A Packing List for a Dog-Friendly Hotel Stay

A Packing List for a Dog-Friendly Hotel Stay

There's a lot to consider when planning a dog-friendly holiday, from booking a pet-friendly hotel to finding dog-friendly activities. With all that to think about, the obvious essentials—like what to pack—can get overlooked.

I've travelled all over the UK with my dog. But it took me a while to figure out what items are crucial for making trips more comfortable for both me and my companion—without overloading my bag or causing unnecessary waste.

You might be wondering "what does a dog need to travel?" Knowing what to expect makes travelling with a dog less stressful. For slow sustainable travel, it's best to use a travel checklist for planning a trip. It makes travelling light and reducing waste easy.

This dog-friendly hotel packing checklist has everything you need when travelling with a dog. Download the list for quick access on your phone to use on your next dog-friendly trip.

A Packing List for a Dog-Friendly Hotel Stay

Dog Travel Bag

For getting to and from the hotel, a dog travel bag is useful to have in some form. Whether that's a small bag, outdoor-specific backpack, or simple tote bag. Keeping a dog's belongings together in one place makes accessing the essentials much easier.

I store all my dog's possessions in a Kanken Mini. It's remarkably roomy and can fit everything including food, toys, and spare leads. There's extra storage in the side pockets and even space for a hand towel between the handles.

Collar and Harness with ID Tags

Obviously a collar or harness with ID tags are an every day essential not just for travel. But double checking these accessories are in good condition with the correct tags attached before travelling is important for the safety of your dog.

Since my dog has several harness and leash sets, I like to make sure the one he's wearing has the correct ID tags attached. I also check the harness and lead over for any signs of wear and tear that might cause them to break while we're away.

Hands-Free Lead

Even dog-friendly hotels expect their canine guests to be kept on a short lead when it public spaces. Although the type of lead you pack depends on the destination and activities planned; a standard reflective lead is a good option for most situations.

I highly recommend using a hands-free lead. They make travelling with a dog so much easier. I have The Woof Hut Hands Free Lead, which has an extended length of 2.35 meters. It saves the need to pack an extra long line leash.

Travel Dog Bowls

Even though dog-friendly hotels tend to provide food and water bowls you can borrow for the duration of your stay. It's worth packing a collapsible dog bowl for travelling. They're compact and lightweight, and can be clipped onto a backpack or squeezed into a side pocket.

Whether on a long trip or a day out, I always pack a Beco Collapsible Travel Bowl. It's made from hard-wearing silicone that's durable and easy to clean. I borrow a food bowl when I'm at the hotel, and use the collapsible bowl for water on the go.

Food and Treats

Cloth bags are a lightweight, plastic-free option that is easier to pack than bulky storage boxes. Changing your dog's food can can cause problems. So make sure to weigh out enough dog food for the trip, and then add some extra. That way your dog will have enough meals as well as being covered if you stay an extra night or get delayed in traffic.

I ran into this issue when I stayed an extra night on a trip to Brighton. I had to buy more and opted for a plant-based option. In my experience, vegan dog food is less likely to cause a stomach upset when switching food at such short notice. Worth remembering if you're ever caught out!

A Packing List for a Dog-Friendly Hotel Stay

Poop Bags, Holder, and Poop Pal

Most dog guardians will quickly find every pocket full of dog poo bags. A poop bag holder attached to the dog's lead will ensure you're never without one. If you do run out, dog-friendly hotels usually have spares.

Another useful tool I've discovered is a poop pal. These helpful dog accessories carry used bags so you don't have to. They make long walks where there are no bins in sight a lot more enjoyable.

Bed or Blanket

Most dog-friendly hotels will provide a dog bed upon request so it's not always necessary to bring one when travelling. If your dog is a nervous traveller or is particularly fond of their own bed, it might be worth packing bedding from home to make them feel more comfortable.

My dog isn't fussy about where he sleeps and prefers the floor. For train journeys and hotel stays, I leave his bed at home and rely on the hotel to provide one. Only when we're travelling by car do I bring his Earthbound Waterproof Dog Bed.

Dog Toys

Travel is exciting for some dogs and overwhelming for others. Depending on your companion, they're going to require something to soothe or distract them when in an unfamiliar hotel room. To pack light, choose a couple of their favourites and leave the rest at home.

My dog gets so tired out by our adventures that he rarely plays with toys when travelling. I've learned it's wise not to pack too many. A durable chew and a tennis ball is usually enough to cover most trips.

A Packing List for a Dog-Friendly Hotel Stay


Packing a towel is a must when travelling with a dog. It helps keep paws clean and protects hotel furniture from getting dirty. If any outdoor activities are planned, like running on the beach or swimming in a lake, a towel is a must-have.

I found having a small hand towel was particularly useful for train travel. Being able to spread it over a seat for my dog to sit on meant he wasn't getting under people's feet as they moved through the carriage.

Grooming Products

Travel adventures with a dog tend to get messy. Packing a few grooming products is advisable to deal with the dirt, burrs, sand, and water before going back to the hotel and getting the room dirty.

Having a long-haired double-coated dog means grooming products are a non-negotiable when travelling. A Pet Teezer can see us through most short trips. Although if messy activities are planned, a detangling spray is a must.

Optional Items

Items such as a lint brush, dog bed, and food bowl can often be provided by dog-friendly hotels meaning you won't have to pack them. Other items, like a dog seatbelt, pet first aid kit, and GPS tracker are dependent on where you're travelling, how far, and what you're doing when you get there.

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A Packing List for a Dog-Friendly Hotel Stay