Every dog lover has had a moment when they wished they had a certain item in their car.
An item for their own dog or an item for a stray by the side of the road.
For some of us, these moments happen more often – I tend to be a magnet for runaways and strays (not that I’m complaining!).
So today I want to talk about 7 items that every dog lover should keep in their car to be more prepared!
7 Items Every Dog Lover Should Keep in Their Car Just In Case…
It doesn’t matter where you are headed or whether you think you will need it or not, you MUST keep a first aid kit in your car. You can buy a premade kit like the one pictured above (it comes in three sizes), or you can make your own. In the past I have made my own because Jet had so many special needs, but if you’re in a pinch, one of the two larger Adventure Dog kits is a good option (the smaller really isn’t worth the cost.)
If you do choose to buy a first aid kit for your pup, make sure that you pack a few days worth of any specific medicines your dog needs in the kit as well. For example, any heart, thyroid, or anxiety medications. Also, be sure to keep a current record of your dog’s vaccinations and your vet’s phone number!
A slip lead is the easiest way to capture a stray dog without putting yourself within biting distance. Nervous dogs – friendly or not – can bite, but if you’re like me, the thought of letting any dog run loose is upsetting. IF you feel safe and confident enough in capturing a stray, keeping a slip leash in the car will let you do that quickly without having to buckle or clip a collar in place. I like the nylon slip lead pictured above, but there are cheaper versions available.
A slip lead is great for strays, but I also like to keep a regular collar and leash on hand both for my dog and for dogs that are familiar to me. Although it has never happened to me, I did have a neighbor whose dog’s collar simply fell apart one day while walking. Keeping a spare collar and leash in the car is handy for situations like this.
A normal collar and leash also provides a little more control of a dog than a slip leash so if you can safely transfer a dog from a slip leash to a normal collar and leash, it will give you a better handle on the situation.
Treats are going to be your best bet at luring your dog to you if they get loose or getting a stray dog to come closer. I always keep stinky treats like these liver training treats because the smell travels and is more appealing.
If it’s spring or summer, make sure to take these treats in and out of the car with you instead of leaving them in the car. Leaving them in the car in heat can cause chemicals from the packaging to leach in to the treats themselves.
A good item to keep in your car regardless of circumstance, a notebook and pen will allow you to take note of contact information on a loose dog’s collar, write down information from a missing or lost poster, or leave a note for a dog owner whose dog you have found.
I prefer keeping a towel and a blanket in my car. A towel is great for drying pup off after an impromptu swim at the park or after a rainstorm. The blanket is better for any occasion when you might need to stay warm.
Jet’s daddy, Jet and I once got snowed in on the highway. We spent three days stranded in our car on the highway after a flash blizzard hit and left us (and hundreds of others) stuck somewhere in the middle of Indiana. Since then, we have carried a blanket (among other things) in our car to keep everyone warm just in case of a repeat performance.
See the situation outlined above.
Whenever traveling with your dog, make sure to bring a few days worth of food (you can keep it in this travel bag from Outward Hound) and emergency water supplies in the car. Whether you hit traffic and run late or get stuck on the highway for three days, it’s always best to have emergency supplies for your pup (and you!)