Packing List for the Dog Gear | Pet Travel

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…!

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Tikka in her Sturdi Bag getting ready for her Italy trip.


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.


Moosey, pack your bags!


Poop Bags

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.

Collapsible Bowl

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.

Pee Pad

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’!

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The ever evolving packing list


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.


Have Dog, Will Travel! | Pet Travel

Time for a change of scenery whilst bringing all the comforts of home along for the journey. Tikka brings so much comfort to me and my husband, always next to us no matter what kind of day we are having, ready to snuggle up to us with all her fluffy love. So of course she needs to come with us on our next big trip so that she can check out the scenery right along side of us!

Although Tikka is a seasoned traveler, navigating through airports and snoozing in different hotels, all of her travels have been in Canada and the US and only a few days at a time as they always centered around work trips. Finally, an opportunity for a proper 3 week vacation…now how the heck do we choose where to go and where is dog friendly? How long can Tikka fly for? How easy is the paperwork? And so the trip vetting process began.

After researching all of the above and narrowing down choices, a destination started to pull away from the pack. It became hard to dismiss it while scrolling through numerous websites and blogs about dog travel. The country sat right in front of us,  begging from its back legs and spinning like a circus poodle. How could we resist?


Italy it is!

First on our checklist was ‘had to be dog friendly’. Wow! Does Italy have this covered. Dogs in and outside of restaurants, in cafes and all around town squares – The Italians have actually figured out that you won’t die if you eat outside of your own house with your dog laying down next to you.

Checking out hotels and AirBnB was amazing. When you filter for ‘pet friendly’ only a small percentage of properties would drop out of the search. So many options in all ranges from rustic to luxury. Stores are also welcoming and we’ve read about dogs being spoiled at the local markets with the purveyors fussing and giving treats to happy wagging tails.

Transport looks fantastic – dogs on trains and buses and water taxis in Venice. Bringing Tikka along for all our adventures won’t be slowed down if we have to jump on local transit.

And then the deal was sealed when we found out about the beaches that cater to our four legged friends… beach chairs and umbrella rentals in huge off leash areas along the blue Mediterranean sea while someone walks up and down the sand selling gelato for dogs.

All sounds like doggy heaven and we can hardly wait, and we’re looking forward to having everyone follow along our trip with us! Ciao!

Tikka Vandoggo Vancouver Dog vintage suitcases