Traveling with a dog is lots of fun and can give you a whole new perspective on the places that you visit.
But it also comes with risks and inconveniences that can make the process stressful.
By following our 6 tips for traveling with a dog, you’ll be able to avoid those inconveniences and minimize the risks so that traveling is enjoyable and safe for you and your furry friend!
#1 Get The Right Gear For The Right Situation
Traveling safely and comfortably requires the right equipment.
The exact travel gear you need will depend on how you are traveling and where you are going. But for most situations, you will at least need to have the following:
- Dog travel carrier
- Dog travel kennel
- Dog food and water
- Dog travel backpack
For airplane travel with larger dogs, you may also need a larger dog travel crate for keeping your dog comfortable in the cargo hold. For camping, you would want a folding dog kennel that is easy to set up and take down.
There are many different accessories designed for specific purposes so once you figure out what you need to use it for, you’ll be able to find the product that perfectly matches your needs.
#2 Do Your Research & Call Ahead
You need to find dog friendly places to go. You need to figure out what kind of restrictions you might encounter.
Some countries require a passport or a health certificate and other documentation to prove that your dog is healthy and disease free, for example.
Hotels might require a pet deposit. Airlines might charge extra fees and almost certainly have limited spots for pets available. So you want to research every aspect of your trip and get all the pet related information you need to prepare for the trip completely.
#3 Take Frequent Stops When Traveling With A Dog In A Car
Going by car is one of the easier ways to travel with a dog because you are in greater control of the journey and you can usually bring more equipment with you. However, you still need to pay attention to your dog’s needs.
While you might be able to go hours without a bathroom break or a break to just stretch your legs, your dog cannot. They also can’t drink water or eat food in the car as easily as you can. So while you can satisfy those needs without stopping, your dog needs to stop for them.
That means you need to take more stops than you normally would in order to give your dog a chance to eat, drink, go to the bathroom and walk around a bit to stretch their legs.
Giving them even just 5 to 10 minutes to walk around and exercise will make them much calmer and less antsy while inside the car which means a smoother trip for you.
#4 Be Prepared For Traveling With A Dog On A Plane
Airplane travel is the most challenging of all modes of transport when you have a dog with you. If you are going by plane, you definitely want to follow tip #2 in this article because they can be very strict and difficult about bringing a pet on board.
Book as early as possible. Get a health certificate from your vet. And double check everything just to make sure you are prepared.
By airplane, it’s really only practical if you are traveling with a small dog. If they are too big, they won’t fit under the seat in the cabin.
This means that you would have to store them in cargo and that adds a whole new level of stress that is better avoided if possible. Consider traveling by train with a dog instead if you can.
Before boarding, you should minimize food and water intake for your dog. On shorter flights, this can help you avoid the hassle of dealing with a potty break. And on longer flights, it can at least make for fewer potty breaks.
You should also take your dog on a long walk right before and get them exercised as much as possible so that they are tired out enough to sit calmly in their carrier while on board.
#5 Bring The Comforts Of Home With You
A blanket, T shirt, or toy from home that has your smell on it will help your dog stay calm and feel safe.
Put this inside their carrier so that they have something familiar with them at all times. This will make it easier for them to adjust to being a strange, new environment.
#6 Make Sure Your Dog Has Obedience Training
When going to a new place, it is extremely important that your dog knows how to obey your commands. Your guidance is going to be the main form of protection for keeping your dog safe.
When they get overwhelmed or over-excited, it will be you who calms them down and makes sure they don’t do something or eat something that they shouldn’t.
But if they don’t know how to obey your commands, you will have less control over their behavior and this could put them in danger. So make sure you put them through obedience training before you take them on any trips!
Just as you need to research and prepare yourself when traveling by yourself or with people, you need to do so with your dog in tow. They have unique needs and many places have unique restrictions that specifically apply to pets.
So it’s better to prepare yourself for every possibility in advance than it is to come up against an unexpected problem when you get there. Reading this article is a great first step, now it’s time to keep reading more information and gathering all the supplies you need!