Even the dogs have gear - and we gotta store it.
Piper and Lily love hitting the road. While they leave their toys and collar collections at home, they still need some stuff. Since the backpack Piper's wearing and Lily's hobo sack won't really cut it, we decided to help them out. (Piper's backpack is actually going in the yard sale pile. Shhhh.)
Both dogs got crash-tested harnesses from Ruffware. We wanted them to be safely strapped in while we're in motion. Lily is modeling it in the picture above. Not much seems to ruffle that angelic golden fur. Piper, however, is not a fan. With the face she reserves for rectal thermometers, she begrudgingly wears hers. We're hoping she'll get used to it and associate it with adventures. Seriously, this dog can manage to look like a model in an ASPCA commercial doing the funnest stuff - cue the Cheryl Crow.
Both girls are also modeling their dog poo bag holders. We got these while staying at a dog-friendly boutique hotel in downtown San Francisco on our Honeymoon. These are so chic - unlike the grocery bag we usually tie around their leashes when we take them out.
We're looking at about four cups of food per day for the girls. That goes pretty quick, so buying a little bag might save a little on space, but it's literally false economy. Once we removed a bunch of stuff from the under seat storage space, we found a plastic bin that fits perfectly and holds a 24 lb. bag of food perfectly. (You have to shake it down, but it's so worth it.)
Storing their dishes is a challenge, too. We use a collapsible Ruffware bowl for water. We've had it for ages and have taken it hiking. The only thing about the design we don't like is the handle getting in the dog's way - they don't seem to like it, either. We may just cut it off, actually. Folding over the top seems to work to fix that problem and help the bowl stay open better if there isn't much water in it.
We're using it as their water bowl starting now so they get used to it. The fact that it can hold itself up and won't tip over is HUGE for when we're underway. If we're sleeping on the downstairs bed, the last thing we want is a mattress that's soaked with spilled dog water.
Food bowls were the other problem. The girls use ceramic or sturdy plastic and that takes up a lot of space. We're super excited about this one we found from Bowldog that are less than $3 each at our local specialty pet supply store. You can get a set of three on Amazon for $7. We try to shop local when we can, so it was worth the extra cash. We have two, one for each dog so they don't have to eat separately, and love how easily they're cleaned and stored.
Lily takes Phycox twice a day and we found that ordering them from Amazon was SO much cheaper than getting them from our vet that we just had to make that smart spending move. We slip it behind the food bin - fits perfectly.
Dog cookies are another storage issue. We just stash them behind the food bin, too and they're fine in this adorable container.
The little stuff (towels for when they need dried off, Heartguard, Frontline, brushes, extra bags, etc) fit in a Rubbermaid container we happened to have it and fits under the bench, too.