The holidays are overwhelming. Visiting family, buying gifts, car rides (or planes and trains!), preparing food for parties, and decorating can all be incredibly time consuming. Including our pets in all of that can be quite a challenge, but worth it to have them by your side.
When planning for the holidays, having a plan can help reduce some of your stress and keep you from missing a key detail (ever travel somewhere and realize you forgot poop bags? That’s what we mean!).
In helping you plan for the chaos of the holiday season, we’re going to give you 5 must-haves in your dog’s travel bag that you can pack ahead of time.
1. Food & Water
“Of course I’m not going to forget their food!” you say now, with no boxes and desserts in hand and family rushing out the door. But when it comes time to it, making sure your dog has the essentials can save you a trip to the grocery store or boiling chicken and rice for dinner. That’s why our number one essential in your dog’s travel bag is food. Portion out what your dog needs in advance and put in containers to make mealtime easy, especially if your family needs to take over for breakfast one day while you run out on an errand. You should portion out a couple baggies of food too while you’re traveling in case of any delays.
It might be a good idea, even if your dog normally eats kibble plain, to bring along a mix-in. Sometimes the stress of travel—or secondhand stress from watching your head spin—can cause them to be a little more picky. You already know HOLI was founded on the basis of a picky eater, so bringing along one of our protein packs may help your dog keep up on eating. The last thing you need while traveling is your dog throwing up because of an empty belly!
For travel, we love our protein packs, because you can switch up the flavors to entice them, and it’s incredibly easy to pack in advance. Canned food is bulky and heavy. Our protein packs are quick and easy, and super lightweight.
Water is listed too, and while we figure your family has water in their home for them to drink, it can’t hurt to pack a doggie water bottle, and you could even consider a mix-in electrolyte like Petralyte to keep them hydrated and feeling their best. A collapsible water bowl is a must during a long ride!
Treats are always a necessity when traveling. It helps with desensitizing your dog to an unfamiliar place and with greeting people. Apart from your go-bag, make sure you are setting boundaries with family and friends to ensure your dog doesn’t get too many treats which could make them sick. A treat that we highly recommend are our CBD meatballs. For anxiety purposes, it is thought that CBD helps regulate serotonin, which helps the body to feel happy and relaxed. It is most beneficial over a period of time for dogs with chronic anxiety, but effects can be seen between around five minutes to a half an hour for both chronic and situational anxiety. Many people use CBD for their dogs (and themselves!) because it has fewer side effects than anti-anxiety medications. During travel, there are so many changes and routine swaps. Our CBD treats can help to just take a little bit of that anxiety out of the equation to make your dog feel safe and chill.
3. Chews & Enrichment Activities
Bringing along chews like bully sticks, tracheas, or marrow bones will keep your dog busy while you’re getting yourself settled or while in the car. Chewing and licking are soothing activities for dogs and can reduce stress in new situations. Puzzles or lick mats encourage your dog to work, and will give them a task to complete. If your dog is getting too excited or anxious, a puzzle can be a great tool to use to calm them down. Mental exercise is important!
4. Familiar Item From Home
Travel and new places may be exciting for your dog, but when it comes to settling in for the night, your dog may be a little out of sorts. Packing a familiar blanket or bed is a reminder that they are safe and helps them to feel at home.
5. Cleaning Supplies
The last thing you need when visiting grandma’s sparkling clean house is your dog jumping up on the couch with muddy paws. Bringing some extra cleaning supplies will save you from trouble. We recommend packing a pet-specific spray in case of an accident or tummy ache. Bring along wipes to wipe paws or clean up any messes. Poop bags, of course, are a must, but packing a couple small trash bags and some hand sanitizer will help if your dog gets carsick. A lint roller is a nice touch if your family isn’t used to dog hair, and just to get rid of some of that fur from your expensive pea coat. Pee pads are a good idea if your dog is pad trained and you have a long ride, or if they may be prone to an accident in a new place.