12 Products That Make Traveling With Pets a Breeze

If you plan on taking your dog or cat on your next vacation, it helps to be prepared. Portable bowls, calming toys, and waterproof blankets make traveling with pets stress- and mess-free. You can find these products and more in the list below.
Prepare Fluffy and Fido for your next getaway.
Prepare Fluffy and Fido for your next getaway. / Yuliia Kokosha/Moment/Getty Images
This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Travel is already stressful enough. Add an anxious pet with a small bladder to the equation, and you’re in for a bumpy ride. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prepare for a trip with your four-legged friend. Packing the right equipment to keep them clean, safe, calm, and fed will make the journey go smoother for everyone involved. From a portable litter box to a calming, pulsating plush toy, here are 12 of the best pet travel accessories for planning trips with dogs and cats.

1. Bedsure Waterproof Pet Blanket; $15 

Dog on Bedsure waterproof pet blanket.
Bedsure Waterproof Pet Blanket / Bedsure/Amazon

This waterproof pet blanket keeps your pet warm and comfortable while keeping furniture and surfaces clean. One side is made from cozy Sherpa material and the other is a microfiber fleece. Sandwiched in the middle is a waterproof lining that prevents pet accidents from leaking onto the seat of your car or the carpet of your hotel room. After your trip, run the blanket through the cold setting of your washing machine for easy clean-up.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags; $8

Earth Rated dog poop bags.
Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags / Earth Rated/Amazon

If you’re not used to picking up your dog’s waste in your backyard at home, you may forget to pack this essential travel item—and you don’t want to be without poop bags when it’s time for your pet to make a pit stop. The 120 bags in this pack from Earth Rated are made from 65 percent recycled plastic, and they’re durable enough to keep messes contained. 

Buy it: Amazon

3. MalsiPree Pet Water Bottle; $14

MalsiPree dog water bottle.
MalsiPree Pet Water Bottle / MalsiPree/Amazon

Staying hydrated on the go is just as important for your furry companion as it is for you. With this portable water dispenser, you don’t have to worry about unpacking your pet’s bowl and finding a way to fill it. Just add water to the bottle portion and screw on the top before hitting the road. When your dog or cat gets thirsty, press the release button to allow water to flow into the attached dish. You hold the bottle while your pet drinks from it, cutting down on potential spillage if they need a water break in a moving vehicle.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Collapsible Pet Bowl, Pack of 2; $6

Collapsible Pet Bowl 2-Pack
Collapsible Pet Bowl 2-Pack / SLSON/Amazon

For long distance trips, your pet will need bowls they can eat and drink from on the go. These plastic receptacles measure more than two inches deep when fully expanded, which is likely the same size as the dishes you feed your animal in at home. When empty, they collapse into flat, 5-inch discs that easily slip into your overstuffed bag.

Buy it: Amazon 

5. Best Bully Sticks, Pack of 5; $18

Pack of Best Bully Sticks
Best Bully Sticks / Best Bully Sticks/Amazon

You may have podcasts and audiobooks to entertain you on a long journey, but your pet isn’t so lucky. The best way to keep them occupied is with a treat. These bully sticks (a palatable name for dehydrated bull penis) are a healthy source of protein. With a variety of sizes to suit any breed of dog, the tough, chewy texture will keep them busy during boring parts of your trip. Just make sure your pet doesn’t crunch them up too small, as tiny, sharp pieces can become a choking hazard.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Nature’s Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator; $14

Bottle of Nature's Miracle pet spray.
Nature’s Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator / Nature's Miracle/Amazon

Whether it’s nerves or the disruption in their schedule, pets are prone to accidents while traveling. If this happens in a rental car or hotel room, you need to act fast. Nature’s Miracle is formulated to eliminate pet stains and odors before they have a chance to set into fabric. Just apply the spray to the mess as soon as you see it, wait 15 minutes, and blot the remaining residue. A bottle is essential to have when traveling with an animal.

Buy it: Amazon

7. ThunderShirt Anxiety Jacket; $37

Dog wearing ThunderShirt
ThunderShirt Anxiety Jacket / ThunderShirt/Amazon

Thunder shirts are good for more than scary storms. Any situation that’s likely to cause anxiety in your pet—like traveling—can benefit from one. Many dogs are comforted by the feeling of gentle pressure on their torso, and unlike other anti-anxiety treatments, thunder shirts are drug-free and require no prior conditioning. This product comes in 10 different sizes, so you can find the most comfortable fit for your pet. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Pet Fit For Life Collapsible Litter Box; $16

Collapsible cat litter box.
Pet Fit For Life Collapsible Portable Cat Litter Box / Pet Fit for Life/Amazon

If you can’t travel with your cat’s regular litter box, this portable version is a convenient substitution. The 16-by-12-inch box collapses into a 6-by-8-inch square that’s small enough to fit in a glove compartment. The outside is made from durable canvas, while the inside is a moisture-proof poly-plastic liner. Both materials are washable by hand, so you can clean the box in time for your return trip. 

Buy it: Amazon

9. Diggs Revol Collapsible Dog Crate; $357

Diggs Revol Dog Crate /

A crate keeps your dog safe while on the road. This hard-sided kennel measures 25 inches long, 17 inches wide, and 19 inches high, making it perfect for small dogs and puppies. After arriving at your destination, you can collapse the crate for easy transport and storage.

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Petsfit Expandable Carrier; $50

Cat inside expandable pet carrier.
Petsfit Expandable Carrier / Petsfit/Amazon

A soft-sided pet carrier is the best option for some journeys. The most compact size of this one from Petsfit is 16 inches long, 9 inches high, and 10 inches wide, which is small enough to have with you in the cabin of most airplanes. The mesh sides expand outward, so you can give your dog or cat a little extra breathing room while waiting to board your flight. The carrier folds flat when empty and can be stowed away easily. 

Buy it: Amazon

11. Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Toy; $40

Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Toy
Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Toy / Snuggle Puppy/Amazon

A good toy can make hours of stressful travel go by faster for you and your pet. This heartbeat toy from Snuggle Puppy is designed to soothe anxious dogs. The battery powered “heart” inside the soft stuffed animal can be set to pulsate for hours at a time, lulling your pet into a sense of calm and security. It also comes with a heat pack that keeps the plush pleasantly warm for 24 hours.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Greenies Pill Pockets; $10

Best pet travel products: Greenies Pill Pockets
Greenies Pill Pockets / Greenies / Amazon

Thunder jackets and soothing toys may not be enough for some anxious travelers. If your pet needs medication to calm down before a long trip, you can tuck their pill into one these sneaky treats from Greenies. Just insert the capsule into the dimple, pinch the opening closed, and feed it to your pet. The soft texture and real chicken flavor helps the medicine go down easy.

Buy it: Amazon