Packing for Bugsy wasn’t too hard. There are big chain pet stores in most mid-sized cities that carry her brand of food, so we didn’t have to start with an entire 3-month supply of dog food. At home, we make her food in the crockpot (based on this recipe) (yes, we are those people) and just supplement with dry food, and while we did bring the crockpot on the Airstream (and have yet to use it) we decided she could switch to a normal dog diet for a few months and be just fine. Otherwise, we brought treats, toys, normal stuff–and some paperwork. Some campgrounds have dog breed restrictions–no pit bulls, Rottweilers, etc–and since Bugsy looks pitty (note that WE love pitties) we brought her DNA test results that show she’s a boxer/lab/pointer (lab? she loves water and balls. pointer? she loves birds and squirrels). We also brought her vaccination history in case we popped up to Canada–and made sure her Bordetella was current (even though we don’t board her at home) in case we had to put her in a kennel (like if we both had to fly home for an emergency).
Her gear is stored in a few different places in the Airstream and the truck:
In the Airstream
That’s how we refer to this cabinet. In here we have
- a few toys
- a spare collar with her phone number embroidered
- a medical bag with worm pills, flea/tick preventative, toothpaste and brush, Vetprofen (painkiller), doggy bandages, and a just-in-case vial of doggy Valium
We buy a big bag of dry food and keep two bins full in the Airstream; the rest of the bag lives in the truck toolbox.
Cans of food
This little cabinet was empty for the first couple weeks of the trip, so we made it a “cans of dog food” cabinet. We picked up some of those weird little sausage tubes of food at Petco today. She likes them.
Before leaving home, we loaded up on marrow bones from JM Stock Provisions. They’re wonderful (if messy) as distraction and/or bribery.
Bed and bowls and towels
Bugsy spends her indoors time going from her little (dog-sized) bed under the dinette to the big (human-sized) bed down the hall and back, depending on where we’re hanging out, and if any food is being prepared. Her bowls fit nicely in the corners around the “pantry” area. We brought a couple “dog towels,” including a smaller hand towel (which has been much more useful than the bigger towels), for drying wet paws and rinsed-off filthy beastie. In the photo, a rainy-day dog towel is drying on a cabinet handle over the freezer.
In the truck
We keep her medical (vaccination and DNA) paperwork in the glovebox just in case she were to get in a fight with another dog while we’re out hiking (she isn’t aggressive but will defend herself) and we would want to show the other owner proof of rabies vaccination.
Her crate takes up most of the the backseat area of the truck. It’s a full-size crate like she has at home, so she’s totally comfortable in it, with a foam bed and fleece blankies. We often pull a sheet over it to make her feel cozier and more secure, if we’re leaving her somewhere for a while (like while we’re hiking in a National Park on a cool day). Next to her crate are her on-the-go supplies:
- Extra water
- Extra food
- Bowl for food/water (used most often post-hike)
- Treat pouch and extra treats (used when we go for city walks)
- Leash, harness, collar with her phone number
J just pointed out that our dog is especially spoiled and high-maintenance, so this may not be as useful to anyone packing for a normal RV dog. But hopefully Bugsy’s suitcase will give someone some dog-trip-planning guidance, or at least give someone fodder for making fun of Bugsy’s owners.
Here’s an article we wrote about traveling with your dog with more tips!