What to Pack in a Road Trip Emergency Kit for Dogs

This article is a part of our On The Road series, sponsored by Tall Tails and Kurgo. I adopted my dog, Nora, in 2016 from One Tail at a Time in Chicago. She was a rescue from Alabama, a state with a high euthanasia rate. As we come up on our five-year anniversary this summer, we’re celebrating with the ultimutt road trip. Follow along with our yappy trails as I take Nora on a solo road trip to see the ocean.

In theory, all you need for the perfect road trip is a car, your dog, and good vibes. Unfortunately, disaster likes to strike whenever you least expect it, which may unfortunately be on the road in the middle of nowhere. But never fear; you’ve got a Sidewalk Doggo in the car with you, and they’re prepared for everything. Read on about what to pack in your road trip emergency kit for dogs (and you)! 

Pet Emergency Kit Packing List

You and Fluffy may be two sides of the same coin, but an emergency for her is different than one for you. Use this dog road trip emergency kit packing list so your diva doesn’t make an emergency even ruff-er for you.

Tall Tails Blanket

I love you, but in case of emergency, this blanket is all mine. | @norpup 

A blanket can be many things–warmth, a place for your dog, or even simply just comfort. When things go south, you’ll want a versatile blanket with you. Nora travels everywhere with her Tall Tails blanket because the familiarity helps her adapt to new things more quickly, like hours-long drives or Airbnb beds. In a pinch, we can cuddle and share the blanket for warmth while we wait for roadside assistance.

(Wanna get pup her very own blanket? Use code NORA25 for 25% off at Talltailsdog.com)

Kurgo First Aid Kit

Kurgo First Aid Kit -- road trip emergency kit supplies

Dog forbid something happen to pupper, but he’s not invincible. For any boo-boos that may happen while on your road trip, pack your Dog First Aid Kit from Kurgo, which includes supplies to handle most common injuries. This first aid kit conveniently comes in a compact bag that’s easy to carry with you on hikes or adventures, and just as easy to store in your car. Also, a lot of the supplies can be shared with humans, so you can just add a few more things to the bag.

(P.S. Buying travel supplies? Save 20% at Kurgo thru 9/30/21 with code NORA20)

Snackies for Pup (and You)

Call us Guy Fieri, but half the fun of a road trip is the food you’ll get to eat at the drive-ins, diners, and dives you find on the road. If you’re stuck on the road with no options, you’ll wish you packed some snacks for you and your pup. Some of the basics you’ll need are bottles of water and a bowl that your dog can drink out of, especially if it’s warm weather.

You should also have shelf stable food that can sit in the car for a while, like granola bars, cereal, or crackers. While your dog can share those with you, he may appreciate some dog snacks instead. He’ll never say no to extra treats, and if you stop by your local pet store and ask nicely, they probably have sample bags of dog food that you can pack in case of emergency.


For the dog that’s medicated on a schedule, an extra dose should be in your emergency kit if it’s temperature stable. While you probably packed their daily medicine in their doggy bag, keep a little extra in the car, just in case you left the bag at your Airbnb while out adventuring. If disaster strikes, you never know how long you may be waiting for assistance. The same goes for human medicine too! 

Poop Bags

You’re a dog parent; you’d never be caught without a spare bag or two for your dog’s number two. Maybe it’s silly, but poop bags are a versatile thing for the car. They can act as a trash bag for snack wrappers, or even gloves in a pinch. Just toss a roll into your emergency kit, and you’ll be sure to find a use for them eventually.

Extra Leash and Collar


Fido is a sweet angel who would never do anything naughty, right? While that may be true, we’ve seen it all with leashes just snapping with wear or dogs chewing through them while bored in the backseat. Don’t be caught unprepared on the road, and stash an extra leash and collar set in your car–and don’t forget to include updated tags! 

We love this Kurgo leash since it’s sturdy but also has different configurations. It’s adjustable to wear around your waist in case you need to free your hands, and you can shorten the leash to keep him close, or tether him in case of emergency. (Save 20% on the Kurgo leash with code NORA20)

Road Trip Emergency Kit

You’ve made your road trip emergency kit for your dog, packed your cute matching outfits for the ‘gram, and made a playlist of podcasts that’ll earn you a Bachelor’s degree in true crime. The only thing left is to make your road trip emergency kit.

Jumper Cables

Dead batteries happen to the best of us; all it takes is forgetting to turn your lights off while grabbing dinner and then you’re stranded. Luckily, most of the time this problem can be solved with the help of a kind stranger with a car and jumper cables. Toss ‘em in your trunk and don’t forget to watch a how-to on jumper cables before hitting the open road, since service can be spotty.

Flashlight or Headlamp

We know, your dog is the light of your life. While he may light up every room he walks into, he unfortunately will have a hard time illuminating what’s under the hood of your car in an emergency. Having a flashlight (and extra batteries) in the car is great when you need to inspect things, or to use to get someone’s attention. A headlamp is an extra convenient upgrade to let you use both hands (for petting your dog, probably). 

Spare Tire (and All the Accessories)

You’ll have plenty of time to wonder where your tax dollars are going when a big honkin’ pothole takes out one of your tires. Luckily, if you have a spare tire, you won’t have to spend too long pondering that question. Most cars already have it, but make sure you have an inflated spare tire, and also a working jack (and a wheel lug if your car requires it). You may be able to recollect everything from high school driver’s ed, but if you may have forgotten how to change a tire, check out this how-to before you hit the road. 

Road Map

If Bingo asks you, “Are we there yet?” one more time, someone’s in the dog house. While a world atlas fits in the palm of our hands nowadays, a dead battery or spotty service is all it takes to get lost. Don’t let your trip take any longer than it needs to be, and get back on the road with a paper road map that’ll never lose service.


If you’re going to have to walk along the side of the road, especially at night, you’ll feel better about it with something reflective. A reflective vest is easy to pack and put on before you get out of your car. There’s also reflective triangles you can put on the road to alert other drivers to give you space. For pup’s safety (and so you can be twinsies), there are reflective vests for dogs that you can also use for nighttime walking even after your road trip! 

What’s in your dog’s road trip emergency kit? Woof us some suggestions in the comments and don’t forget to tag us with #SidewalkDog on all your road trip adventures!

Featured photo: Jay Wennington

Safe and enjoyable travels for you and your pet are Kurgo’s passion. As the founders put it, “We never create a product unless we think it solves a real need, is original or a major improvement on what’s on the market, and can stand the test of time.” Their products come with a lifetime guarantee, which means you’ll never have to leave your BFF behind.

Tall Tails got their start in infant bedding, so you can rest assured that every product is crafted from durable, non-toxic materials and designed for easy cleaning. This means they’ll keep looking smart and stylish wherever your pet’s “dreamy place” might be. And you’ll feel good knowing your precious pet is happily napping in the most baby-safe bed, blanket, or throw you can find.

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagramthen check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

If you make a purchase via our affiliate links, Sidewalk Dog may earn a tiny affiliate commission. Supporting Sidewalk Dog supports the work we do for rescues and shelters.♥ All products were available and pricing accurate at the time of publication.

More reads you’ll ruv:

More reads you’ll ruv:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The internet’s most dog-friendly website. Sidewalk Dog is your go-to resource for all things dog. Trusted by more than 250,000 dog people around the world.

Join the Pack