For an overnight or weekend trip, you want to pack your dog’s essentials without lugging along more than you’ll need. Deciding what should stay and what should go is a delicate balance. But most dogs really only require a few necessities. Here’s a list of things to pack for your dog if you’re taking an overnight or weekend trip together.

Smiling tan pug dog sitting beside a small brown suitcase with palm trees in the background

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What To Pack For Your Dog

The Right Bag

Starting with the right bag makes every trip easier. Look for something that is big enough to organize everything you need for a quick trip, so your hands are free for dog wrangling!

Sleepypod’s Go Bag checks all our boxes. Built for pet travel, this versatile bag is so beautiful and convenient you’ll want one to pack for yourself! The strap is comfortable for over-the-shoulder or cross-body carrying, and the stream-lined style includes gusseted side pockets for water bottles or a cell phone. There’s a padded main compartment with a pocket for separating documents or cradling a tablet/computer.

An interior lanyard makes it easy to keep track of your keys, and a convenient exterior utility ring is perfect for hanging a leash, waste bag dispenser, or a flashlight. There’s an exterior zippered pocket for easy access, two mini packing cubes to keep small items organized, and an insulated food pouch, so cold items don’t sweat on everything else.

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Expert's Guide to Packing an Overnight Bag for Your Pet |

Walking Harnesses and Leashes

Dogs should always be buckled into their car harnesses while you’re driving. But once you arrive at your destination, walking harnesses are more comfortable for exploring.

To make every outing enjoyable, we love the Freedom No-Pull Harnesses from 2 Hounds Design. These harnesses give you the option of attaching the leash at the back or chest, which discourages dogs from pulling. They also look great and provide minimal coverage, so they’re not hot for your dog to wear.

Our favorite leash is Alcott’s Weekender, which can be adjusted from 3 to 5 feet in length. They also have a clasp in the handle that makes it easy to attach your dog to a chair at an outdoor café or a bench in the park.

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach |


Medical Records

In case of an emergency, it’s a good idea to have your pet’s medical records with you.

But toting a file around is a pain. Instead, scan the important medical documents to a USB drive that’s easy to pack. The only paper document you should pack for your dog is his vaccination certificate.

Treat Pouch and Extra Treats

Taking your pet new places is a great training opportunity!

Whether it’s an off-leash trail where you can work on your pup’s recall, or a pet friendly mall where he can practice polite greetings, it’s always a good idea to wear a treat pouch and keep your dog’s favorite rewards handy.

Use healthy treats, like Freeze Dried Salmon from Ageless Paws, and your pup will be delighted, and you won’t have to worry about feeing him “junk food.”

Happy Ty

Cleaning Supplies

Dogs are messy – there is no getting around it – so it’s best to be prepared to clean up after them.

Include a roll of paper towels, wet wipes, a lint roller, and a small spray bottle of carpet cleaner in  your dog’s gear.

Entertaining Toys

When you’re ready to relax, it’s nice to have some quiet toys to keep your dog entertained.

For that, there’s nothing better than Hear Doggy! These plush toys have squeakers that dogs can hear, but people can’t. They’re perfect for staying with friends or in a hotel.

If your dog likes to chew, consider packing a Toppl toy and bully sticks to hold his attention. Running the bully stick through the holes in the Toppl makes it extra challenging!

READ MORE ⇒  Tips To Keep Your Dog From Barking In a Hotel Room

Hear Doggy - Toys for Traveling Pets

Toppl from West Paw


Medications and Supplements

Always pack enough of your dogs medication and supplements for the length of your trip, plus a day or two.

You never know when something unexpected with extend the length of your trip. Pack extra medication for your dog, and you won’t have to panic.

Food and Bowls

Traveling is especially easy when your furry family members eat The Honest Kitchen pet food

This natural, human-grade diet is gently dehydrated, so it’s light and doesn’t take up much space. Measure your dog’s meals into individual plastic storage bags, then just pour it in the bowl and add hot water when it’s time for breakfast or dinner.

Or mix up the good, fill the Toppl toy, and freeze it overnight. It makes a great snack that will keep your pup busy in the car!

Ty and Buster Eating The Honest Kitchen Dog Food |

Gear for Grooming

Grooming your pup will help keep your accommodations neat and clean.

Be sure to pack your dog’s brush and any other items you regularly use for grooming.

Waste Bags

Picking up after our dogs is the duty of all responsible dog owners.

When you pack for your dog, include plenty of waste bags. And then grab an extra roll – just in case!


It’s important to make sure your pet has a comfortable place to sleep when you’re away from home.

Some dogs want their own bed. Other dogs prefer the sofa or want to sleep with you. If that’s your pup, pack a sheet or blanket to cover any furniture he might use to make himself at home.

Dogs - Ty and Buster at Hotel Salomar - San Diego, CA


We hope these tips help make packing for your dog for an overnight or weekend trip easier! If you’ll be traveling longer and would like a more extensive list of things to pack for your dog, check out these pet travel tips.


Gear Used in This Post:
(Affiliate Links)

Sleepypod GoBag

Sleepypod Clickit Car Safety Harness

Freedom No-Pull Harness

Alcott Weekender Leash

Alcott Martingale Collar

Treat Pouch

Freeze Dried Salmon Treats for Dogs and Cats

Hear Doggy or Toppl toys and Bully Sticks

Honest Kitchen Pet Food

ZOOPOLR Pet Shampoo Brush

Waste Bags

Bowsers Microvelvet Donut Dog Bed


See all the gear we use to make traveling with our pets easier, safer, and more fun!

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