The Ultimate Dog Packing List for Florida and Beyond

It’s no secret that Andrew and I love taking Kiwi on trips with us around Florida. He’s even been to five states outside of Florida! I have a note on my phone that I always reference as a dog packing list, so I figured it was time to share it with the world and help others travel with their pups.

This Florida dog packing list is ideal for packing for warm weather destinations. I have included anything you might need whether on the road or flying with your dog. Most of these items I pack myself and a few are trip dependent. Here are the forty items I would recommend adding to your dog packing list!

Florida dog packing list printable

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Florida Dog Packing List Essentials

I travel all over Florida with my corgi and have found the climate here calls for some unique packing items. If you are traveling to Florida with your dog, here are some items you should definitely consider adding to your Florida packing list, especially if you are going to the beach or boating.

florida beach dog
  1. Dog Sun Screen – If you have a short-haired or hairless dog and plan to be in the sun for a few hours, you should definitely bring dog sunscreen! They can get burnt just like humans here. And even if you have a fluffy pup like us, it’s still good to put some sun balm on thin hair spots like their nose and ears.
  2. Life Vest – Taking your dog to the beach is one of the highlights of living in Florida! But if you aren’t sure of their swimming abilities, bring a life vest, especially if they are going on a boat.
  3. Water Bottle – With such hot days, your dog needs all the hydration it can get! We love packing a water bottle like this to easily give Kiwi a refreshing sip whenever he needs it.
  4. Water Toys – If you plan to play in the water, bring a fetch toy like this! It can help your dog enjoy the pool or beach more and it is fun to watch.
  5. Balls – Conversely, Kiwi also loves playing fetch on the beach. These waterproof tennis balls are a lot more durable for use outside.
  6. Shade Tent – If you have room to pack a shade tent for your pup, I am sure they will thank you for it! Of course, they can always sit under the umbrella with you, but if you do not plan to have one, this shade tent will keep your dog cool.
  7. Towel – One lesson we have learned is to always bring an extra dog towel or two! Whether you are swimming or hiking in Florida, your dog gets dirty and a towel to clean and wipe them comes in handy.
  8. Seat Cover – For those on a road trip, a seat cover is essential! This will keep your back seat clean and your dog comfy while traveling.
  9. Cooler – I always recommend having a cooler when traveling in Florida, especially with dogs! This way you do not have to worry about their water, food, or treats getting too hot in the car.
  10. Thunder Vest – For dogs that get anxious during storms, a thunder coat is essential. Definitely bring one if you are visiting during the stormy summer season, or during the holidays when fireworks are popular.

Essentials for Any Dog Trip

Though the items above are mainly relevant to packing for Florida, this next part of the list includes items you will always need. It may seem obvious, but often I find the most obvious things get forgotten when packing. Here are the absolute essentials for any dog packing list.

corgi dog in florida by the water
  1. Leash – You won’t get far traveling with your dog without a leash! We love Kiwi’s Wilder Dog rope leash.
  2. Collar – A collar is also essential, especially in case they get lost while traveling. We have a matching Wilder Dog one for Kwi.
  3. Harness – We often walk Kiwi with a harness for comfort, but then leave his collar on just in case he gets loose and we need to grab him. We have found this balance harness is great for walking a stubborn corgi.
  4. ID Tag – Hopefully your dog is microchipped (make sure to have the number with you just in case), but your dog can be returned much quicker to you if they got lost and also have an ID tag. Qalo makes some cute ones that we have for Kiwi.
  5. Toys – Of course, add favorite toys to your dog packing list! Kiwi loves his toys from BarkBox and they are hard for him to destroy.
  6. Waste Bags – Always have plenty of waste bags on hand so you can pick up after your dog no matter where they have to go.
  7. Vet Records – Make sure to get your dog’s vet records and save or print them to your phone for reference. You never know if you will need that info. Once we wanted to take Kiwi to a dog bar and they needed his vaccine record for it. Luckily, we just happened to have an email and now we always travel with it!
  8. First Aid Kit – Keep your dog safe with this first aid kit made for dog issues. Ideally, you will never need it, but it is good to have in the car for emergencies.

Optional Dog Packing List Items

Next on my Florida dog packing list is some optional items that you may want to consider packing. This is very dependent on the dog, but I have had a use for all of these items at some point.

dog in backpack on a hike
  1. Dog Backpack – One thing we always pack when traveling with Kiwi is his Little Chonk backpack! This is a backpack that your dog can ride in comfort. It works great for public transportation and walks through crowded cities. We get so many fun reactions when he uses it too! Make sure to try it out before a trip, but if you have a dog under 50 pounds, I highly recommend integrating this into your travel routine.
  2. Shampoo – If you think your dog will get dirty on your vacation and want to give them a bath, don’t forget shampoo! We only bring this if we know we have enough room to bathe Kiwi.
  3. Brush – However, always bring a brush or comb to keep your dogs coat looking pretty. This is a must if you have a dog with hair that gets matted.
  4. Nail Trimmer – For long trips, a nail trimmer can be convenient to pack. We have this Dremel nail grinder that easily keeps our fog’s nails shorts.
  5. Potty Pads – If your dog is a puppy or not house trained, some potty pads are good to pack. This way you do not have to worry about accidents during your travels.
  6. Tweezers – You will find tweezers in the first aid kit, but if your vacation includes some hikes or camping, it is smart to bring an extra pair on hand. You will want tweezers easily accessible if your dog gets any ticks that need to be removed.
  7. Wipes – These travel wipes are so convenient for cleaning up messes big and small! We always have some in the car for our dog during road trips.
  8. Lint Roller – Even when we don’t bring a dog on our trip, we almost always bring a lint roller because his fur follows us everywhere! Definitely bring one of one these if your dog sheds, especially if you are getting a rental car.
  9. Dog CBD or Calming Aid – For taking a trip by plane, I know many pet owners bring CBD treats or some sort of calming aid for their dog. If your dog gets nervous traveling, I recommend trying these out ahead of time and packing some.

Comfort Items

I am sure we are not the only people who have a spoiled dog that travels in luxury! We always make sure to write down his favorite comfort items on our packing list. Here are some you might want to remember for your own little king or queen of the house!

corgi on a road trip
  1. Crate – If your dog has a crate they are comfortable in alone (even better if it’s a travel crate), it’s smart to pack it. Kiwi is much more relaxed in his crate when we leave him at a hotel than without it.
  2. Dog Bed – For dogs that don’t have a crate, a dog bed can be nice for them to lay on during the day or night. This one is great for traveling dogs. It can be nice in the car too!
  3. Car Seat – When traveling with Kiwi, we have this handy strap that buckles in and keeps him secure in the car. I recommend getting this one or some sort of car seat for driving with your dog.
  4. Blanket – A blanket is always nice to bring, especially if it has the smell of home for your dog. If you don’t have one, get this blanket ahead of time for your dog’s bed
  5. Bandana – We take tons of pictures while traveling and they always look cute if Kiwi has a bandana with a pop of color. Wilder Dog has some great options for stylish dogs.
  6. Jacket or Clothes – For fashionable pups, make sure to pack their favorite outfit. If they do not like rain, packing a doggie raincoat is ideal for Florida.
  7. Paw Booties – If your dog has sensitive feet, you may want to bring some paw booties. This way they will not hurt their heat on the hot pavement or have issues with skin allergies in the grass here.

Meal and Treat Items

Last, I want to focus on a dog’s favorite part of a Florida packing list, which is, of course, FOOD! Traveling with a hungry dog is not fun, so make sure to bring all the food and treat items mentioned below. Keep in mind, most of the year it gets very hot in cars, so try not to bring things that will melt if you will be in the car a lot.

bonita dog beach
  1. Treats – You will want to reward your dog for good behavior while traveling (Or bribe them to stop the bad behavior), so bring at least one bag to have on hand. I like to bring two bags of treats so we can switch up the flavors.
  2. Treat Pouch – Our dog trainer recommended this and it has been a game changer. This pouch provides easy access for giving your dog treats and keeping them under control.
  3. Food – Plan to pack at least 2 meals worth of food per day and then a couple of extra servings just in case. Make sure it is in a secure container though. We had a dog that once broke into his Ziploc of food for a weekend trip and ate it all on the first night!
  4. Chewy Bones – Some type of bone for your dog to chew on for longer lengths of time is good to bring. Kiwi is very into Greenies, but some people use rawhides or kong toys.
  5. Medication – If your dog is on any medication, do not forget to pack it. Make sure they take heartworm medication before visiting Florida, as they can catch it here.
  6. Water – If you won’t have access to a reliable source of drinking water on your trip, bring a large bottle for each day.
  7. Food and Water Bowls – Lastly don’t forget to pack food and water bowls for your dog’s meal. They sell handy travel ones like these.

Looking for Florida destinations to take your dog? Check out my guide to pup-friendly places throughout the state!

Dog Friendly Florida Vacations

Know Before You Go: Dog Things to Pack for Florida and Other Hot Weather Destinations

This might seem like a lot, but traveling with a dog can be challenging, so I like to have a dog packing list that works in all sorts of situations. The dog packing list here is more aimed at road trips with a dog to Florida, but it can apply to air travel as well. Just leave off any items that will not fit in your suitcase and you can always pick up items as needed at a pet store.

I hope this packing list hopes you have an amazing trip to Florida with your dog! Here are some final tips to keep in mind:

  • Temperatures are regularly above 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round in Florida. Be sure your dog is prepared for the heat and NEVER leave your dog alone in the car.
  • If you plan to take your dog to the beach, make sure it is one of the dog-friendly beaches. There are off-leash and on-leash beaches, so follow all regulations depending on the location.
  • For those staying at a hotel, you usually cannot bring your dog to the pool area. Book an Airbnb if you want your dog to swim with you!
  • My favorite pet-friendly hotels are Aloft and Hyatt Hotels. Check out my hotel reviews for more ideas for a Florida getaway with your dog.
  • I recommend bringing a separate bag for dog stuff if you have room. You will want it easily accessible, especially in the car.

Has your dog taken a Florida vacation before? Let me know if there is anything that was on your dog packing list that I missed! And if you are planning on getting a puppy that needs a Florida name, check out my Florida Dog Name Ideas here!

For human packing tips, check out my Ultimate Florida Packing List, complete with a PDF checklist!

florida packing guide for dogs