Have dog, will travel.
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Have dog, will travel.

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My children have a name for me when I am packing for the holidays. It’s Lord Voldemort. I don’t know about you, but holiday packing just brings out the very worst in me. I am not the sort of person who gets the suitcase out a month in advance, and, with military precision, lines up neatly ironed, colour-coordinated clothes on the spare room bed. I am the sort of person who, bum in the air, fishes dirty clothes out of the linen basket, minutes before departure. Yet I yearn to be perfectly prepared. Someone who always has tissues in their handbag, and plasters. If you too yearn to be that person, then this guide to preparing for happy holidays with your dog will help no end. Alison, the owner of Ruff and Tumble, travels the length and breadth of the UK with her dogs. Luckily for us, she has divulged all her favourite products and top tips.

Staying in holiday homes, hotels, B&Bs, caravans and tents with a fun-loving dog is less stressful with a Ruff and Tumble drying coat and mitts to hand. It can also take the embarrassment out of dragging a wet and muddy dog into a tea room, pub or café!

For new dog owners, this guide will help you prepare for the first time away from home. And even if you have a tried and tested routine, we hope you discover a new idea or a product that will make your holiday pretty perfect with your pooch!

Alison’s Travel Essentials

  • For car journeys, the non-slip bowel is ‘brilliant’, says Alison. This one by Road Refresher is excellent value at under £10.

  • Still about bowls, but different and equally clever is the collapsible bowl. We thought these black and orange ones were appealing, and two for under £6 seemed a good deal to us.

  • Bum bags are essential, especially in summer when you tend to walk without a coat. We didn’t like the ones especially designed for dog walkers. They were too big, synthetic looking and the colours just weren’t appealing. This corduroy one from Urban Outfitters has that mix of style and practicality which appeals to us at Ruff and Tumble. It’s big, but not too big, has two compartments and comes in three colours: brown, green and black. Priced at £12 - 20 plus P&P, it is reasonable too. The green is not dissimilar to our bottle green coats if you are into coordinating your doggy items! We also liked the Eastpak one in dark grey. It’s very low key and simple, but is big enough, has two pockets, and costs £25.

  • Poop bags are vital, and Alison uses Mutts Butts because they are biodegradable

  • You can buy a ready-made pet first aid kit, such as the Pawly First Aid for Pets kit, but if you wanted a slimmed down version of key items, Alison would say these were: LeucillinEye Clear; Paw and Nose BalmPet Flex bandage and Tick Remover. Add to this some standard saline solution, cotton pads and a pair of small scissors, and you’ll have everything you need for a basic first aid kit.

  • Water and water bottle. There are lots of these on the market but do get one with a clasp, so you can hang it from a belt or a bum bag. We liked The Speedy Bottle/Bowl because it looked good and its lid turns into a bowl. It saves on space if you’re going on a long walk and you don’t want to carry lots of clobber! We also liked the Dog Travel Water Bowl & Bottle Set, priced at £5.99. The bottle is collapsible once empty which is economical on space, and the bowl is collapsible too.

  • If you are renting a cottage, villa, camper van or car, these Grooming Wipes should also be on your essential travel list. A quick wipe down after your dog has rolled in something dirty and smelly will be handy before they jump onto that white sofa!

  • We’re bound to say it, but Ruff and Tumble dog drying products really prove themselves on holidays. The drying coat dries wet dogs quickly, and holds sand and mess inside, so it’s super useful on car journeys back from the beach, and after river and sea swimming. It also cools dogs down on hot days – simply spray the inside with water. The drying mitts are handy by the back door for a quick wipe of paws. Sofa Throws are great for protecting bedding and sofas. The double thickness super soft and stretchy cotton covers anything you want protected, in style. The fitted bed covers are just so easy to use and keep a bed cleaner for longer. Simple and quick to put on and take off, they are the ultimate in practical kit for your dog.

 

See our handy doggy holiday checklist below if you want a more exhaustive checklist than Alison’s essentials. Wherever you go, and whatever you’re up to this summer, have a super Ruff and Tumble time!