We are counting down the days to our Italian adventure and the lists are well underway. Although it’s a multi week vacation, packing for Tikka isn’t extending too much past our regular planning for a weekend trip. The Transport of Animals paperwork is the biggest addition (I’ll write about this in an upcoming post) and there is also a muzzle and a pee pad going in the bag. Biggest decision is which toys get to come along…!
This is first on the list as all the careful packing in the world won’t matter if you are turned away from the border with forgotten papers. Along with our passports, Tikka’s paperwork will be in our personal carry on, in duplicate. Read more in this separate post about the paperwork for taking your dog from Canada to Europe.
Tikka just fits into the requirements for in-cabin travel and our Sturdi Bag has been our go to carrier. For this trip we are flying with Lufthansa and if she lays off the extra treats she and her carrier will meet the 18lb limit. We use a Large Sturdi carrier and what’s great about this brand is the structure is flexible so the roof will conform to being under the seat without an issue whilst still leaving Tikka plenty of room. And when she is not under the seat, it pops back up to it’s original form.
Crate for Hotels
Although Italy seems more relaxed for dogs not being crated while in their rooms alone, we’ll still bring along one of Tikka’s soft kennels as she likes having her own ‘den’ to hang out in. We have a collapsible soft sided crate that goes up in seconds and fits in the bottom of our bigger suitcase (but takes up a lot of room) and we also have a Sturdi tent. The tent rolls up much as a smaller camping tent does and goes up with two fold-able rods. The floor space is bigger with the tent, so if we need to zip her into it we can put food and water in the corner. Needless to say we will be keeping the amount of time Tikka spends alone in the hotel rooms to a minimum as most of the time she will be touring the sites and eating pasta with us.
We will be bringing a couple of toys with us as it’s always nice to bring friends along on the trip when your family is driving you crazy. It’s tempting to go overboard but we are limiting to two small stuffies – one with a squeaker and one without. When we are at the airport we usually find a corner away from the crowds so that Tikka can be out of her carrier before the flight and I’m sure the travellers around us appreciate not hearing the repeated squeak of the dog toy. We will also pack a couple of balls for romps in the park – having an extra with us in case one goes missing.
Bought a new multipack so that we can put a roll in different places and never be caught without one. In the carrier, suitcase, rental car…
Along with packing a spare in case one somehow goes missing, we always put a short leash with no metal on it in the carrier bag. That way when we go through security we won’t get hauled off to another room for a further exploration.
Love these bowls – they flatten down to a disk and then pop open when you need it for water on the plane. Because it’s flat it neatly stores in the small pouch on the side of the carrier.
We are going to spend time at the beach after all! If space in our luggage was a huge concern I may pick up a towel in Italy, but we have a fantastic super absorbent towel that is perfect for a wet dog or muddy feet and there is room to bring it.
To date, all of our air trips have been under 6 hours so Tikka needing to pee mid journey has never come up. We’ll pack a couple pads just in case as she was trained on them very early on as a pup, so she’ll have an opportunity in the airplane bathroom if she wants to go. I suspect she’s going to try and hold it, which would be 12 hours from grass to grass at each airport. Poop wise, we feed the night before the journey and then there are just small treats on the day of travel. This keeps the stomach settled and less chance of a desperate ‘I have to go poop now’!
A new item on our list and new to Tikka is a muzzle. Italy requires muzzles for all dogs travelling on transit – It does seem a bit relaxed for small dogs, but she hasn’t fussed with having it on and I’d rather follow the rules so that countries will stay open to having dogs live openly among us 🙂
Just wait until you see this! Although Italy is incredibly dog friendly, we did pick up a backpack that you can rest your dog in for some of the areas that need you to hold your dog. Also perfect for a short jaunt on a Vespa to visit a local winery. I can’t wait to get some pics of Tikka and share with you how we liked using it.
Treats and Food
Due to most country’s regulations, meat and food products can be problematic to bring in, so to avoid any hassle we decided to leave these behind. A couple dry treat crumbs may be found at the very bottom of my pocket, for a little reward getting in an out of the carrier in security…
I think we thought of everything but I’m sure we’ll pickup anything we leave behind.