wipes to keep in the car! We always wipe Phoebe and Frank’s paws when they come in from the garden, and these are great for it. The box contains 100 wipes, so should last us around a month using on average 2-3 wipes per day. The paw wipes are great for mucky paws, and contain a paw balm to moisturise their pads. They are said to be non-irritating, non-toxic and contain no alcohol. No more spreading sand or dirt throughout the car or caravan!
If I’m wearing my Sunday best, then so are the dogs! Phoebe and Frank are packing a mini wardrobe of bowties, bandanas and bowdangles from Wren and Rye. Their bowdangles match the colours of their collars, with complimentary coloured accessories. I love Frank’s leopard bow tie, and Phoebe will be rocking a watermelon and flamingo bandana.
Another thing to pack for dogs is treats! I’ve baked a batch of 150 peanut butter and banana biscuits to take in a sandwich box which can be used throughout the holiday. I’ll also be taking some store bought treats like Pooch and Mutt or Lily’s Kitchen to put in my day back for the beach. Whilst I’m stuffing my face with a Cornish pasty, I can scatter a few treats on the beach mat for them to snuffle and keep them good.
We are praying it doesn’t rain on our holiday, but there is always a chance! We’ll be packing the Scamps Doodlebone reversible puffer coats, but silently hoping we won’t need to get them, or the brolly, out of the car. It’s better to be prepared though – there’s nothing worse than a soggy doggy. We once took Lyla to Truro for the day and the un-forcast downpour saw her sitting in every shop door she could find in protest of the weather.
Phoebe and Frank aren’t big fans of the cool mat, but I’m packing it anyway. As previously mentioned, Frank likes to keep cool and I will always encourage him to lie on it when it’s a bit warm for him outside. And hey, if the dogs don’t use it, you’ll find me lay on the floor cooling off instead!
Toys we are taking away with us include a four foot rope toy. These are Phoebe’s favourite and they’re the longest lasting we’ve had. They’re only £3.99 from B&M and she entertains herself with them, and Frank occasionally joins in a game of tug-o-war. We’re also packing buffalo horns as a long-lasting chew which will keep them good whilst we barbeque our burgers, and chances are we’ll pick up some tennis balls whilst we are there, too.
And there we have it, everything you need to pack for dogs when going away! Enjoy your holiday and relax knowing you (probably) haven’t forgotten anything important.