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What to take on vacation for your four-legged friend?

author Lucy Byrne | Sport and travel

The most practical thing you should take along for your dog is a travel blanket. This is suitable for the car trip, and can be used as a couch spread in the hotel, where your pet can rest. Be sure to use the blanket when visiting restaurants so your pet can lie down. Another practical thing for a summer vacation is a cooling pad, which will be very pleasant on hot days. 

Just like for humans, a first aid kit is essential for traveling. Be sure to take a disinfectant solution such as iodine, which will come handy for bite injuries, and a saline solution such as hydrogen peroxide to rinse the wounds. The first aid kit should also include a bandage, anti-diarrhea and anti-allergy medication, and some technical equipment such as tweezers, scissors, a thermometer and a syringe. Also pack an anti-parasite collar or other form of repellent in the first aid kit. In an emergency, the contents of the first aid kit will help stabilize the dog so you can take him to a vet. This brings us to another thing - the dog's vaccination card - where all his vaccinations are recorded, facilitating any treatment. 

The things that take up the least space and that you always have to pack are a travel bowl and travel bottle. They are available in several sizes, and it's up to you to pick one. The travel bowl can be unfolded into two positions. One position is higher, for water, and the second lower position is for food. 

If you want to guarantee a happy holiday, take the dog's own bed along. Why? Because he will feel at home and won't be stressed out by the foreign environment. He will get a good sleep and rest so that he's a good partner for your new experiences. It's also good to pack a few toys so he can have some fun and feel like he's at home. 

Other things I recommend is enough dog food and treats. It's important that your dog eats what he's used to. Any changes in his diet could have a negative effect on his stomach, and you really don't want that on holiday. You'll especially appreciate treats when you want to calm the dog in unknown situations, or as a reward. 

Last but not least, remember the common things you use every day, like a collar, muzzle and leash. When traveling, it is also necessary to pack an identification tag in case your friend gets lost in an unfamiliar environment. 

What do you pack for a trip with your dog?