Pet travel preparation doesn’t stop with finding an airline-approved pet carrier or kennel. You want to ensure your pet is comfortable for the duration of the journey, whether he’s with you in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Shopping for pet bedding and seat covers can be as difficult as finding the carrier itself; you want material that is both soft and absorbent, but you don’t want the container to feel cramped at any point during the trip. Solutions do exist, and we’ve found a few items that stand apart from the rest.
Absorbent Pad; DryFur Pet Carrier Insert Pads
Sometimes you want a little more absorption security. Maybe your carrier already comes with a removable liner, or perhaps your pup has a habit of reliving himself in stressful situations. For added safety, we recommend investing in an insertable dry pad. These pads are reusable, inexpensive, and sized to fit nearly any type of carrier or kennel. We prefer the Pet Carrier Insert Pads from DryFur. These have a rigid code to keep the pad from bunching when wet, allowing the absorptive material to stay in place throughout the flight.
To use, simply slide this pad directly under your carrier or kennel’s bedding. If you’re choosing to forego bedding (maybe you’re just taking a quick trip to the vet), the pad is soft and plush enough for animals to remain comfortable. Chemicals in the pad work to eliminate potential smell, which is perfect for the cramped quarters of an airplane cabin. If you want added security or a no-spills guarantee, an absorbent pad is a low-cost solution.
Pet Carrier Bedding; Reversible Paw Print Pet Bed
Pet carrier bedding is one of the most difficult items to shop for. You want the bed to be comfortable, but not so plush that it makes the container feel cramped. You want it to be absorbent, but you don’t want that quality to hinder its comfort. When shopping for an in-carrier pet bed, we recommend looking for liners and pillows no more than three or four inches high/deep. Depending on your dog’s size, this will allow them to both stand up and sit down comfortably.
If you’re looking for something small, comfortable, and inexpensive, try the Reversible Paw Print Bed from Midwest Homes for Pets. It comes in six separate sizes to ensure a great fit, and the soft synthetic material makes a comfortable seat for your furry friend. The material itself, though not hyper absorptive, is machine washable and dryer safe, allowing you to easily use and reuse this helpful item. This is also a comfortable option for pet parents looking for small, washable peds for the home.
Cargo Kennel Bedding; Polo-Zippered Insertable and Removable Pillow
If your pet is traveling in the cargo hold of an airplane, you’ll likely need something a bit larger and more durable. You’ll want something with enough absorptive power to prevent long-term messes, but you don’t want to sacrifice comfort on cross-country flights. For cargo kennel bedding, we prefer the Polo-Zippered Insertable and Removable Pillow from touchdog. This item features a zip-open removable and machine-washable inner cushion, making for easy cleanups and reuse. The bed is made of a nylon-cotton blended exterior and a poly-cotton blended interior, allowing the pillow to absorb any and all messes that may occur in transit. This bed is soft enough to comfortably lie down but sturdy enough for your dog to stand.
The Polo-Zippered Insertable and Removable Pillow comes in two sizes (LG and XL) and four colors. However, if you’re worried about weight, be sure to test this out before flight day. The product weighs just over two pounds; that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it could make a difference in how much you pay for cargo travel.
Travel-Friendly Bedding; Chuckit! Travel Bed
If you’re bringing a furry friend on vacation, comfort supplies don’t stop with carrier and kennel beds. You may want to bring an additional bed for the hotel. Of course, you can always reuse the travel beds, but they may be saturated with drool and urine. If you don’t have access to an adequate washer or dryer, this could result in a build-up of smell and bacteria. You don’t want Fido relaxing on that for the duration of your trip.
Instead, opt for an inexpensive and travel-friendly bed. We like the Chuckit! Travel Bed, which folds up into a portable sack for optimal utility. The fabric is machine-washable, breathable, dries quickly, and is very soft. It measures 30”x39”, fitting most dogs. The bed itself is around four inches thick, creating a comfortable base, and the entire bed and sack weigh just over one pound. If you’re worried about fitting this into your carry-on, the sack has a strap for you to tie it to the outside of your backpack or suitcase.
Traveling often means renting a car or utilizing rideshare services. Though both Uber and Lyft allow animals in their vehicles, the decision to allow a dog into a car is made by the driver. As a precaution, you may want to bring a car seat cover. This item will protect the driver’s car from shedding, drooling, and an accidental bathroom break. If you’re using rideshare services, we recommend the Pet Front Seat Cover from BarksBar. The material is soft, waterproof, and folds up for easy travel. Additionally, the simple design can be quickly installed, which is very important if you have an impatient Uber driver.
Some pet parents will opt to rent a car on trips. Most rental car companies will allow animals in their cars, but many require drivers to use seat covers. If you’re looking for a travel-friendly but durable cover, we like the 600D Waterproof Pet Car Seat Cover from Bonve Pet. This Hammock-style cover protects the entire back seat, and the waterproof design is leak-proof. Additionally, the cover comes with two seatbelts for maximum safety.