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Vanlife Gear For Dogs: 7 Must-Have Essentials

Luna and Pawdrick relaxing at Goose Creek State Park after a hike

Welcome to the ultimate guide, where adventure meets four-legged companionship! Whether scaling remote peaks, exploring meandering trails, or enjoying the freedom of the open road, ensuring your canine buddy is as prepared as you are is essential

We’ve put together a list of essential vanlife gear for dogs, including everything your furry co-pilot will need to keep their tail wagging in your van. From bedding to harnesses, we’ll go through a checklist of items you’ll need to adventure on the road with your dog.

This post includes affiliate links but rest assured that we only recommend items we would use ourselves. And if you choose to make a purchase, we receive a small commission. No sponsorships, just the truth about our favorite finds.

1. Bedding: A Cozy Corner for Dreaming of Adventures

Pawd on portable dog bed - vanlife gear for dogs

Every dog deserves a comfy spot to lay their head after a day of adventures. That’s why we consider dog beds essential vanlife gear for dogs.

We’ll explore the best bedding options that can withstand van life’s unique challenges—durability, space-saving designs, and comfort.

Ruffwear Basecamp Dog Bed

Depending on your van setup, your bed may be stowed away during the day or while driving. In these instances, it’s best to give your furry pal a place to lay their head while you’re not out adventuring.

The Ruffwear Basecamp™ Dog Bed is perfect for setups with limited space. It comes in three sizes for different-sized doggos. The surface is microseude, which is soft and easy to clean. The bed is flexible, so you can stuff it away when it’s not in use to save space.

  • Best For: Inside or outside the van
  • Pros: Flexible, soft, multiple sizes, can be rolled up
  • Cons: Not as portable as other dog beds.

Precious Tails Seat Belt Compatible Travel Bolster Cat & Dog Bed

The Precious Tails Dog Bed is a fantastic option for when you’re driving from place to place in your van. The bed attaches to the headrest of your co-pilot’s seat. It includes an optional leash attachment to keep your pup secure in case of an accident.

This is an excellent choice if you vanlife solo and want extra security for your dog while driving. It’s not the best option for an everyday bed or one you could use outside the van.

  • Best For: While driving the van
  • Pros: Attaches to seat headrest to keep dog in place while driving
  • Cons: Not the best option for a regular dog bed

Ruffwear Mt. EverRest™ Dog Cot

When hanging out at basecamp, aka your van, the Ruffwear Mt. EverRest Dog Cot can be set up in minutes to give your pup an elevated surface to lay on.

The cot conveniently breaks down and packs into a stuff sack that can be stored in the van when not in use. This bed is not a great option if you want a bed to go inside the van.

  • Best For: Outside the van when stopped
  • Pros: Collapsible and portable
  • Cons: Not a good option for inside the van. Takes a few minutes to set up.

Chuckit! Travel Pillow Dog Bed

Chuckit! is well-known for its fetch toys that dogs (especially our dog, Pawdrick) LOVE to chase. However, you may not know that they also make a super comfortable portable bed for dogs!

The Travel Pillow dog bed is one size, measuring 39 inches long and 30 inches wide. It has a stuff sack for easy packing and stowing in the van. Your pup will love the soft suede surface and comfortable padding.

  • Best For: Inside or outside the van
  • Pros: Soft, padded, comes with a stuff sack for easy packing
  • Cons: Only one size

Ruffwear Highlands™ Dog Pad

Ruffwear’s Highlands Dog Pad is perfect for those who adventure with their dogs. It packs down in an accordion style to easily fit on the outside of a backpack while hiking or backpacking in the wilds.

The bed consists of closed-cell foam that protects your pup from cold surfaces. The underside of the bed is waterproof to keep your dog dry, and the microsuede surface is super soft and easy to clean. It comes in two sizes to fit your doggo.

  • Best For: hiking, backpacking, rock climbing
  • Pros: accordion style folding for easy transport, lightweight, comfortable
  • Cons: Not very thick

Dog beds are essential vanlife gear for dogs. Investing in a bed that fits your dog’s size, activity, and age will add to their enjoyment as they live their best life on the road with their human!

Do You Need A Dog Bed For The Van?

Pawd on bed in a van

If your van is already equipped with a human bed, you may wonder whether you need a dog bed. After all, space is limited in a van! We totally get it.

Purdue University tells us that dog beds are part of physical enrichment, one of five forms of enrichment essential to your dog’s happiness. Enrichment reduces stress in dogs and can help reinforce socialization practices.

A dog bed may give your dog a feeling of belonging in the van. Dogs like to have their own safe space to rest and relax and know they won’t be bothered or disturbed. 

Additionally, dog beds that can go outside the van or with you on hiking adventures add to your pet’s comfort. Sure, you could set down a blanket or towel, but it’s not quite as comfortable as a dog bed! Our conclusion? Dog beds are totally essential vanlife gear for dogs!

2. Food and Water Essentials: Fueling the Journey

Ruffwear Bivvy Bowl

Nutrition on the road doesn’t have to be complicated. From collapsible bowls to portable storage solutions, we’ll cover how to keep your pup well-fed and hydrated without cluttering your living space with this vanlife gear for dogs.

One thing I recommend for traveling with dogs in a van is to have at least one compartment dedicated to your pet. This includes a storage space for their bowls, toys, food, snacks, bones, and anything else you might need for your dog.

Our van has a pull-out drawer under our bed that can fit all of Pawdrick’s gear!

Collapsible Bowls

Pawdrick dog drinking from collapsible water bowl

Collapsible bowls are super helpful when you and your pup go on an adventure. Whether it’s a short walk around the campground or a five-mile hike through the wilderness, having a collapsible bowl is one piece of vanlife gear for dogs you don’t want to forget!

Collapsible bowls can be used for food or water, making them doubly useful on long adventures!

  • Ruffwear Bivy™ Collapsible Dog Bowl: This bowl is a powerhouse! It can hold up to 60 liters of water and weighs just under 3 ounces. This is an excellent option for long adventures or even as a food and water bowl inside the van.
  • Mr. Peanut’s Premium Non-Skid Collapsible BowlsThese bowls come in a pack of 3 or 4 and are non-skid, which works great in a moving vehicle! The bowls are smaller than the Bivy but can still hold 32 ounces of water. They come with a small carabiner that clips easily to hooks in the van or backpacks for adventuring.

Non-Collapsible Bowls

If you have the space, you may want rigid food and water bowls for more durability on the road. Here are a few of the best to use for vanlife:

  • Frisco Stainless Steel BowlThis is your basic dog bowl, but it has a non-skid base, which is helpful in a van. It can hold up to 4 cups of food or 32 ounces of water.
  • Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl: For garbage-disposal dogs that eat way too fast, this slow feeder will help slow them down for better digestion. We use this to feed our dog in the van!

Accessories For Food And Water

A few van-specific accessories can make your life easier when feeding and watering your dog. Here are some of our favorite vanlife gear for dogs that makes meal times a breeze:

Travel Water Bottles

One of the best things we ever discovered for hiking with our boy Pawdrick was dog water bottles

These magical items are just like regular water bottles, except they typically have a dog bowl built into them. When the dog is done drinking water, the water can flow back into the bottle. No waste!

If you’re into hiking, this should be a quintessential item on your vanlife gear for dogs checklist!

3. Leashes and Harnesses: Safe Explorations

Pawdrick on a hiking trail in harness

The right leash and harness are crucial for any outdoor activity. We’ll look into the most reliable, comfortable, and versatile options that ensure your dog’s safety and give you peace of mind during your explorations.

Harnesses and leashes are a must-have vanlife gear for dogs.


When you live an adventurous lifestyle, a harness is your best bet for keeping your pup under control without putting pressure on its delicate throat. A harness distributes the pull of a leash evenly across the dog’s chest, making for happier trails and wagging tails!

  • Flagline™ Dog Harness: This is the harness we use while adventuring with our dog. It’s lightweight, has a handle on top for scrambling over rough terrain, and has an extra belly strap to keep it in place. 
  • Swamp Cooler™ Dog Cooling Harness: Most vanlifers stick to fairweather states. For hot summer days, a cooling harness helps to keep your dog cool and doubles as an excellent lightweight harness. We have a fantastic guide on the best dog cooling vests here!
  • Switchbak™ Dog HarnessYou might want something a little more sturdy when going on longer adventures. The Switchbak has small pouches to store dog food, poo bags, and whatever else you might need on your journey!

If you’re looking for a harness that doubles as a seatbelt, check out FurHaven Car Dog Seat Belt & Clip. It clips into the seatbelt buckle, and then you clip your dog’s harness to it.


Every vanlife adventure with a dog is unique. Maybe you love to rock climb and hike in the backcountry. Or perhaps you enjoy sightseeing and walking with your dog in cities and towns. 

No matter where you and your canine companion walk, a leash is a necessary piece of vanlife gear for dogs! Most National Parks require leashes no longer than 6 feet, and some state parks also require this. You can read our guide on the most dog-friendly National Parks here!

However, even retractable leashes are okay in these parks if you shorten them to 6 feet. Let’s check out the best dog leashes for vanlife:

  • Crag EX™ Adjustable Dog Leash: This leash is adjustable from 6 feet to 3.5 feet, depending on whether you need to keep your pup close or allow a more relaxed walk. It can be used around the waist or held by hand. The bright colors offer more visibility in low-light conditions.
  • Flexi Classic Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash: When you want your dog to roam as much as it wants. The Flexi comes in multiple sizes, ranging from 10 to 26 ft long.
  • Flagline™ Dog Leash: The ultimate vanlife leash. It’s lightweightpackable, and can be worn on the waist or held by hand. It complies with almost all leash laws and is made of durable webbing that will last through vanlife.
  • PetSafe Cotton Dog Training Lead: Consider this lead if you’re trying to train your dog to walk off-leash. It’s a long lead that lets them roam and practice their recall while still being tethered to their human.

Leash & Harness Accessories

There are a few leash and harness accessories that come in handy while adventuring on the road with your pup. They may be something to look into, especially if you plan on hiking or walking your dog in unfamiliar territory.

  • The Beacon™ Dog Safety Light: This little baby clips onto your dog’s collar, harness, or other gear to keep it visible in low-light conditions. The light can be seen in all directions, and the device itself is waterproof, durable, and rechargeable, with an operating time of up to 20 hours!
  • Blazin LED USB Rechargeable Nylon Dog Collar: This is a must-have accessory if you want your whole pup’s collar to light up. It comes in multiple colors, has three different settings, and runs for 8 hours.
  • Tuff Mutt Leash Attachment Poop Bag Holder: This nifty piece of gear attaches to your dog’s leash and carries a roll of poo bags. It also has a clip on the side to attach full poo bags so you can stay hands-free on your adventures.
  • Dooloop Walk in the Park Dog Waste Bag Holder: A simple yet unique design that attaches to a leash and holds full poo bags.

Speaking of poo bags, this is definitely one item on your vanlife gear for dogs checklist you do not want to forget! We aim for eco-friendly poo bags that won’t sit in a landfill forever. The Original Poop Bags USDA Certified Biobased Rolls are fantastic! 

Always pick up your dog’s waste and dispose of the bag in a trash can, not on the trail. Even though the bags are ‘biodegradable,’ they need specific conditions to biodegrade, and you won’t find those conditions on the side of a trail! You can read more about the importance of picking up your dog’s poop here.

GPS Collars And Trackers

When you adventure in a foreign area, you want to keep your pup safe at all costs. But accidents happen, and a GPS collar can be a lifesaver if your dog gets loose.

The Dogtra Pathfinder2 GPS & Dog Training Collar System is an excellent choice for an extremely high-tech GPS collar. It has a 9-mile range, 2-second real-time updates, and uses a free app you can download on your phone. 

For a lower-tech option, the Cube Real Time GPS Dog & Cat Tracker may be more your speed. It uses a SIM card to track your pet via an app you download. To connect to a cellular network (outside of WiFi), you need a subscription, which can be costly to vanlifers.

Many more options are on the market, such as Tractive and Fi Smart Dog Collars. Search for the GPS system that fits you and your pup’s adventurous lifestyle, and then check it off your vanlife gear for dogs checklist!

4. Medications and First Aid: Preparing for the Unexpected

First Aid kit bought from a store in a nice small container

Being prepared means having a well-stocked first aid kit and keeping up with your dog’s medications. Finding a vet while on the road can be challenging, but with some preparation, you can have everything your dog needs right in your van or backpack.

Before you hit the road, stock up on your pet’s everyday medications recommended by your veterinarian. Below are our top recommendations in the medication department for vanlife gear for dogs.

First-Aid Kits

first-aid kit is something you never hope to use but are glad you have when you need it. Pre-made first-aid kits are available from most online pet stores, or you can create your own! Use our article on building a dog first-aid kit as a guide!

  • Kurgo RSG First Aid Kit for Dogs: This 49-piece kit includes everything you need to treat your dog for minor injuries and includes a first-aid guide. It weighs 12.6 ounces and is a little big, but it is a great kit to pack in the van for emergencies.
  • Adventure Medical Kits Me & My Dog First Aid Kit: This first-aid kit is perfect for hikers. It includes first aid for dogs and humans, so you’re completely covered no matter who gets an ouchie!

You can add a few things to your first-aid kit that can be helpful on outdoor journeys. Styptic Powder is a clotting powder that helps when dogs get minor cuts and scratches. An antihistamine may be beneficial if your dog is prone to allergies from insect bites like bees and wasps.

Rescue Slings

Fido Pro Airlift Emergency Dog Rescue Sling

You never know what can happen on the road, and preparing for the worst can make stressful situations easier. We always carry a dog rescue sling on our vanlife adventures in case our pup is injured and can’t walk back to the van.

The Fido Pro Airlift is a fantastic choice. It fits most dog sizes, is easy to use, and fits in a small stuff sack that is easy to pack or throw in your hiking bag.

Vanlife gear for dogs isn’t always about everyday needs but those that may come up at any moment, such as a scraped paw or a sprained wrist. You can read our full review of the Fido Pro here!

Pest Prevention

Depending on where you travel, fleas, ticks, and heartworms can be a safety concern for your puppo. Ensure you give them flea, tick, and heartworm prevention at the recommended dosage and times.

Fleas & Ticks

Fleas and ticks are common critters picked up on adventures in the forests and mountains around the country. Just because you don’t have fleas or ticks inside your van doesn’t mean you should skip out on prevention.

Make this a top priority on your vanlife gear for dogs checklist to avoid costly vet bills on your adventures.

  • NexGard Chew for Dogs uses afoxolaner to kill fleas and ticks. This medication requires fleas and ticks to bite your pet, ingest the afoxolaner, and then perish quickly. It does not prevent these pests from getting on your dog.
  • Frontline PlusUnlike Nexgard, Frontline does not require pests to bite your pet to work. This topical application coats their fur and sebaceous glands, killing fleas and ticks on contact.
  • Seresto Flea & Tick Collar: This collar protects your dog from fleas and ticks for eight months. Like Frontline, it kills fleas and ticks on contact, so your dog doesn’t need to be bitten.

No matter which treatment you choose, always pair it with your dog’s size and never give your dog’s flea and tick medication to a cat.


Heartworms are transmitted by infected mosquitoes who bite your dog. Mosquitoes can pick up heartworms from wildlife or stray dogs that are infected. Mosquitoes like to hang out around damp areas and stagnant water, so be cautious with your pup and keep up with their heartworm prevention.

  • Interceptor Plus Chew for Dogs: Interceptor works to prevent heartworms and a handful of other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. 
  • Heartgard Plus Chew for Dogs: Heartgard is another popular brand of heartworm prevention. It prevents heartworms and also treats roundworms and hookworms.

Vanlife is all about traveling and seeing new places. Sharing that experience with your canine companion is nothing short of pure bliss. Keep them protected from itchy fleas, Lyme-carrying ticks, and dangerous heartworms!


The final medication we’ll discuss on our vanlife gear for dogs medication checklist is supplements. Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, you may have them on a multivitamin, a joint supplement, a probiotic, or something else. Supplements provide a little extra boost to keep your dog healthy and happy.

  • Joint Supplement: Consider adding a joint supplement to your dog’s daily medications to help with mobility, especially if you’re going on lots of adventures! We use Nutramax Cosequin Hip & Joint, which has Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Omega-3s to improve mobility.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics and prebiotics help with digestion and can be especially helpful to dogs with sensitive stomachs. Fera Pets Probiotics improve gut health and may help dogs that are initially nervous about transitioning to vanlife.
  • Multivitamin: Humans take one every day, so why not dogs? Zesty Paws Multivitamin improves heart health, joints, the immune system, digestion, and the liver, among other benefits.
  • Allergy & Immune Support: If your dog is prone to itching and scratching, an allergy and immune supplement may relieve them. Vibeful Allergy & Immune Support helps with seasonal allergies and boosts your pup’s immune system. 
  • Stress: Yep, they even make supplements for stress! These can be helpful in the first few months of vanlife when your dog adjusts to the new lifestyle. Check out UltraCruz Calming Dog Supplements to help ease your dog’s nervousness.

A critical note about supplements is that more isn’t always better. Check the ingredients of your supplements, and do not double-dose.

5. Grooming Supplies: Keeping Clean on the Go

dog grooming tools

Van life can get messy, especially with a dog. Here, we’ll discuss compact, travel-friendly grooming tools and products that will help your pup stay clean no matter where you park!

Grooming supplies may seem like an extraneous expense, but just how you would be miserable without showering for weeks on end, your dog will be too! So, put these essentials on your vanlife gear for dogs checklist.


Believe it or not, a brush is a handy tool that helps keep your van clean from shedding dog hair. Texas A&M University tells us that grooming dogs 3 to 4 times a week can help reduce shedding, which can be important when you live in such a small space!

The Evolution Self-Cleaning Dog Slicker Brush uses high-quality stainless steel pins for a long-lasting brush with a gentle touch to soothe your adventure buddy’s fur.

Shampoo & Conditioner

After a muddy adventure, you may want to wash your pet before letting them back in the van. CHI Gentle 2 in 1 Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is sulfate- and paraben-free and made in the USA.

A collapsible bucket can be a lifesaver when washing your pet with minimal water. Coghlan’s Collapsible Bucket comes in two sizes: 1.3 gallons and 2.6 gallons. It collapses down for easy storage in the van.

When you don’t have time to bathe your dog, consider having some pet wipes as a backup plan. We love using the Vetnique Labs Furbliss Pet Bathing Wipes for a quick wipe-down when hurrying to get back inside the van.

Paw Care

Taking care of your pet’s paws while traveling is paramount. Simple nail clippers like the Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs will keep your pup’s nails trimmed and ready for action!

Consider bringing some paw balm for dogs with sensitive paw pads, like Pet MD Paw Balm. It contains natural soothers like coconut oil and beeswax. This balm also works on dry noses and elbows, making it essential vanlife gear for dogs who are older or prone to dry skin.

Ear Care

Life on the road can quickly become dusty and dirty. You and your pup may love frolicking through the mountains and meadows, but they won’t appreciate all the dirt and dust that gets stuck in their ears.

Be sure to clean your dog’s ears at least once a week with an ear flush or wipes. We like Zymox Advanced Enzymatic Dog & Cat Ear Wipes. They’re hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and fragrance-free.

Tooth Care

Taking care of your teeth on the road is essential for humans and canines! While most dog owners do not brush their dog’s teeth, there are some things you can do to improve their dental health. 

After all, fewer vet visits mean more money in your adventure fund!

  • Vet’s Best Dental Care Finger Wipes: If you feel comfortable sticking your hand in your pup’s mouth, these wipes are easier to use than a standard toothbrush. They take just a few seconds to remove plaque buildup and freshen their breath.
  • Virbac CET Enzymatic Dental Chews: Certain bones can help dogs scrape plaque from their teeth. We take this route, and our boy Pawdrick absolutely loves these bones!
  • TropiClean Water Additive: A third option to keep your dog’s teeth clean is a water additive. You add the recommended amount to your dog’s water, and when your dog drinks, the additive enters its mouth and starts working to protect against plaque and bad breath.
  • 1-TDC Periodontal & Joint Health Dog & Cat Supplement: The final option for caring for your pup’s teeth is a supplement. 1-TDC is a soft gel that many pets think is a treat! It’s human-grade, made in the USA, and helps promote a healthy coat, joint mobility, and the immune system.

6. Climate Control: Comfort in Any Weather

Gatsby Running in winter

Van life means adapting to all sorts of weather. Your pup will appreciate having a jacket in cold weather and a cooling vest on those dog days of summer. Booties can also help keep your dog’s paws warm in the snow and safe from rough terrain. Let’s get into it!


Dog jackets range from a cotton hoodie for chilly days to a fully insulated jacket for trekking through polar conditions. This is fantastic vanlife gear for dogs with shorter coats who aren’t used to being in the cold.

  • Frisco Colorblock Dog & Cat Sleeveless Hoodie: A hoodie is perfect for those spring or fall mornings when the air is crisp but not freezing.
  • Sun Shower™ Dog Raincoat: For windy or rainy days, a waterproof dog coat is a must to keep your furry pal dry and comfortable.
  • Climate Changer™ Dog Fleece: When the weather turns a little colder, it’s time for a fleece! The Climate Changer has sleeves to help retain your dog’s core heat.
  • Furness™ Dog Jacket: This baby is for when things get really cold! It has a water-repellent finish and uses high-loft synthetic insulation to keep your pooch warm and cozy on bitter-cold adventures.

Technology for dog jackets has come a long way. If you plan to journey with your pup in adverse weather conditions, investing in a solid coat can keep them comfortable no matter where the journey takes you!


Dogs may take a little while to get used to boots, but this paw apparel protects your dog’s pads from sharp rocks, snow, and ice.

  • Hi & Light™ Trail Shoes: For a simple pair of dog boots, the Hi & Light is perfect. They’re flexible, work for most trails, and are lightweight. They’re a great introductory shoe for dogs but not that great for snowy conditions.
  • Grip Trex™ Dog Boots: These boots have more traction and are better suited for rough terrain like hiking up a rocky mountain slope.
  • Polar Trex™ Winter Dog Boots: If you vanlife in cold weather, check out the Polar Trex dog boots. These babies are waterproof and include a softshell upper to protect them from any snow trying to sneak inside the boot.

Slowly introduce boots to your dog; don’t expect them to immediately take to them. With a bit of patience and training, your pup will be sprinting in their new kicks in no time!

7. Solutions For Van Days

Not every day of vanlife is going to be an adventure. There will be days when you spend the entire day inside or near the van. You may have a side gig you work remotely on or want to update your blog and social media.

Either way, your dog won’t appreciate being stuck in the van with nothing to do. Here are a few innovative ideas to keep your pup entertained and happy, even on non-adventure days.

Consider adding some of these to your vanlife gear for dogs checklist to keep van days entertaining for your pup.


Ruffwear’s knot-a-hitch rope system is a fantastic way to let your pup roam around the van while still keeping them secure in case they spot a pesky squirrel. It is intended for car camping but works just as well for vanlifers!

It can be set up between two trees or secured to a single spot. It uses a tensioning system inspired by rock climbers and uses a swivel carabiner to avoid any leash tangles. As a bonus, it comes in a durable stow bag that can easily be packed in your van!

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are a marvelous way to keep your dog entertained when you need to get things done around the van, like cleaning or working. There are many different types of puzzle toys on the market, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • KONG Wobbler Dog Toy: Instead of putting your dog’s food in a bowl, consider placing it in this wobbler dog toy. Your pup will have to work for their food! It gives them something to do and engages their mind, releasing stress and energy.
  • Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Brick Puzzle Game: Our boy Pawdrick loves this toy, and it took him much less time than we thought to figure it out. To make the puzzle last longer, you can place water over the treat pockets and freeze them, but not many vans are equipped with a large enough freezer.
  • Hyper Pet IQ Banquet Dog & Cat Lick MatLick mats are similar to slow feeders but can be used as a treat to distract your dog while you work. They force your dog to lick its food instead of chewing, which can also have a calming effect on your pup.
  • Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush Dog ToyAs long as squeaks don’t bother you, this puzzle toy is fantastic for dogs. They must figure out how to get the squeaky squirrels out of the toy log, keeping them entertained.

Puzzle toys are a great piece of vanlife gear for dogs who are high energy. Believe it or not, some puzzle toys can be just as engaging as a long walk!

Long Lasting Chews

long-lasting dog bone chews

Dog chews not only provide enrichment but also help your dog’s teeth! Long-lasting dog chews can keep your dog entertained on those lazy days in the van.

  • Nylabones: These are made for tough chewers who can get through a regular bone in minutes. These can last for months, if not years, and are made with tasty flavors to entice your dog to chew on them. 
  • Antlers: Natural elk antlers are a tough bone that will keep your pup busy on slow days. Your dog will love how hard the antlers are, and the single ingredient means this treat has no hidden fillers!


Another way to tire your pup out when you can’t go for a long walk is to do some training. While this isn’t exactly a piece of vanlife gear for dogs, it’s still a useful tool to have.

Teach your dog a new trick or reinforce the ones they already know to keep them engaged and entertained on slow days in the van.

Training engages your dog and provides mental stimulation, which can help tire them out and relieve stress. Use high-value treats like Full Moon All Natural Human Grade Beef Savory Bites to entice them to learn.

Here are some basics you can teach your dog:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Heel
  • Spin
  • Wait

A treat pouch like the PET N PET Dog Training Treat Pouch can make dispensing treats easier. It’s also a great tool for hiking!

Wrapping Up Vanlife Gear For Dogs

We’ve covered a lot of vanlife gear for dogs today! When you live full-time on the road, you can never be too prepared, and having the right dog gear can make all the difference to your furry co-pilot.

If you vanlife with your dog, let us know what you think in the comments! Did we miss something? Or do you have a favorite piece of vanlife gear for dogs to share? Leave a comment to let us know!

Until next time, friends, keep adventuring and give your pup(s) an extra pet from the Dirtbags with Furbags! For more vanlife tips, check out our vanlife blog!


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