The Vacation Season is Officially Here…
Memorial day has come and gone, officially ushering in the summer vacation season. For many people, this means at least one instance of packing up the kids, piling into the family vehicle and embarking on that well-deserved, much needed vacation. For many households, the family pet will join in on the fun.
The vacation season often reminds pet owners of the many options that abound for pet travel supplies. To narrow down the options, we sat down and combed through our catalog (with a little help from our Facebook fans) and compiled the top 10 must-have travel essentials for your pet.
Whether you’re a groomer, pet professional, trainer, retailer or a pet owner, you’ll be sure to find something on our list to stock in your store or to pack into your own vehicle before hitting the road.
Although our list of items is numbered 1 through 10, the items are not ranked in any particular order. We simply wanted to provide pet lovers with a place to start before backing down the driveway.
1. Collars & Leads
Hitting the road with a pet will undeniably mean making a few extra pit stops (i.e. potty breaks) along the way. Highway rest areas and pull-offs can be busy and crowded with people and pets alike – not to mention dangerous for pets due to their proximity to the freeway. Keeping an extra leash or lead and collar (with tags) handy will make these potty breaks much less stressful than trying to stop without them.
2. Pick-up Bags
Speaking of potty breaks…the next logical must-have item is the “poop” bag or some other means of picking up after your pet. Pick-up bags and other cleanup options such as rake/scoop tools will make your life a lot easier when you remember to bring them on your trip.
3. Food & Water Travel Bowls
Although some pets can be picky about using their usual dining equipment, normal food and water dishes don’t always make the best travel accessories while en route to your destination. Portable and collapsible food and water containers are nice alternatives to larger, plastic or steel dishes. They’re also nice to have if you plan on doing any hiking or exploring with your pet once you reach your destination.
4. Food Storage Containers
Continuing on with the food and water theme, packing up the entire bag of pet food isn’t always possible or necessary. Sealable containers come in different sizes and can be used to store and transport the required amount of food without being too bulky. Smaller containers can also be convenient for storing treats.
5. Travel Crates & Containment
Crates are not only great ways to safely transport pets on your trip, they are often required if you’re travelling by air. From airline approved Sky Kennels to SUV crates, travel crates are available in a variety of options. Soft-sided crates and exercise pens are also nice to have so your pet has a place to play or cozy up when you arrive at your destination.
6. Odor & Stain Removal
Travelling with pets is not without its share of occasional odors and/or accidents. Planning for these incidents ahead of time can make travelling with your pet more enjoyable if an accident takes place. Since odors and accidents can happen anywhere, be sure to pack things like scented sprays and odor removers. For accidents, it’s a good idea to have at least one type of stain remover on hand to keep your floor mats, car upholstery and other surfaces clean and sanitary.
7. Vehicle Accessories
Along the same lines as protecting your car’s upholstery, seat covers and many other useful car accessories are available as pre-emptive solutions. Pet barriers, sun shades, booster seats, seat belt restraints and ramps are all great options for getting pets in/out of the car and for keeping them safe during the ride. After all, there are more serious accidents that could occur than the one’s Fido might leave on your back seat. Be sure all your passengers – people and pets – are safe and secure at all times.
8. Backpacks & Carriers
Sometimes transporting your pet doesn’t always take place in the car. For smaller pets, carriers are a great way to bring your pet along on a hike or just to run errands. For larger pets that take more active participation in walking and hiking, items like dog backpacks allow them to comfortably assist in carrying materials and supplies. Lifejackets are also available for pets that will be around water.
9. First Aid Kits
Let’s face it…pets get into stuff. And because they sometimes let their instincts lead them into less than desirable environments, keeping a simple first aid kit for your pet might be a good idea. There are many options for pet first aid ranging from wound healing sprays, creams, styptic powders and bandages to pre-packaged first aid kits, emergency first aid handbooks and pocket guides.
10. Toys & Treats
No trip with a pet is complete without these necessities. Toys & Treats are great ways to keep your pet busy while you’re cruising down the highway. They also help to ease separation anxiety if your pet has to stay behind when you take the family to the theme park or out for dinner.
Because not every travel-related item could make the top 10, we’ve also taken a moment to list a few of the other supplies that would be valuable when travelling with a pet.
It’s possible we’ve left something out, but our aim is to simply to give you a place to start. If you’ve thought of something that wasn’t on this list, but should be – feel free to share it with everyone by adding your comments to the conversation already started on the Ryan’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ryanspet.