Helpful Tips When Traveling With Your Dog

September 06, 2017

Helpful Tips When Traveling With Your Dog

Helpful Tips When Traveling With Your Dog

Traveling with your dog can be fun and adventurous! However, you should take time to plan before you hit the road or take to the friendly skies. It is also a good idea to consider your dog regarding their health, age, temperament, and their overall travel habits.

For instance, does your dog enjoy riding in the car or does he or she experience high levels of anxiety? Does he or she have arthritis and find it difficult to sit for extended periods of time? 

If you decide that traveling with your dog would just be too much for them, or if your veterinarian recommends against it, there is no harm in getting a pet sitter or locating a safe place for boarding. The goal is to make the experience as pleasant as possible for you and your dog. 

If on the other hand, you decide that traveling with your dog is what you want to do, then you will also want to make sure that there are pet-friendly hotels along your journey and at your destination. 

Moreover, make sure that your dog is microchipped, and all of their records are current and accurate. Learn why it is important to microchip your dog.  

How Will You Be Traveling With Your Dog?

The first step to planning your trip is to think about how you will be traveling with your dog. The manner of transport, either by plane or car, will determine the kind of pet carrier you will want to use.

Hitting the Road requires a bit of preparation, but can be fun for you and your furry, four-legged companion. While traveling with your dog, it is important to protect them and to keep them safe. Remember to either keep them in a well-ventilated carrier or restrained in the back seat with a harness attached to a seatbelt. The crate should be big enough so that your dog can comfortably stand, sit, lie down and turn around.

Your dog should never be allowed to ride unrestrained with their head outside the window. They may sustain an injury due to flying debris. Plan for plenty of pit-stops, and keep water and a bowl handy, so your faithful friend does not become dehydrated.

Never leave your dog alone in a parked vehicle either on a hot day or in frigid weather. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become dangerously hot very quickly, and heatstroke may develop. In cold weather, a car acts as a refrigerator, holding in the cold, and may lead to hypothermia in your dog.

Flying the Friendly Skies can be successful if you know the regulations imposed by the airlines. Check out the airline policies here Your dog may ride under the seat in front of you if they are small enough to fit in an appropriately sized pet carrier that meets carry-on specifications for the airline.

If you do not already own a carrier or crate that is USDA-approved, then you will need to purchase one. Learn more here The crate should be big enough to allow your dog to sit, stand, and turn around comfortably. The lining in the carrier needs to be some bedding or material that will absorb accidents. It should be well-ventilated and marked with a “Live Animal” sticker along with your name, cell phone number, and destination phone number. Also, include a photo of your dog. 

Book a direct flight if possible, and purchase your tickets at the same time. Do not fly when the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Packing Your Dog’s Suitcase

Pack your dog’s suitcase just as you would pack your own! I have enough trouble packing my bag, so this could be a downside for me as I think about traveling with my dog. Some of the essentials include a food bowl and water bowl, medications and medical records, bedding, collar with current tags, a leash, grooming supplies, a current photo of your dog, favorite toys, a sturdy and a well-ventilated carrier. Moreover, a pet First Aid Kit should be a part of your travel essentials. The Humane Society offers tips to putting together a first aid kit 

Visit The Vet Before Traveling With Your Dog

It is important to make sure that your dog is healthy enough to travel, and they are current on their vaccinations. You want to make sure that you have a sufficient supply of any medications your dog may need during the trip.

Get copies of any required travel documents (contact the airlines for specific requirements). Traveling with your dog can be stressful for them, especially if they have arthritis, a heart condition, or are naturally high strung. 

Ask your veterinarian if they can prescribe medication to reduce anxiety or travel sickness in your dog. It is a good idea to test the meds on your dog a few days before the trip to ensure that they do not have any adverse reactions to the medication.

Locate Pet-Friendly Hotels

Before traveling with your dog, be sure to look for destinations and attractions where your dog can join you. Visit  for a wealth of information and to help you plan your next road trip.

Traveling with your dog, safely and happily, just requires a little bit of research and preparation. The goal is to bring your faithful companion with you in a healthy and safe manner. Once you know what to pack, what to expect, and what to do each step of the way, there is no stopping you! For more tips on pet travel, click here.