Summer is here! It’s time for dropped tailgates, days on the beach, weekends at the lake, late night bonfires, and general sittin’ and sippin’. For those times when the top is down and your BFF is in tow, here’s a list of our go to accessories.
Parents carry them for their kids and dogs on the go need them too. Whether it’s a separate bag or an over-sized one with room for both of your things, don’t forget to pack a few party essentials in a doggie bag for Fido.
For outings that are just a few hours, Henri’s things fit in one small make-up size bag; I carry mine in a purse. When we are both going, it all fits into one ginormous, yet hopefully, trendy bag. There are a few things I almost always have (besides bubbles, lipstick, and a koozie) with or without Henri. Rescue Remedy, poop bags, and a cheap spare leash are among them. The RR is for all the mammals; poops bags are for forgetful mammals; and the leash is for running down the street mammals. You don’t have to have all these things but why not just add a role of duct tape and be really prepared? Yeah. I have that, too.
So, what’s in Henri’s quick trip bag (or mine when he goes)?
· Collapsible water bowl/bottle of water
Insert rant: PLEASE carry some water for your pooch. I went to a street festival a few weeks ago and ended up sharing our water and bowl with some poor Lab whose thoughtless human hadn’t considered that dogs don’t drink beer. The dog was very grateful; his human didn’t even say thank you.
· Small hand towel/chamois
· Short ‘tab’ leash
In the backseat of my car is an additional box of things that includes: extra towels, Kiehl’s Spray and Play, wet wipes, more treats/chewies, Comfort Zone Adaptil spray, bug spray wipes, sunscreen, and people snacks. I also have at least two red Razorback tailgate chairs in my trunk at all times.
I don’t really carry a formal first aid kit, but all good Moms know to carry band-aides, Neosporin, and a Tide pen. I also carry Arnica for bumps and bruises, usually mine, and keep a spare tube of that in the ‘boat bag’.
In addition to the things mentioned above, if we’re headed to the boat, we have a separate bag. More band-aides, toilet seat covers for outhouses and such, koozies, an extra toothbrush, spray-in hair conditioner…Oh wait. I’m supposed to be talking about dog things.
Henri has a life jacket and his own beach towel. You should also carry some sort of pop-up shade if your boat doesn’t have a cuddy cabin or covered space, or duct tape (I told you) for redneck engineering. This applies to beach-going as well.
If you’ll be out all day your dog needs a source of shade.
Check this out: Dog Beach Cabana.
He also needs sunscreen on his little dog nose and in any places without hair that will be exposed to the sun. Chinese Cresteds and Hairless Chihuahuas are the Gingers of the dog world. They need sunscreen all-over.
When it comes to sunscreen and bug spray, I do not use special ‘pet’ formulas for either. If I had to use sunscreen on Henri more frequently, I might, but as it stands, if he needs it, he gets whatever I’m using. Neutrogena. That’s my brand.
There are many breeds, Boxers and the afore-mentioned come to mind, that are prone to sunburn and should have it. If you have one of those and are using sunscreen frequently, I do recommend a dog formula. You know they’re gonna lick it.
For bug spray, I lean toward the ‘all-natural’ variety. I prefer wipes to spray because Henri tolerates it better and so does my asthma. Same with sunscreen; I don’t love the spray kind.
Last but not least on our list is a really great cooler.
Since Henri doesn’t eat dry kibble, we need a good ice chest to transport his food when traveling. Also, mommy doesn’t like hot beer.
Our friends at Igloo gave us a hot pink Sportsman, and we LOVE it! At half the price of a Yeti, it still stacks up in function, even when left in the trunk. It also has integrated, self-draining cup holders; Yeti Roadie 20 does not.
It could use some all-terrain wheels and an iPod docking station, but the 20 is easy enough for a (I’m not telling you how much I weigh) woman to lift.
I’ve also learned this little trick…If your cooler has been sitting in your garage, or will be in a trunk or in the sun, your first bag of ice is likely to melt more quickly as it will be doing double duty cooling off the cooler. The night before use, add ice to the cooler and let it sit until morning. In the morning drain whatever ice has melted. You’ll notice the interior feels like a fridge. Add your things, then add more ice. The second bag of ice will last a LOT longer.
One final note about summer travel with your pet, and I hope I’m preaching to the choir, but DO NOT leave your dog in a hot car for ANY amount of time! You can use your valet key to leave the car locked and running with the air on, or just take your dog inside with you.