Who’s ready to hit the road?! If you’re taking an overnight or weekend trip with your pup, here’s a list of things to pack for your dog.

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

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For an overnight or weekend trip, you want to pack your dog’s essentials without lugging along more than you’ll need. But deciding what should stay and what should go is a delicate balance. Below is a list of things to pack for your dog if you’re taking an overnight or weekend trip together.

Whether you’re going around the block or across the country, there are some items that should always have along when you’re traveling with your pet. And keeping these things in your car means there’s less to pack for your getaway!

READ MORE ⇒  Pet Travel Essentials That Should Always Be In Your Car

What To Pack For Your Dog

The Right Bag

Starting with the right bag makes every trip easier. Look for one that is big enough to organize all your dog’s things, so your hands are free for your bag and his leash!

Ruffwear pet duffle bag and Sleepypod Go Bag

We actually have two favorite bags. For shorter trips, 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 there are plenty of pockets and compartments for organizing your dog’s gear.

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

When we need more space, we opt for Ruffwear’s Haul Bag. It’s wide opening makes it easy to load, unload, and access the contents. And it has plenty of interior and exterior pockets to keep everything organized. Best of all, it holds A LOT of stuff!

Ruffwear Haul Bag with gear to pack for your dog

Walking Harnesses and Leashes

Dogs should always be buckled into their car harnesses or secured carrier 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.

Happy brindle dog in a red bandana at White Sands National Park, NM

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, be prepared to reward him for good behavior. A treat pouch keeps your dog’s rewards handy and your pockets free of crumbs.

Healthy treats like freeze dried salmon will delight your pup — and you don’t have to worry about feeing him “junk food.”

READ MORE ⇒  Training Your Dog To Travel

Happy Ty

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 into a collapsible travel bowl and add hot water when it’s time to eat. Don’t forget to pack a spoon!

To keep energetic pups busy, mix up the food and stuff it into a Tux toy, then freeze it overnight. It makes a healthy snack that will keep your dog busy in the car!

Three West Paw Zygoflex dog toys stuffed with Honest Kitchen dog food and ready for the freezer

Medications and Supplements

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

You never know when something unexpected will extend the length of your trip. Having extra medication along for your dog means you won’t have to panic.

If you’re traveling to a place where insects could be a problem, pack a natural flea, tick, and mosquito repellant to protect your dog.

Medical Records

In case of an injury or unexpected illness, 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.

READ MORE ⇒  What You Should Know About Emergency Vets Before You Need One

Black German Shepherd smiling in a cone collar


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. Others 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 when making himself at home.

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

Entertaining Toys

When you’re ready to relax, it’s a good idea to have some quiet toys to keep your dog entertained. 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!

Toppl from West Paw

And if your dog has a special stuffie he loves to cuddle, be sure to include it in his gear.

Brindle dog cuddling a stuffed grey puppy

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. Also include a towel you can use to dry your dog in case of rain.

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. It also doesn’t hurt to also throw in a small flashlight for that last walk before bedtime.

We hope you found this list of things to pack for your dog helpful! Being prepared with the things your dog will need for an overnight or weekend getaway will make your trip more fun and relaxing.

Gear Used in This Post:
(Affiliate Links)

Sleepypod Go Bag

Ruffwear Haul Bag

Sleepypod Clickit Car Safety Harness

Sleepypod Mini Mobile Pet Bed

Freedom No-Pull Harness

Alcott Weekender Leash

Dog Treat Pouch

Freeze Dried Salmon Treats for Dogs and Cats

Honest Kitchen Pet Food

Collapsible Travel Bowls

West Paw Tux Toys

Natural Flea, Tick and Mosquito Repellant for Dogs and Cats

Calming Donut Dog and Cat Bed

Toppl toys and Bully Sticks

Waste Bags

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  • Good reminders for what your pet will need.

    Last weekend we stayed in a dog friendly hotel and bringing the following items made the trip more enjoyable and stress free.
    I just purchased a collapsable dog carrier that has mesh windows and a top that can unzip so that it is more open. It is so much more convenient and easier than bringing her plastic carrier cage. No issues that occurred, but she is not a chewer.
    I also bring her dog bed that she is used to sleeping on in her carrier. It includes a washable pee pad (she never pees in her bed, but it keeps her bed clean) and a bedsheet that can be used if I need to spread it out.
    I bring her dog food and dog treats. Her food and water bowl, a towel to set them on. A roll of paper towels and Lysol for easy clean up if necessary. Two of her favorite babies and a toy to play. I also bring a small blanket incase she wants to get on the bed. Also, I bring her dog leash, slip collar, and harness.
    I also bring a few disposable pee pad for accidents and extra dog bags.

  • Thanks for this, Amy! I found products I never knew about, and you reminded me of things I might have forgotten. :). love seeing photos of Buster and Ty!

    • Thanks for your note, Betsy! It’s always nice to hear that our posts are helpful. =)

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