Bodie has his own suitcase. I’d like to say it’s an old leather steamliner trunk with bronze paw prints instead of the Louis Vuitton logo but its actually a zebra-striped cooler on wheels.
Aside from keeping all his gear in one place, the cooler has proved handy because: it has a wipe-down silver liner that both keeps the peanut butter from getting too gloopy and can withstand accidental spillage. It has mesh side pouches for the items you need to keep within easy reach and a zippy front pocket for medications, to be stored securely out of nuzzling reach. And of course wheels win over a shoulder sagging bag every time!
But the question is, what to pack inside/bring along for the ride?
HERE’S BODIE’S DOGGIE DOZEN OF SUITCASE ESSENTIALS:
1. KONG & PEANUT BUTTER
Kongs are fantastic for getting your dog into a Treat Trance, thus forgetting the unfamiliarity of his/her surroundings. I opt for the plastic jars of Peanut Butter but if you want to streamline try stocking up on the miniatures offered at breakfast buffets.
Remember to pack a plastic knife or two – peanut butter is not something you want to be scooping out with your toothbrush handle. Trust me.
Of course when the jar gets low you can opt for the more direct method…
2. DOG WASH SHAMPOO MINIATURES
Just as you decant your shampoo into travel size bottles, you can do the very same with your dog’s favorite foamer. (Bodie’s fur gets all soft and gleamy with Earthbath shampoo. Until he rolls in the dirt two seconds later.) This is a surprising weight/space saver.
3. DOG WASH COVER-UP
This is completely non-essential but I get such a kick out of this black nylon cover-up purchased at the AKA show in Klamath Falls, Oregon. It’s lightweight and folds to nothing but it makes me feel like a professional dog groomer as well as protecting my limited travel wardrobe when Bodie shakes his money-maker.
4. DOG BRUSH
If your dog likes to be brushed this is another comforting activity that can help settle him/her. Bodie is a big fan of the bristle and metal prong combo and now obediently turns around when I say, ‘Other side!’
5. DOG CALMING AROMATHERAPY OIL
I tried vet-prescribed calmers on Bodie but it was too disturbing watching him try to battle the sedating effects and not understand his new drugged condition. I was therefore thrilled to discover that Carmel perfumier Ajne had created a range of Furfumes for dogs. Lavender-infused TruDaBone works a treat on Bodie and it’s all natural. (You can read the full story of our meeting with Ajne’s creator Jane in the Bodie on the Road book.) http://www.ajne.com
Bodie gets his dose of flea medication on the 19th on the month so if this falls while we’re away I make sure to take his vial of magic potion along. Also Brewer’s Yeast tablets – did you know this helps deter mosquitoes in dogs and humans? Gotta be worth a try!
7. FAVORITE DOG TOY
Out of consideration for your hotel neighbors it’s best to opt for something non-squeaky! Bodie has a particular penchant for squirrel stuffed toys but of course a bigger dog may need something more substantial… For example, Winnie – Bodie’s Big Love – is more of a polar bear kinda girl.
8. CHUCKIT & EXTRA BALLS
We don’t have baseball in the UK so I never learned to throw with any skill or force so a Chuckit (UK) is vital for getting Bodie to run at full tilt. I definitely recommend packing an extra ball or two because if your dog is anything like Bodie he’ll occasionally decide not to retrieve it and you’ll have to watch it bobbing slowly out to sea.
9. DOG BOWLS
Obviously you want to leave your heavy chinaware at home and opt for something light and non-breakable. I like a water bowl that can fold up and fit in my purse. (See Dogs & Restaurants)
10. DOG FOOD
Bodie and I had to carry a fair amount of food with us as we crossed the US and we found the lightweight plastic Gamma Vittles Vault fits nicely in the back seat well. It has a top loading lid (that spins to lock in freshness) so when we were stopping off for one night I would just scoop up a bowl full of kibble and take that directly into the motel room, no lugging the container back and forth. When we’re just on a weekend break I’m a big fan of pre-bagging Bodie’s portions, along with his daily Greenie!
11. MINI DOG TREATS
Training treats like Zukes Mini Naturals (UK & US) are handy for incentivizing your dog to stay in position and pose for a vacation snap. As you might imagine Bodie is sick to death of being photographed but if there’s a roasted chicken flavor snack involved, he can tolerate it. (You can read some great pro Dog Photography tips here.) Mini Treats are also a handy reward when your dog hops back in the car after an all-too-brief pit-stop on a long a journey. Happy tum, happy chum.
12. DOG BED
Of course unless you have an itsy bitsy dog this isn’t going to fit in the dog suitcase but you definitely want to bring your dog’s foam favorite, even if he/she will inevitably end up sleeping on the bed with you…
Do you have a special travel bag for your dog? If so what does it look like?
What one thing does your dog have to have with him/her when they travel?