At Ruffwear we’re always striving to ensure our products exceed your expectations, and a great way to do that is to have them tested under extreme conditions. Amy Burkert runs the pet travel website and blog, GoPetFriendly.com, and travels full time with her husband and their two dogs. For testing travel gear, what could be more authentic than that? We sent our Haul Bag out and asked Amy to give it a work out to see what she thought. Here’s what she had to say:
We’ve been traveling with our dogs for more than five years now, and in all that time I’ve never found a bag that really worked for packing Ty and Buster’s stuff. We’ve tried a lot of different things … backpacks, plastic grocery sacks, canvas bags. But nothing kept us organized, and our choices have attracted some pretty hairy looks checking into swanky hotels.
Ruffwear’s new Haul Bag has changed all of that! First of all, it looks nicer than my luggage, so we’re now socially acceptable everywhere we go. Thanks to the comfortable shoulder strap, it’s also easy to carry – even when your hands are full. But my favorite part is that it’s large enough to fit all the boys’ gear, and there are nine compartments to keep everything in order!
For an overnight or weekend trip, you’ll want to gather all your dog’s essentials, plus a few things to help make him comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. Here’s our packing checklist to make sure you have all the necessities for a quick getaway:
- Medical Records– In case of an emergency, it’s always a good idea to have your pet’s medical records with you. However, toting that entire file around would be a pain. Instead, scan your pet’s important medical documents to a USB drive that’s easy to pack. The one document to also include in paper form is their proof of vaccinations.
- Food and Bowls – Pack your dogs food and water bowls and enough food for your trip, plus a day – just in case!
- Medications and Supplements – Again, pack enough for our trip, plus a day or two. Crazy things happen, and if your stay gets unexpected extended, you don’t want it to turn into a medical emergency.
- Walking Harness and Leash – Ruffwear’s Front Range Harness and adjustable Slackline Leash are perfect whether you’re hitting the trail or looking forward to some urban hiking. In congested areas, you can shorten the leash to keep from entangling unsuspecting bystanders, and attach the leash at the chest to discourage pulling. When you’re away from the crowds, extend the leash to its full six feet and clip it to the back of the harness to give your pup more freedom to explore. The buckle in the leash’s handle also makes it easy to secure your dog to your chair at an outdoor café, or a bench in the park.
- Waste Bags – We take our responsibility to pick up after our dogs very seriously – the most common reason dogs are banned from public areas is because an irresponsible owner didn’t clean up after their pets. It’s a problem that can easily be rectified, so we pack our waste bags and grab an extra roll – just in case.
- Treats – Ty and Buster have trained us well. If they’re going to be expected to behave appropriately in a new environment, they want to be rewarded. Using a treat pouch that attaches to your waistband is a good way to make sure you always have the goodies handy.
- Entertaining Toys – When it’s time to put your feet up and relax, you’ll want to have a quiet toy to keep your dog entertained. For that, there’s nothing better than Hear Doggy™! These plush toys have squeakers that dogs can hear, but people can’t – which makes them a go-to toy when you’re staying with friends or in a hotel.
- Bedding– Some dogs want to sleep in their own bed, others prefer to curl up on the sofa, or hop in bed with you. Depending on your dog’s desires pack his bed or a sheet or blanket that you can use to cover any furniture where he might make himself at home.
- Soothing Sounds – One way to make bedtime easier is to pack a sound device that dogs find comforting. Both the iCalm Pet and Pet Acoustics music players have been developed to deliver melodies that help pets relax. They’re great for covering hallway noise and helping dogs settle down in an unfamiliar place.
- Cleaning Supplies– Dogs are messy – there is no getting around that fact – so it’s best to be prepared to clean up after them. Pack a roll of paper towels, wet wipes, and a small spray bottle of carpet cleaner to take care of any accidents.
Shop the Haul Bag HERE.
Author bio: Author bio: Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, (link: http://www.gopetfriendly.com) which makes it easy to plan trips with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, (link: http://www.GoPetFriendlyBlog.com) is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their motorhome with their dogs, Ty and Buster.