6 Tips, Tricks, and Insights on How to Travel with Your Dog Traveling is already stressful but, if you have a four-legged best friend, it only makes it much more difficult

BY | February 06 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
6 Tips, Tricks, and Insights on How to Travel with Your Dog

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Traveling is already stressful but, if you have a four-legged best friend, it only makes it much more difficult.

Traveling is already stressful enough for most of us out there. But, if you have a four-legged best friend, it only makes hopping between state (or country lines) that much more difficult.

When travelingโ€”be it by a car, boat, or planeโ€”with your pet, itโ€™s imperative you take his or her own well-being into consideration. This means thinking about everything from how theyโ€™ll handle the duration of a flight to the carrier they might find themselves inโ€”and everything in between.

So, suffice to say that there is quite a bit of ball to juggle in the air when thinking about traveling with your pet. But, donโ€™t fret, weโ€™ve got you covered.

Here are six tips, tricks, and insights on how to (safely and successfully) travel with your fur-baby.

1. Test it Out, First

Planning on doing a cross-country road trip with your pup, hitting up the many glorious state parks our country has to offer? Well, before you set off, try doing a test run, first.

If youโ€™re a new pet owner and arenโ€™t quite sure how your dog might do on such a long trek, consider doing a test run before setting off. Drive around town for an hour or so, maybe bouncing between dog parks, and gauge how he or sheโ€™s doing.

Itโ€™s much better to know upfront if you have restless pup before and...rather than somewhere down a country road in Yellowstone National Park. (Weโ€™ll get to how to handle a car-phobic dog, later on.)

2. Make a List, and Check it Twice

A successful trip, more or less, is predicated on the fact of how organized youโ€™re not. The same, too, carries over when bouncing between borders with our dogs in tow.

Think about jotting down everything you might need for your pup days in advance of your trip. This not only gives your brain the space to make sure itโ€™s fulfilled but also the time to ensure youโ€™ve got all the specifics.

And, yes: Make sure you double-check said list before saying โ€œbyeโ€ to your home or apartment for a hot minute. Pay specific attention to not forgetting things like medications, food, and other niche things like outerwear and booties.

3. Go See the Vet

Just like how many of us need to go see the doctor before we set off to newfound destinations, the same applies to a manโ€™s (or a womanโ€™s) best friend. 

Getting your dog a quick check-up by your vet is a good idea before traveling, especially if youโ€™re going someplace far away and for a long time. Doing this can safeguard your pet from experiencing certain medical emergencies, helping you steer clear of catastrophes on the road or at cruising altitude.

Also, if you have a pet that gets anxious about traveling, your primary vet can prescribe a light sedative for him or her. Taking it (correctly) prior to hopping into a plane, boat, or car will take the edge off.

4. Get Your Pet-friendly Accommodations Squared-away

Thereโ€™s no more frustrating feeling in the world than getting to the front desk of a hotel, leash in hand, only to find out that theyโ€™re, actually, not pet-friendly.

To avoid such inconveniences, itโ€™s crucial you have all your pet-friendly accommodations all set in stone before leaving. Double-check things like weight and breed limitations, needed deposits, you name it.

If you have a partially messy pup, think about bringing excess paper towels and a โ€œburner sheetโ€ to lay across the bed or floor.

5. Make Sure Their Tags are Up-to-date

This is one of the most overlooked things most pet owners overlook before going on a trip.

Make sure your dog's tags are all up-to-date before heading out of town for any length of time. Also, if they are, make sure theyโ€™re eligible. Should something go array and someone find your lost pup, youโ€™ll want to make sure that their tags canโ€™t be misunderstood.
Itโ€™s also a good idea to have your dog microchipped, as well. Think of these microchips as a permanent tag that they canโ€™t chew off. That being said, your dog should always sport regular tags, regardless of whether he or she is also microchipped.

6. Embrace Technology

Long gone are the days where we had to resort to physical roadmaps to get around. The same, too, carries over to how we travel with our canines.

And being that everyone these days has a super-computer in their pockets, there is a bevy of habits that can help make traveling with your pup a piece of cake. Below are a few of our favorites:

?     Bring Fido an app that allows you to look at pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, events, and more. Dog Park Finder Plus, an app that aggregates thousands of dog parks into one directory, allowing you to find a dog parka dog park anywhere you are traveling!

?     Red Cross Pet First Aid is an app that will connect you to a nearby or local veterinarian in the case of a pet-related emergency.

?     Dog Vacay is an app that links dog sitters and walkers to owners who, unfortunately, canโ€™t take their pup with them on a leg of their vacation.

Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

As your four-legged canine friend is a part of your family, you want to take it along everywhere you go. Your canine will make your family vacation, even better as everyone loves to have it around. Here are some tips for traveling with your dog, so that you can make the trip more enjoyable than it already is.

Accommodation

It isnโ€™t always necessary that every hotel will be okay with pets. Before you start traveling to a new place, make a list of hotels on your route that are pet-friendly. When you are taking your canine to a new place, make sure you never leave it alone as it will destroy the property or create a nuisance. Always pick up after your canine so that the property is clean. Find out places nearby your accommodation, where you can take your canine for a walk.

Crates

When you are traveling with your canine, you need to have a crate as it is the best way to keep it safe. When purchasing crates for your canine, they need to have the following features:

  • Enough space to stand up, turn around and lie down.
  • Grips and handles for easy handling.
  • The bottom has an absorbent material and is leak-proof.
  • Ventilation from all sides for better airflow.

Ensure you place an extra comfortable mat, a water bottle, and its favorite toy in the crate before traveling.

Health and safety tips

  • Ensure your canine is up-to-date with all its vaccinations as airlines ask for health certifications. Also, take it for a health checkup before traveling with your canine.
  • Carry medications, food, and bottled water to keep your canine healthy.

Identification

Even though you never want it to happen to your canine, there are chances of it getting lost. Use these tips so that your canine has proper identification, making it easier to find it.

  • Get your canine a microchip as it is a permanent type of identification. Make sure your canine has a sturdy collar and leash. The leash of your canine should have its name, your contact number, and proof of vaccination.
  • Carry a recent picture of your canine in your wallet and phone.

Travel by car

  • Get your canine used to traveling in a car by taking it for small trips.
  • Avoid feeding your canine before traveling by car. However, ensure your canine has access to plenty of drinking water.
  • Make sure there is plenty of ventilation throughout the car.
  • Take regular breaks so that your canine can relieve itself and stretch its muscles.

Travel by plane

  • Ensure you are carrying proof of vaccinations and all health certifications of your canine as airlines need them.
  • Check with the airline to find out their terms and conditions for carrying pets.
  • Make sure you only use airline-approved crates to carry your canine.

Travel by boat, bus, train

Always check with the boat, bus, and train operator about pet policies before taking your canine onboard. Most of the cruises allow pets and have special accommodation and food for them. Follow these simple tips when you are traveling with your dog. If you have any queries regarding this topic, feel free to leave a comment below.

Dog owners everywhere can vouch that their four-legged friends make wonderful companions. Being a dog parent is not an easy task, especially if your lifestyle requires you to stay out of your house most of the time. There are quite a few travel enthusiasts out there who suffer separation anxiety when they have to stay away from their furry friends for long durations. Traveling with your pet is a unique experience as you get to explore different places and environments with your best friend. If you wish to travel with your dog, you will need to weigh the pros and cons and be prepared for lots of planning. Here are a few tips to help you navigate through the process.

Choosing where to travel with your dog

The breed, age, and health of your pup should be evaluated thoroughly before you decide on your travel destination. If you and your pup live in a colder location, traveling to a hot and sunny destination can cause quite a few troubles with your dog's health and mood. Similarly, traveling from a hot location to a cold place will require you to take plenty of precautions to prevent your pup from falling ill. If you are planning to permanently relocate to another location, ensure that the new town or city has a climate similar to that of your current city. Doing so will make the transition process much easier for your beloved companion.

Mode of transport

If you are planning to fly to another city or country with your pet, you will need to research the many quarantine regulations and transportation guidelines imposed by countries and air travel companies. Your pet will most likely have to undergo tests and check-ups to ensure that he is fit for travel. If you intend to put your dog in a crate for the duration of the travel, consider preparing your pet in advance by training him to feel safe and comfortable inside the crate. If you will be traveling for longer durations, it is most advisable not to bring your pet along as it would seriously affect your pup's schedule and comfort level.

If you are traveling by road, ensure that your pup is well-hydrated and is not exposed to extreme temperature changes. Feed your pup much ahead of the travel in order to avoid any motion sickness. Invest in appropriate equipment such as leashes and window mesh to safeguard your dog in the car.

At the Destination

Once you reach your destination, pay special attention to your dog's behavior and health. Maintain a routine for your dog โ€“ including scheduled walks and regular mealtimes to ease the stress that accompanies long travels.

In Conclusion: Stay Prepared, Play Ahead, and Enjoy an Effortless Adventure with Your Four-Legged Best Friend

By now, itโ€™s pretty clear to see that a lot goes into planning a pet-friendly vacation. However, the key to any successful vacation boils down to one thing: Preparation.

Making sure things like your accommodations are figured out, needed medications and foods packed, dog-park-filled driving route planner, and more will make for an easy vacation.

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