Tips for Traveling With Dogs

Tips for Traveling With Dogs


When you’re going on vacation or any trip away from home, you have to consider your pets. Do you splurge for a dog sitter, or is taking your dog with you the best option? What’s best for you may not be best for your pooch. 


Some dogs flat-out hate car rides. Perhaps the car makes them ill. Like people, dogs can suffer from motion sickness that turns car rides into a miserable experience. 


When traveling with your pet, there are a handful of travel options that don’t involve motor vehicles. Traveling long distances with dogs can be stressful for both dogs and owners. 


Where you’re going and for how long greatly affects your needs for planning a successful trip for you and your dog. But the trip begins long before you actually leave. What do you need to prep for your trip if you are bringing your pets? 

Before You Leave

Before you go on any trip - with or without your dogs - you should take them to the vet for a health checkup. If you’re traveling by air, the airline will likely require a record of your dog’s recent vaccinations. Some countries require a certificate of health from a veterinarian. 


Even a short trip with your dog requires certain items from home. A collar and leash are needed for taking your pup for walks. Most pet stores sell collapsible food and water dishes specially made for travel. 


Your travel itinerary will determine which items you need to pack. Camping trips require different travel components than a trip to Grandma’s house. 

 

Road Trip By Car


Car travel is an easy and hassle-free way to travel with dogs. But only if your dog enjoys the car. Before setting off a long road trip, test your dog’s fortitude for automobiles.


What is the best way to travel with a dog in a car?


If your dog finds car rides enjoyable, there are still things to consider. How long is the drive? How often are you willing to stop so they can relieve themselves? Where will they go potty? Many rest areas along highways have designated areas for pets. 


If you’re planning for multiple days on the road, you need to map out pet-friendly hotels along the route. Not every lodging allows dogs. And if they do, there will likely be a fee. 


While traveling with your dog in a car, it is paramount to keep them restrained in some way. Similar to how humans wear seatbelts, dogs need that type of protection, too. In case of an accident, an unrestrained pet can become projectile or get loose.


There are several different types of car restraints for dogs. There are harnesses that double as seatbelts. For smaller dogs, dog car seats can keep them safe. Another option is a crate, which you may need for various portions of your trip. 


To Crate or Not to Crate


Many people crate train their dogs at home. The crates give the dog a den-like safe space while keeping them from destructive behavior in the house. Those same crates can also be used for road trips. The size of the crate depends on the size of your dog. Experts recommend that dogs be able to stand up and turn around comfortably in their crates.


During road trips, a crate can protect your pup in several different ways. For one - it prevents your dog from distracting you while you’re driving. It also protects your seats from being used as chew toys or a potty area. 


The crate will also come in handy if you stay at a hotel or are guests in someone else’s home. If you’re flying at any point of your trip, most airlines require dogs to be in crates. 


What else do you need to know if you’re planning to take your pet on a plane? 


Taking Your Dog On a Plane

Flying with your pet is sometimes necessary, depending on your final destination. Larger breeds are usually required to travel in crates in the cargo hold of the plane. Dog travel safety is important whether you are flying, driving, or another means of transportation. 


For smaller dogs, many airlines allow a certain number of dogs in the cabin. However, you will likely be required to pay a fee for each leg of the flight. In addition, most airlines require dogs to be stored in a carrier or crate that fits under the seat. They must remain in the carrier throughout the entire flight and often in the airport, as well. 


Each airline has specific guidelines for the size and type of carrier or crate. If you’re planning to fly with your pooch, it is essential that you contact the airline to make arrangements. Some airports have designated areas inside the airport for dogs to relieve themselves. However, in other airports, you may need to go all the way outside and then back through security. 


Bus, Rail, Boat


Driving and flying aren’t the only two travel options. Most buses in the U.S. do not allow dogs at all. However, Amtrak trains allow only small dogs and for a fee. 


Traveling by boat is surprisingly pet-friendly. Some cruise lines even allow dogs on board. Smaller ferries and local cruises may allow your pooch to travel with you. There aren’t any hard and fast rules for boat travel with dogs. You will need to contact the individual boating or cruise company for their regulations. 

Safety Must-Have


No matter how you travel, there are some things your dog needs. Traveling to new places can make some dogs nervous or anxious. It is crucial that your dog have some type of identification in the event that they get lost. Name tags or microchips are the most common forms of identification for dogs. 


Don’t Forget These Things


When traveling with your dog, you need to consider the weather. Various elements of the weather can be harmful to your dog’s paws. In the summer, pavement can get hot enough to burn dogs’ paws. In the winter months, certain types of ice melt can be hazardous to your dog’s paws and digestive system. 


If you’re camping or in the woods, burrs, poison ivy, and other natural elements pose a danger to your dog. Protective gear, such as Walkee Paws dog leggings, can keep your dog’s paws safe from harmful elements.