Best Dog Van Life Items You Wouldn’t Think Of

It’s important that both you and your furry travel companion have all the necessary items to van life comfortably. Here are some unexpected dog items you might want to add to your packing list.

Spill Proof Water Bowl

Best. Purchase. Ever. If there was one dog item we would urge you to buy it would be this (not sponsored). We have very limited space in the van so we keep our dog’s bowls in the crate. Since we are constantly jumping in and out of the car from adventures it was such a hassle to empty the water before driving and filling it when we get back. The great thing about this bowl is that there is a piece floating on top so only a small amount of water is visible in the middle and the rest is covered to ensure it doesn’t spill. It comes with instructions on how to get your dog to understand there is water in the bowl, but our pup got it right away! It’s awesome for long drives so our dog is able to drink whenever she wants but we don’t have to worry about water puddles. This bowl would also be super helpful for messy drinkers or pups who like to play in the water.

Click here to see the bowl we use

K9 Backpack

If your dog is anything like ours they usually poop out around mile 5 on the hike. It can be very difficult to complete a hike when your dog keeps trying to lay in the shade and forget trying to carry a squirmy 30+ lbs dog in your arms. We got a K9 sport sack because of its durability and cooling design. It’s pretty simple to slip her in but it’s definitely helpful to have another person help while putting them on your back. It comes with an extra bag that clips to the outside of the bag to hold extra water, treats, or poop bags. We’ve used this on long hikes and our dog absolutely loves it; we’ve also used it at a few museums or buses where dogs are allowed but have to be held.

Click here to see the backpack we use

Cooling Vest/All Weather Booties

When we’re hot so is our dog so not only do we have cooling towels for ourselves but we also have a cooling vest for our dog. The vest is worn similar to a harness and can be activated simply by adding water. In extreme weather or terrain we also ensure to put on all-weather booties for our dog. Much of the terrain we do is sharp and can reach scolding temperatures in the hot sun, we use the booties to help protect her paws from cuts, burns, and frostbite.

Paw Balm

After a long day of hiking we like to rejuvenate our pup’s paws by putting on some paw balm, this helps protect her paws from dryness, cracking, and sunburn. We have been using it for a few months and we definitely see a difference when we use it on her paws. We apply it generously to her paws at least once a day.

Click here to see the paw balm we use

Dog Crate

This may be obvious but this is something that is very easily looked over. We found that it is important for our dog to have her own space in the van and have a place to feel safe while we are in new and unusual locations. We built the crate into our conversion by making a crate topper and using it a table/ work space. Many dogs prefer to travel in their crate which can add some extra safety measure. Our dog prefers to ride in the front with us but we removed the door of the crate so she is free to walk in and out as she pleases.

Extra Harness, Collar, and Leash

Definitely pack extras! On our second night our dog broke her leash late at night in the middle of nowhere. Luckily we had extras but whether it’s lost, stolen, or broken you do not want to be looking for a PetCo while trying to catch your dog.

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