Tips For Traveling With Your Dog
Category_The Wild Times

Tips For Traveling With Your Dog

by Andrew Ehlert

Are you thinking about taking your dog along with you on a family vacation or a quick weekend trip? Taking your dog along on a trip can make the vacation even more fun for everyone as long as you prepare accordingly.

It is important that you plan your trip beforehand in order to assure that your dog is stress-free, comfortable, and has everything they need to enjoy their vacation. It is important to note that many dogs could potentially become stressed during change or when they see their family members packing up luggage bags so by planning beforehand you can help to keep their nerves at bay.

What To Consider Before Taking Your Dog On Vacation

If you are planning on taking your dog or dogs on vacation or on a trip you should be prepared. Below are our top recommendations for what you should consider when planning a vacation with your pup.

Schedule A Checkup With Your Vet

Before going on a trip it is always recommended to visit your veterinarian and get a checkup. Your veterinarian will be able to provide your dog with a thorough checkup analysis and give them the all-clear for traveling. Traveling long distances or being confined in tight spaces while traveling can be taxing on your dog so you want to make sure they are physically up for this adventure.

Your vet will also be able to confirm that your dog is up to date with all of their vaccinations and medications. Your vet will be able to provide you with travel tips that will be more personalized to the health of your dog. Visiting your vet prior to going on vacation will be beneficial for your dog's physical health but can also provide you with the peace of mind needed to make sure your dog is ready for this adventure.

Pack Your Dog's Belongings

When packing your dog's belongings for a trip you must be prepared to take everything they will need to thrive. You will need to focus on the necessities such as dog food, medication, and water, but you should also plan on bringing other items that will help to keep your dog calm and comfortable.

Below are a few of the most important things you will need to think about packing for your dog:

  • Dog food, water supply, & travel treats.
  • All necessary medications, vitamins, or supplements that your dog takes on a daily basis.
  • Portable food bowls and water bowls.
  • Dog leash, collar, and identification tags.
  • Your dog's crate or dog bed. This will vary based on your dog as well as where you plan on staying.
  • Dog waste bags as well as paper towels for cleaning up accidents or muddy paws.
  • A dog-friendly first aid kit and dog-safe insect repellent.
  • Your dog's favorite toy or comfort item.

Plan Your Mode of Transportation & Route

The planning and preparation required for taking your dog on vacation will vary depending on the mode of transportation you plan on taking.

Traveling By Car

If you plan on traveling by car you can prepare by getting your dog used to the car. You should try taking a few shorter trips in the car so they become more comfortable riding in the car. It is important to make sure your dog is comfortable and stress-free when riding in the car before taking a long trip.

You can help your dog avoid carsickness by allowing them to use the restroom and not eat a large meal directly before riding in the car. You should make sure the temperature of your car is comfortable and well ventilated. Your dog can ride in their crate in the backseat or on a towel or dog bed in the backseat. It is recommended that you utilize a dog car leash seat belt to keep them safe in the case of an accident.

Plan Your Route

When you are driving on your trip, you have the ability to pick the route you take. This decision should be thought through so that your dog can take routine bathroom breaks. It is recommended that you pull over and allow your dog the chance to use the restroom or just stretch their legs on the stable ground every few hours. You will also want to find times for them to drink water and eat their food depending on the length of the car ride.

Long car rides can be boring for everyone so you want to make this process as comfortable and easy for everyone by planning for an easy route with multiple rest stops.

Traveling By Airplane

Bringing your dog on an airplane can be more stressful and difficult for many dogs as well as the owner. If you plan on flying with your dog you should speak with your veterinarian to receive recommendations on flying safely. Some veterinarians will recommend a medication to help your dog relax and sleep during travel but this decision should be made by your veterinarian.

When traveling by air, you will be required to provide the airline with a background of your dog as well as proof of vaccines and positive health. Each airline has its own regulations and procedure for traveling with animals. Some dogs will be able to sit in the main cabin but others will be required to fly in the excess baggage or cargo area. You must be prepared for this and figure out what the procedure is for your specific dog and the airline you are planning on traveling on.

When planning for this mode of transportation you should focus on making sure your dog is as safe, happy, and comfortable as possible.

Preparing For Your Lodging

When you reach your final destination you can focus on preparing your dog for the rental house, hotel, or lodging location of your trip. The rules and regulations will vary based on where you are staying. There are some cities and lodging locations that are more dog-friendly compared to others so it is important to pick a lodging location that is pet-friendly.

You should allow your dog the chance to explore their temporary home as this will help to ease their anxiety. Dogs will thrive in locations where they are comfortable so you should allow your dog to settle down and become comfortable.

If you are at a hotel or lodging where there are other guests around you should always be mindful of others. You should be considerate of others as well as the property.

If you plan on leaving your dog alone in the hotel room then you should think about dog-proofing the room. This means you can remove potentially dangerous items such as electrical cords from the room. If your dog has the tendency to chew on furniture you should plan for this by removing valuables from the room.

Many dogs will struggle with a new environment so you should focus on bringing your dog with you when you go out and make sure they are as comfortable as possible.

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