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It’s summertime! The kids are on vacation, you’ve got a trip planned, and your whole family is working their way through their checklist to make sure they’ve got everything they need. That’s right: Dad, Mom, kids, Grandpa, and...the dog!

It’s a little too easy to leave things behind if you don’t have a list of what’s needed, so it’s just as important to have a checklist for your dog’s needs as it is for every other member of the family.

What your dog needs for a summer trip will depend on where you’re going, of course. He may not need the same things for a weekend camping trip as he would for a two-week stay in an Airbnb, for example. And if you’re heading to one of the few dog-friendly amusement parks out there, he’ll need to pack differently than he would if you were just going out for a long day picnic at the local park.

Keeping your destination in mind, though, here are the essentials to make sure Rover has everything he needs for your summer outing.

  • Collar and ID tags. First thing’s first: when taking your dog to a new environment, make sure that you can get him back if he bolts! Hopefully his training will kick in and he’ll stay right with his family, but if he does happen to get loose and wander off, the collar and tags will let whoever finds him know where he belongs.

  • Leash or halter. Of course, a leash or halter should prevent any escapes from happening.

  • Water dish and water bottle. It’s hot out there — make sure your dog stays hydrated by keeping fresh water available at all times. It’s a good idea to invest in an insulated water bottle for your pup so you’re not giving him hot water, as he may be less likely to drink it.

  • Food bowl. Whether you’re going for a day trip or for several days, make sure that your dog is able to eat the same food that he would at home. This is important to prevent stomach upsets, which is a surefire way to ruin a good vacation!

  • Extra food. Make sure you don’t run out! Plan the food out according to how long you’ll be gone, but we recommend bringing extra just in case.

  • Treats. As humans, we definitely view vacation as “treat” time — your dog is likely no different! Treats will keep him reassured that he’s loved even as he gets used to new surroundings, and will help keep him attentive if you’re still in the training process.

  • Toys. Don’t let your dog get bored when he’s in the car, or you’ll probably end up with shredded upholstery! Provide plenty of chew toys, and we also recommend puzzle toys for longer trips. Many dogs are also attached to certain toys and like to sleep with them, so bringing those along will help him to feel at home no matter where he is.

  • Poop scoop and plastic bags. No matter where you’re going, be prepared to be a responsible pet owner and clean up after your dog!

  • Paperwork. Your need for this may vary, but it’s a good idea to have proof of licensure — if this is required where you’re going — and even rabies shots. If you’re traveling out of the country, by car or by plane, you may need additional papers. Check with your veterinarian regarding the requirements.

  • First aid kit. Is your dog rambunctious? Or are you going hiking in the wilderness? For these and a hundred other summer travel scenarios, it’s a good idea to have a pet-friendly first aid kit handy, just in case of a misadventure

  • Towel, blanket, or travel bed. Since you’re traveling in the summertime, when it’s hotter, you may not want to bring a full-sized dog bed along with you. But make sure that your pup has something soft and comfy to nap on, or you’ll probably find him curled up on your sleeping bag. Of course, that might happen anyhow!

  • Doggy travel backpack. With all the things you need to bring for your dog, wouldn’t it be nice if he could carry some of his own luggage? With a doggy backpack, he can! This depends on the size and age of your dog, of course, but dog backpacks come in a variety of sizes and load capacities. They’re ideal for hiking and wilderness trips.

Click here for our Essential Dog Gear List for 2021. Everything you'll need to be prepared for an outdoor adventure.

Are you getting ready to take your dog with you on a trip this summer? Where are you going and what are your doggy travel essentials?

It’s starting to heat up outside, which means that summertime fun is just waiting for us to take advantage of school vacation and great weather!

But wait — your pup is looking up at you with big, sad eyes, worried that she’s going to be left behind while you’re out gallivanting and getting a suntan.

Of course, some summertime activities aren’t ideal for pets, and it’s important to make sure that your dog doesn’t get overheated or left in an enclosed space in the heat. And you’ll want to make sure that you have all the equipment your pup will need while you’re out and about, including a water dish and a collar and leash.

But if you and your dog are ready to go, there are plenty of summer adventures to be had!


A great hike seems like it was made for dogs rather than humans — after all, it’s easier to do all that strenuous walking when you have four legs instead of just two, right?

Going for a day or even a weekend hike with your pup is a great way to kick the summer season off with some time in the great outdoors. But we definitely advise checking ahead for the pet-friendliness of the hike. If it involves super-steep rock-climbing and even rappelling, make sure that you have the equipment you need to get both of you back home safely.

A Day at the Dog-Friendly Beach

There’s nothing quite like going to the beach on a sunny summer day! And my dog always loved it. She was a little intimidated by the waves, but she would still get her paws wet, and racing around on the sand like a loon was definitely a favorite summertime activity.

Not all beaches are dog-friendly, so it’s a good idea to look that up before you head out. And remember that there are likely to be other people on the beach, as well as kids. Keep your dog’s leash with you at all times, and check the regulations about whether she needs to be on the leash throughout the visit.

Make sure to keep a close eye on her if she decides to venture into the water. Playing in the surf is fun for dogs and humans, but be aware of the potential for riptides. And take lots of water along so she won’t be tempted to drink the saltwater.


All sorts of water adventures seem tailor-made for hot summer days, and kayaking is a fun way to get your exercise in while staying cool on the lake. Many kayaks are built to allow for a small-to-medium sized dog to travel along with the kayaker.

Make sure to take safety precautions, such as providing your dog with a doggie life vest!

Road Trips

When I was a kid, summer vacation was the time for road trips. And road trips, for dogs, are the time to stick their head out the window and feel the wind on their face and in their flapping ears.

Road trips are especially enjoyable with dogs when you have a pup who is used to the motion of a car, and who associates the car with positive things — rather than negative, like going to the vet.

As you pick out your destination, make sure that there are restaurants or stores that are pet-friendly so your dog won’t have to stay in the hot car at any point.


In the mountains, by the lake, next to the ocean — there are plenty of gorgeous camping spots out there, making it difficult to choose just one! If you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to go camping more than once per season.

And your dog will be pleased as punch to go with you, every single time!


Geocaching has caught on pretty big over the last several years, with more than 3 million geocaches hidden worldwide! It’s a lot like finding buried treasure — a container hidden in a secret spot, with a notebook for each new person who finds it to leave something behind for the next.

As you search for caches nearby your home or along your summertime travels, your dog will definitely enjoy the thrill of the hunt — and just the sheer joy of running around outside with her favorite human.

Dog-Friendly Amusement Parks

Did you know that there are at least eight dog-friendly amusement parks out there? The most well-known is probably Knoebels Amusement Resort, in Pennsylvania, where dogs can accompany their owners around the large park and even hop on a handful of dog-friendly rides! Not only that, but Knoebels is the biggest free-admission park in the United States.

For a list of travel essentials to pack for your pup, click here.

There are plenty of adventures that you and your dog can share this summer. What are you planning for your own furry best friend?

You and your pup love your daily walks. From exploring the forested trails to sticking to the pavement route, when you return you frequently have to cope with muddy paws, fur covered in sticks, grass and other debris, bacteria and germs from other dogs leavings and whatever dead critters have been discovered along the way.

And especially on those rainy days, that wet-dog smell can linger a little too long. Let’s not forget doggy fur in places you wouldn’t have dreamed of. It’s safe to say that dog owners have a little more mess in their lives than those without fur babies.

But we wouldn’t trade it in for anything. Instead, we’ve covered all the bases and rounded up a curated list of essential tips and must-have cleaning products to have your best paw forward.

Tip: The best way to prevent hairy messes is to brush your pet regularly—once a week or even once a day, depending on the length and thickness of your pet’s fur. This will also determine the type of brush that will work best.

We only recommend our most favorite products that we would use ourselves and with our precious pooches and that have the highest reviews from other pup-parents. We sometimes earn a small commission (at no cost to you) when you click through the Amazon Affiliate links on our website.

Pet Magasin Grooming Glove

One of the best ways to keep pet fur off of your furniture is to stop it before it's shed. The Pet Magasin Dog Grooming Glove will collect excess fur as you pet your pup. Loose fur sticks to silicone side and can be easily removed from glove.


Breeds with a dense undercoat (like corgis and huskies) can benefit from a deshedding brush, like the Furminator. This amazing tool is a life-saver. It removes loose undercoat hair and releases it easily with an eject button.

GoPets Dematting Comb

Have you spent hours trying to pull out burrs or getting out gnarly knots without hurting your pup? The GoPets Dematting Comb is perfect for getting out all different mats and tangles. It not only works great as a dematting brush or detangling comb, but also as an undercoat comb or deshedding rake. It’s the multitool of dematting tools for long and medium length coats.

Tip: When your dog is clean and smelling wonderful, your home will too. Dog hygiene such as teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and brushing are also an essential aspect of regular dog care.

Bodhi Dog Grooming Brush

Take the stress out of bath time by turning it into a soothing massage. The Bodhi Dog Grooming Brush is effective yet gentle. The soft rubber tips quickly scrubs away dirt, dead skin and loose fur helping to restore sheen and luster to that gorgeous fur coat. Your pup will be begging for their next bath.

Waterpik Pet Wand Pro Shower attachment

Turn your bathtub or your backyard into the ultimate bathing station. The Waterpik Pet Wand Pro attaches to your shower or to your garden hose (with the included adaptor) the provides a full-coverage, powerful spray that you use like a water comb. It feels like a gentle massage and is helpful for getting soap out of thick fur. It will make the bathing experience for your pup like a spa treatment. It feels so nice, you’ll be tempted to test it out on yourself!

Burt's Bees for Dogs Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Burt's Bees Oatmeal Dog Shampoo is a mild formula containing all natural ingredients including colloidal oat flour & honey to help nourish dogs with dry itchy skin; buttermilk, which soothes skin and softens hair; and linseed oil, which deeply conditions your pup’s coat. We’ve always liked the Burt’s Bees brand for their consistent quality level and their safer ingredients.

Earth Rated Dog Wipes

Earth Rated Dog Wipes are a quick solution for removing dirt and odors from your dog's coat in between baths and after long walks. They’re great for spot cleaning and paw cleaning. They’re also plant-based and compostable which will reduce your carbon pawprint.

Bone Dry Microfiber Towel

The Bone Dry Microfiber Towel is made especially for canines with ultra-soft, hyper-absorbent material that lifts moisture from their fur and soaks it up quickly. Super durable, super absorbent, and super fast drying = making bathing your pup super easy. A great lightweight option for times at the beach, lake and camping too

Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator

The Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator is a powerful, fast-acting stain remover formulated especially for the less glamorous parts of owning a pup (stinky yellow pet urine, vomit, feces, etc) It seriously works miracles on even the toughest pet messes, yet is safe to use around pets and children.

PetPotion Refresh Spray

Spritz PetPotion Refresh Spray directly onto your dog's fur. It's literally like a dry shampoo for dogs and is non-toxic and odor-eliminating spray. All you have to do is shake, spray, and wipe off with a wet wash-cloth, or massage in and leave on. The combination of shea butter, coconut oil, and neem oil extract will give your pet that fresh-from-the-groomer smell. Perfect for daily care and times when there’s just not enough time for a full bath.

Dexus Mudbuster

Truly a brilliant cleaning gadget, the Dexus Mudbuster is a quick and convenient way to keep your pet’s paws clean. Here's how it works: add a little water, insert your dog's paw, gently twist it around, and the silicone bristles will brush off dirt and debris.

Pawsibility Dog Nail Clippers

Made with stainless steel, the blades on the Pawsibility Dog Nail Clippers are extra strong, sharp and durable, and will cut through nails quickly — which is perfect for squirmy dogs. A neat feature is the LED light which illuminates the quick for an easier and safer cutting experience.

Dremmel Nail Grooming and Grinding Tool

We used to use nail clippers but with one of our dogs it was hard to see where the quick was. Every clipping was like a nightmare. It felt like we were blindly trying not to hurt him and we’d feel so bad when he’d yelp in pain and bleed. That’s when we decided to try out a nail grinder. The Dremel 7300-PT is specifically for safely trimming your pup’s nails and it does have great reviews.

Click here for more info on the Dremel 7300-PT. We decided to get the Dremel Lite 7760 which was much more versatile now only for our large breed dogs but for DIY projects around the house because we could use it as an actual rotary multitool. Just make sure to keep the speed under 15,000 and use the 60 grit sanding drum.

MISTER BEN'S Original Ear Cleaner for Dogs Care Kit

Stop itching, scratching and head shaking within a few treatments! Once you start using Mister Ben's Ear Wash Kit you'll notice almost immediate relief from infections, inflammation, swelling, redness & irritations. This is one of the most effective treatments for dog ear infections available. No more smelly, painful and irritated ears.

Greenies Dog Dental Chews

Greenies Dog Dental Chews are an easy way to get many of the same benefits of brushing. The bumpy texture cleans their teeth and gums while they chew, it's as simple as that. Made with vitamins and minerals that promote optimal canine oral health, the ingredients are highly soluble so you dog won't have a hard time digesting them.

MOKAI Dental Wipes

Mokai Dental Wipes are the perfect solution for your doggie’s daily hygiene routine. Keep your pup’s teeth fresh and clean by reducing any tartar build-up and calculus and bad breath. There’s no hurting of the gums by brushing. All you have to do is wrap the wipe around your finger and swipe your pup’s teeth!

Now that your furry family member is squeaky clean, it's time to cuddle!

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