After much consideration we have put together our suggested packing checklist for travelling Australia with a dog. Anyone thinking of doing a trip like ours can use this as a starting point.
o Dry dog food: as large a bag as you can store. It’s a bonus if you can purchase a brand with a resealable opening
o Small bin with a flap lid and cup: we keep the large bag in an outside storage compartment, decanting dry food into the small bin which is kept inside the van
o Leads (x2) / rope / walking harness
o 1 heavyish bowl for water (we have a metal one with a rubber bottom that we keep outside the caravan). The weight means it’s less likely to blow away
o A lightweight bowl for food / or to keep in the car. TIP we scatter feed most of the time, which cuts on washing up.
o Bedding: a bed/pillow, preferably water resistant and easy to clean so it can be used outside. After going through a few cheaper quality beds we invested in a more expensive Purina bed, which is lasting the distance). Another option is a foldable bed, such as these Outdoor Connection ones.
o Old towels (x2)
o Worming tablets, flea control
o Toy/ball/ball thrower (we couldn’t do without a ball and thrower!)
o 1 or 2 carabineers: size dependent on your dog.
o Dog seat belt attachment
o Foldable travel bowl: very handy for giving your dog a drink while on hikes or on the road.
o Car seat cover: there are lots of options but we have and like the Solvit Sta-Put Waterproof Hammock Seat Cover.
o Poo bags: our preference is always to bury poo where possible to save on plastic (so a little shovel comes in handy) or to save any plastic food packaging.
o Print outs of your pet insurance claim paperwork
o Brush and / or flea comb
o Dog wash: we brought Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Castille Liquid Soap for the job – the idea being that it is a multi-purpose item.
UPDATE: after a few months on the road we have decided that we (and Neddy) also couldn’t live without our windscreen shield (one of those reflective ones) as it keeps the car so much cooler and car window insect screens that slip over the rear doors of your car. These help to block out sun and also prevents people being able to see into the back of our car. We also recently took Neddy in for his yearly vaccinations and realised we’d forgotten his vaccination card, so if you’ll be away when your pet is due for vaccination don’t forget their vaccination records for the vet to stamp.
TO DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE
o check due vaccination dates and set a reminder: we’ve used our phone calendar and have a pop-up reminder set for two weeks beforehand
o print or electronically file details of your pet insurance cover so you can access it if required