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 10 day break, that’s 20 poo bags (breakfast and dinner), which means that they can be used conventionally after the food has been eaten. 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 so we don’t get them mixed up. You could also use different coloured poo bags if you have more than one dog. We then take a couple of wet trays with us, such as the Forthglade complete meals, 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. Like most dog owners, we’ve got poo bags stuffed in coat pockets, at the bottom of bags and even in the glovebox, but I love to keep a roll of the Adios bags on me in my dog walking bag.
Collars, nametags and PitPats
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, not to mention a legal requirement. Be sure to 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.
Attached to Phoebe and Frank’s collars is their PitPats, which are their activity monitors. Holidays are one of the best times to use these to see just how much fun they’re havong!
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.
A must have, but I might have gone overboard and taken five different varieties with me… We’ve got some to keep in the car, some for in the caravan, and some in my bag for out and about and on the go. I’ve also packed a full bag of rabbit ears, as well as some chicken feet and pig snouts to keep them good if we end up having a day that’s too hot, or too wet for them.
We’re fortunate that our campsite offers dog friendly accommodation and comes with a kidney bed, but we take Phoebe and Frank’s beds for comfort. They tend to go on the back seat of the car so they can sit in them on the way down. If your dog sleeps in a crate, pack it flat at the bottom of the boot!
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.
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 – we managed to forget last year!
Medication/first aid kit
If your pooch is on any medication, be sure to make sure it’s clearly labelled and pack it somewhere safe. We take a small dog first aid kit with us, which is a must at the beach in case they nick themselves on a rockpool, as well as the Leucillin spray which combats a whole host of issues, from infections to allergies. We take the Broadreach Nature calming spray in the car to soothe the Scamps, because neither are overly keen on travelling. Last but not least, we take their Adaptil spray and tablets, which are both for travel sickness.
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 helps protect from harmful UV rays. I usually pop a bit on 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. I picked up these super handy paw wipes to keep in the car, and they’re a godsend. 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!
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.
We don’t take tonnes of toys with us on holiday usually, but we will take along a rope toy and these glow in the dark balls we picked up for Paddocks for Paws a few weeks back, which they seemed to like. We often take toys we don’t mind leaving there, so that if there’s not much room in the car on the way back, we can pop them in the free-cycle.
Dry shampoo and towels
Yep, doggy dry shampoo really is a thing – and it’s brilliant for holidays, particularly if you’re camping! We use the Herbal Dog Co one, which smells of rhubarb and rose. You just spritz it on wet or dry fur, then brush through or towel dry off. It also helps to remove dust and pollen! We also pack the dogs their own microfiber towel to try off at the beach, or if we’ve spritzed them with shampoo!
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.