In the 3.5 years I've had my trusty sidekick, Lulu, we've taken many a road/boat trip. Canberra, Sydney, Tasmania, South Australia and Regional Victoria. I can't imagine setting off anywhere without Lulu tagging along. I have a wedding to attend in Nov 2021 on the Central Coast, NSW and I'm already planning for Lulu to tag along with me - relax Kel, not to your ceremony or reception.... unless she's welcome of course??!!
I think I have the routine nearly down pat. Often I find myself spending more time packing for Lulu than I do for myself, just because I want the trip to be perfect for her. I often forget important things that I need because I focus too much on packing Lulu's essentials!
So we've prepared a check list that you can print out and work through to get your trips on the road. Also, below, are some general tips for the trip.....
BEFORE the trip, make sure you have a safe spot in the car for your pooch - restrained with harness / crate etc. Lulu sits, restrained, on the back seat so is in her travel harness which has a chest plate to spread any impact in the event of an incident in the car [even sudden braking]. Keep the space clear for them and secure or relocate any loose objects that may fall on them, say if the car suddenly swerves. You want them to enjoy these trips - not be terrified by UFO's.
DURING the trip, allow time for plenty of rest beaks. And never allow your bestie out of the car at an unfamiliar stop without being on a leash. If it is a particularly long drive, pre-plan a lunch / afternoon tea stop. Research dog friendly cafes etc. There is a great spot we stop at from Mellbourne on way to Canberra with big garden + plenty of space - The Sir George in Jugiong.
KNOW YOUR DOG. Do they get car sick? Make sure you have had a chat with your vet about remedies and/or medications. I know Lulu is unsettled after a big drive so I allow an extra day either side to allow her to get settled and back to her perky, little self.
FOOD / SUPPLEMENTS / TREATS. Lulu tells me this is essential. Try not to switch to a new food just for the trip. It turns out Lulu would eat Providore pet food every day of the year and not get bored of it. It is easy to pack for a trip and no mess. It also works well as a training treat FYI! If you need to, portion your food into containers to make sure you have enough.
You know your dog's diet and portions. I always pack a few dried roo or veal ribs etc for night time chewing [under supervision].
UP TO DATE worms/tick/flea treatments etc - talk to your vet about the best precautions and flea and tick medicine to take. If the area you are heading to is a bush setting, it is a good idea to make sure tick treatment is up to date unless you are comfortable removing ticks from your dog - I'm not.
RECORDS! Set up a cloud folder [one drive, google drive, dropbox etc] with a copy of your dog's registraion certificate, vaccination records/teiter testing results, prescriptions for medications etc - just on the off chance you need them for something. Also, I tend to research the location of the closest emergency vet and save the details in my phone, including the address. Lastly, make sure your dog's microchip info is up to date.
And now....... The List!
PREP + PACKING LIST:
[click HERE for a printable version]
⛣ Car restraint [harness + attachment or crate]. If you do nothing else, please ensure you restrain your pet while travelling.
⛣ Compostable poop bags
⛣ Food / Supplements / Treats
⛣ Water bottle (2lt) + portable water bowl
⛣ Blanket and/or towel... or if you're Lulu, several of each
⛣ A favourite toy or five
⛣ Embossed collar OR a name tag with your current contact details on it
⛣ Bedding. Also, will it be overly hot or cold? Pack a cooling mat / cooling aids [fans] or extra bedding for warmth.
⛣ Activity appropriate "outfits" - just like you would change clothes, your pooch should have comfortable, functional and appropriate activity based gear.
Hiking - pack some Activewear
Beach - again, grab your Activewear
Long lazy walks planned? Grab the Long Walks Leash
Life jacket - if you plan on swimming/boating/paddle boarding etc.
⛣ Dog specific sunscreen - any good pet store will sell dog-friendly brands. We like the Dr Zoo by Moo Goo, which I’ve also seen in some chemists with the Moo Goo range. FYI - most human sunscreen cannot be used on dogs because of the Zinc!
⛣ Doggy dry shampoo (we use Kiehl’s) + brush / comb and any other grooming supplies you may need [I don’t take these if we are just city hopping]
⛣ Pet First Aid Kit [you can grab one from RSPCA for $35]
⛣ Download a Pet First Aid App
⛣ Medication which your pooch may regularly take, for the duration of your trip, plus a little longer [or the script] - just in case. Plus, we always have an antihistamine on hand for any bites or allergies - under instruction from our vet. But also for me as it turns out i’m allergic to bee stings!
You shoud have everything you need for an amazing adventure.
What are you waiting for - hit the road!!
Min + Lulu are the creatives behind Lulu Loves. Based in Rosebud [VIC - The Lockdown State], they love a little road trip and often find Lulu packs more luggage than Min.