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Service Dog Travel Essentials: A Comprehensive Packing List

Service Dog wearing a pink vest and dog booties waiting to board a train
Getting Ready to travel

Traveling with a service dog brings unique challenges and rewards. My service dog and I love to travel, and before I had her, I traveled often with my pet dogs. As someone who has traveled with both pet and service dogs, I've learned the importance of being prepared for most occasions. This comprehensive checklist, tailored from my experiences with my service dog, aims to help you pack the essentials for a smooth and enjoyable trip.


The bare minimum requirements

Every trip it is important to cover the bare minimum requirements for a successful outing. These come whether we are going out for an afternoon outing or taking a long trip.




Water Bowls and Bottles

Service dog standing next to a small collapsable bowl for travel
Collapsable Bowl for travel
  • For short outings, a small collapsible bowl is ideal; it's convenient and space-saving. I always carry a small collapsible bowl with me. This makes it easy for me to give Suki water, but doesn't take up any room.

  • For longer trips, I like a larger bowl for in the hotel room. The Ruffwear Bivy Bowl is my favorite.

  • An all-in-one bowl and water bottle is also an option for hikes or long walks.

Clean-Up Tools

  • A kit containing a washcloth, paper towels, and a puppy pad for any messy spills or other situations.

  • Don't forget extra poop bags for responsible clean-up.

  • Wipes are essential and easy to bring. I like bath wipes and disinfecting paw wipes.

  • After having to purchase a bottle of shampoo in Hawaii, I started packing a shampoo bar in her bag. It is the easy way for a deep clean.

  • A brush and comb are essential when you travel with a dog. If your dog sheds, you also want to bring something to pick up hair.

Tasty Dog Treats

I always have a variety of treats with me. Check out my article on about my favorite dog treats for more ideas.


Leash and Harness

Comfort Items for Your Service Dog


Service dog laying on a black pocket blanket at the airport
Pocket Blanket

Protection from the elements

  • A pocket blanket shields your dog from dirt or wet ground.

  • For car travel, pack a comfy dog bed or sleeping bag.

  • A USB-charged  noise machine  helps drown out unfamiliar sounds, aiding in relaxation.  It drowns out the noise of any location and allows Suki to settle down more easily in a strange location.

Protective Gear and Temperature Regulation



Black Portuguese Water Dog with a green ball in her mouth.  She is standing on grass in front of a black fence.
Suki with her favorite ball

Playtime and Fun


This checklist ensures you're well-equipped for various scenarios, enhancing the comfort and safety of your loyal companion. Adapt this guide to your dog's unique needs and enjoy every step of your adventure together.


Have some travel tips for dogs of your own? Share your experiences and advice in the comments below!









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