A few for the road: Pet travel essentials


Food. Treats. Dishes. Beds.Towels. Toys.

Packing for a road trip with a dog or cat can mean gathering together about as much stuff as one would when vacationing with a small child.

Before Olivia and I headed to Vermont for our mommy/puppy weekend at The Essex Resort and Spa last spring, I filled half of the back of my SUV with Livvy essentials.

Our first trip together gave me a chance to try out a few great travel products.

Eats: I love the Kurgol Wander Pail. This stainless steel double bowl is modeled after camping gear for ease of use and efficiency in packing.

The water bowl and food bowl (which for short trips doubles as food storage)  nest in one another and a separate top that locks them together.

It's light and easy to clean. The product literature says it is dishwasher safe and stain and corrosion resistant. It also says it's insulated for raw food diets. It retails for $18.

Plays: How many have tried Chuckit toys?  I brought their fuzzy indoor ball with me to play in our hotel room and it has become one Livvy's favorite toys. Unlike other soft balls that are easily ripped apart, the Chuckit remains intact after hours of play. The ball is lightweight and firm, but the soft cover allows even smaller dogs like Livvy to grab hold of it and toss it. I saw one review that said it was hard to keep clean. Perhaps because Livvy doesn't slobber I don't have that problem. I use it for indoor play only. For those with lots of floor space the Chuckit website says it fits their indoor launcher. Retails for about $6.

Poops: The Biobag makes waste disposal easy and reduces puppies' carbon paw prints.  As the box informs us, regular petroleum-based plastic bags can "mummify" dogs' waste for a lifetime. The Biobag is made of corn by a global leader in biodegradable bags and films and is BPI-certified biodegradable. It's handy, opens and ties easily and comes in two sizes - standard and large - which fit neatly in your hand. It sells for about $10 for 100 bags.


Just last month I found a great new treat while wandering the streets of Booth Bay Harbor, Maine: Cod Skins. Made by Polkadog Bakery in Boston, the cod skins are foot-long crunchy treats for dogs.The bakery is all about locally-sourced, made in the USA, limited ingredient dog treats. Their suppliers are small fishermen from Maine to Alaska and the skins are hand-rolled in the bakery.

I bought the retail size (4.7 oz) at Two Salty Dogs Outfitters owned by the very knowledgeable and friendly Don Kingsbury.

The store is filled with innovative, U.S.-made toys and beds, organic food and high quality treats. On our way out Don handed my friend and me a little gift, a carabiner with his store name on it. The lagniappe - as they say in Louisiana - came with a really neat tip from Don: loop the leash handle around a stationary object and snap the carabiner to each end to make a quick tie when out walking.

Another great thing about cod sticks? You can break off bite-size pieces that will make the kitty in the house meow for more. A ten-stick package retails for $12.75. You also can buy the 2lb bulk size from Don (give him a call) or at the bakery website.