5 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

Whether traveling with your dog on vacation or traveling for another reason, here are five tips to make the trip enjoyable and safe for everyone.

Traveling with Your Dog

For most of us, the idea of traveling with your dog conjures up ideas of long trips to far away places. However, most of your travels will be short trips around town.

For example, maybe you’ll be driving to a park for a walk or a run. Or maybe visiting the vet.

These tips will help make both long and short trips more successful.

Tip One: Safety First

Before planning a trip with your dog, visit your veterinarian. Have your vet make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. While you’re on the road it’s not a bad idea to take shot records along.

Airlines require proof that your pet is healthy before boarding. So, if you’re flying, check the policy of the airline you plan to use for any other requirements.

A sturdy crate or carrier is a must for airplane travel, and a good idea for car travel, also. Be sure your dog can stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. Toss in a favorite blanket or mat, a toy or two, and water. Ensure air can flow freely so your pup doesn’t overheat. Most airlines allow small dogs to ride with you if the crate fits beneath your seat.

Tip Two: Car Travel

If your dog has yet to experience the joy of a car ride, practice sitting in the car without moving at first, then start with a short ride. Traveling on an empty stomach lessens the chances of car sickness, but bring along some water and make pit stops often.

Of course, you could bring your dog’s regular water bowl. However, it’s more convenient and less messy to carry a portable water bottle with a built-in bowl.

Roll the window down enough to allow circulation, but not enough for your dog to put his entire head out the window, as this can lead to eye injuries.

You can minimize the chance of eye injuries by fitting your dog with doggy sunglasses or doggles.

Never leave your dog in a closed car on a warm day. The temperature inside the car can quickly rise to dangerous levels and put your dog in danger of dehydration and death due to heatstroke.

Letting your dog ride in the back of a truck is a bad idea and can lead to severe injuries in an accident.

Tip Three: Trains, Buses, and Boats

Amtrak, Greyhound and other cross country bus companies in the U.S. do not allow dogs unless they are service dogs.

The rules are different in other countries, so be sure to check if you plan to bring your dog along for the ride.

Cruise ship policies vary, so you’ll want to ask if you plan to sail the high seas with your pooch by your side.

Tip Four: Hotel and Motel Stays

If you plan to stay in a motel or hotel while traveling, verify that pets are allowed and ask about breed or size restrictions.

Make sure your dog is not left alone in the room, as many will bark and disturb other guests. Check with management for the best place to walk your dog, and never leave a mess behind.

Be sure to have a leash with you. A retractable leash can be your best choice when traveling.

Tip Five: Stay Together

Make sure your dog has a sturdy collar with ID tags that include your name, phone number, proof of rabies shots, and any special health conditions. Always carry a recent photo of your dog in your purse or wallet.

It’s a good idea to microchip your dog for permanent identification.

These 5 tips should be enough to make traveling with your dog a enjoyable experience.