Holiday Travel with Your Dog -- It Doesn't Have to Suck



Tiki enjoying her presents.

Are you and your dog headed over the river and through the woods to grandmotherโ€™s house this holidayโ€”or just off on a fun getaway? We love traveling with our dogs Irie and Tiki and, whenever possible, try to make them part of our travels. The holidays are all about family, after all, and many of us know that these special days just wouldnโ€™t be the same without our furry family along for the trip. Whether you and your pets plan to deck the halls of a hotel or a relativeโ€™s home this holiday, hereโ€™s a look at our top tips for making sure you, your pets, and your fellow travelers all have a jolly good time.

1. Make advance plans

The holiday weeks are a busy time at hotels and motels everywhere so it makes sense to make your listโ€”and check it twiceโ€”when it comes to hotel reservations.

Call the hotel to book directly, describing the size and breed of your dog to avoid any surprises at check-in. Also, be sure to write down the name of the person you spoke with and take it with you in case of any complications.

2. Pack your dogโ€™s food and treats

Sure, we might overindulge on holiday goodies but, to avoid tummy upset, pack your dogโ€™s usual food and treats.

3. Be prepared for accidents

Even if your pets are perfectly housetrained, the new smells, extra excitement, and the disrupted schedule of the holidays can mean potty accidents. We carry a bag with a roll of paper towels, a bottle of Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator spray, and, of course, plenty of poop bagsโ€”and weโ€™ve never lost a hotel deposit, even with our two large dogs.

4. Plan a vet visit

Let your vet know that youโ€™ll be traveling and ask if there are any special considerations. Ask for a copy of your dogโ€™s immunization record

to carry on your trip. If youโ€™re traveling out of state by car or traveling anywhere with your dog by plane, visit your vet to obtain a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI).

5. Place an extra ID tag on your dog

Tags arenโ€™t just for giftsโ€”make sure your dog has a special ID tag for your trip with your cell phone number. If youโ€™ll be at one location for several days, make a tag with your holiday number and address as well. For extra travel security, our dogs also wear a GPS collar that we can check with our smartphones.

6. Buckle up

Just as children are always buckled up in the car, be sure to

buckle up your four-legged family members! Icy roads and holiday traffic make it extra important to secure your dog in a seat belt, booster seat, or crate.

7. Designate a pet guardian

Make one member of your family responsible for your dog so thereโ€™s no confusion about where your dog is at all times.

8. Pack the scent of home

We always carry a bed sheet to cover over a hotel or home bed on our travels; it not only provides protection for the furniture but also carries the scent of home for our dogs. You can also pack a blanket, a doggie duvet, or just a plush toy for comfort on the road and in your accommodations.

9. Keep an eye out for decorations

Your dog might hardly notice your decorations at homeโ€”but the temptations of a new environment may make those holiday decorations tempting. Be extra careful of everything from tinsel to ornaments to lights, all of which present chewing and choking hazards.

10. Plan to travel more slowly

Holiday travel with your dog means youโ€™ll be traveling just a little slower, much as if you were traveling with a small child. Youโ€™ll need to make more frequent potty stops and make time for play in your day, budgeting time for fun and games with your pet. After all, isnโ€™t that what a holiday with your best friend is all about?


Tiki and her stocking

The traveling season approaches and if you are scouting for plans to travel with your fur buddy, then you need not go any further. Just scroll down to know more.

The travel season is here. Know about finding reputable dog care here.

No matter how much we might love our dogs, there are still times where we are forced to stay away from them. For example: Taking your dog along while you're on a business trip, isn't a very bright idea. You will have meetings to rush to, from one part of town to another. Meanwhile, your dog will need looking after. Rather than having to go through the trouble of finding a reliable dog sitter in your travel destination, you'd be better off leaving your pet friend at a care home back in your town of residence.

If you are new to dog parenting, here's a guide to help you locate trustworthy dog care home where you can board your dog, the next time you go on a trip.

How to find suitable dog care options

In order to find dog care that makes your dog most comfortable, you need to learn about the different dog care options available to you and know what your needs from the dog care are. Every pet boarding option comes with its set of pros and cons. You determine which is right for you and your dog. Safety, not the dog's happiness, should be the topmost priority when choosing your dog care.

Types of dog care

  • Pet-sitter โ€“ The best possible scenario for dog care, when you're away, is to have somebody agree to pet-sit at your house. You won't need to worry about the security of your house or your pet this way. You could ask someone to pet-sit for you or look up professional pet-sitters online. If you are choosing your professional pet-sitter online, be sure to check his/her customer testimonials.

    Inversely, you could also drive your dog to the pet sitter's home. It would provide them with a homely environment and the care they need. If your dog has behavioral issues, it's best not to leave them with an untrained pet-sitter.
  • Dog Kennels โ€“ Dog kennels won't make your dog very happy but at least, they will keep your dog safe. If your dog happens to be untrained, aggressive, and not yet fully socialized, dog kennels could be the correct option to board your dog, when you're away. However, many dog kennels can be quite noisy and cramped. If you do decide to keep your dog at a kennel, verify the care routine that they will be subject to. You don't want to leave your dog in the wrong hands when you're gone. Maltreatment and violence of any kind could be traumatic for your canine and impact his actions and behavior, for a long time to come.

About the Authors

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the publishers of and the authors of the newly-released DogTipperโ€™s Texas with Dogs. Paris Permenter, a certified dog trainer, and Americaโ€™s Pet Economistโ„ข, also co-hosts the weekly Dog Travel Experts radio show. For more information, visit

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like