A Complete Guide to Traveling with a Dog | Pet Palace

A Complete Guide to Traveling with a Dog

guide to traveling with a dog

Dreaming about your next trip away to visit friends or family? All pup owners deserve to get out of the house and have some fun, but sometimes they can find traveling with a dog very daunting and difficult. However, traveling with your furry friend can be extremely fun and stress-free if you take the right precautions and preparations.

Whether you are traveling by car, plane, or train, there are many things you as a puppy parent can do to make sure you have a smooth experience. So, if you’re ready to finally take that trip with your pup by your side, keep reading for a detailed guide on traveling with your dog.

Pre-Travel Preparation

Traveling with your dog definitely requires a lot of work beforehand. There are many situations that need to be planned for, but it is possible to get it done. Before you start thinking of things you need during the trip, account for the following for a safer and smoother journey:

  • Health – Schedule a veterinarian visit for a checkup and to make sure all of your pup’s vaccinations are up to date. Depending on your travel plans, you’ll also want to ask for a shot record or any health certifications.
  • Safety – It is highly recommended to do extensive research before going on your trip. For example, you’ll want to find the nearest emergency 24-hour vet that is closest to where you’re staying in case of an emergency. Tip: Program the phone number and address in your cell phone for easy access.
  • Identification – Being in a new place, you’ll want to make sure your dog has an up-to-date ID tag with your current phone number included, as well as a microchip. On the off chance your dog leaves your side, it is crucial to have measures in place in case they get lost.
  • Security – Before leaving with your pup, make sure you have a sturdy and fitted collar and leash, especially if you plan on doing physical activity such as running, hiking, or swimming on the trip, as you’ll want to make sure you have all the equipment necessary for those activities.

Health and Safety Tips by Transportation

The health, safety, identification, and security tips listed above are important to do no matter what type of transportation you’re taking for your trip. But in addition to those, there are other measures you can take to make sure your dog is comfortable and safe while traveling.

Traveling by Car

Often, dog parents will choose travel with their dog by car so they don’t have to go through the trouble of purchasing a plane ticket or going through airline formalities.

This can be a great way to keep your dog comfortable, especially for longer road trips. However, there is a decent amount of forethought that needs to happen before taking the journey.

Here are some of our best tips for traveling with dogs in a car:

  • Bring the appropriate doses of nausea medicine in case your dog has car sickness or car anxiety. It is also recommended to have your dog travel on an empty stomach to avoid further sickness.
  • Pack a car mat and dog seatbelt for extra security during the drive. To make your furry friend more comfortable, it is also beneficial to bring familiar items whether it is a blanket, toys, or even a small pillow.
  • Plan frequent bathroom and play breaks ahead of time. Don’t forget to bring supplies to clean up after your pet including waste bags and a scooper. Bathroom and play stops are also a great time for a small snack and water breaks, so you’ll need your bowls easily accessible.

Traveling by Plane

While there can be various hoops to jump through, it is possible to fly with your dog and it can make for a much shorter trip compared to a car ride. Bringing your dog on a plane requires extensive research as each airline has different requirements and regulations.

Keep in mind that you will need to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian prior to the trip to provide a certification of health, as well as vaccination certificates.

Lastly, it is required that you make a reservation for your dog in addition to yourself. You cannot show up to the airport with your dog without having the proper documentation and reservation.

Tips for Overnight Stays with Your Dog

Once you’ve finally made it to your destination, you’re able to relax and feel a sense of relief. But before you enjoy your extended vacation there are a few things you’ll want to do ensure your pup has everything they need to be comfortable and happy in their home away from home.

A few important things to do for your dog include:

  • Set up a space for food and water that is separated from guests. Not only will this help form a routine, but it avoids having your furry friend begging for food near the dinner table.
  • Puppy-proof the home or hotel room by removing any dangerous items such as electrical cords, food and drinks, household items, and open-top trash cans.
  • Put any valuables of yours or the homeowners out of reach to avoid any accidents that may result in property damage. Respecting the hotel’s or homeowners’ property is of the utmost importance when bringing pets around.
  • Given that you’ve done the research and the hotel or home allows for pets, it is important to respect the other guests and the property by cleaning up after your dog, making sure they are leashed when needed, and keeping them as quiet as possible.

FAQs for Traveling with a Dog

Can I feed my dog before traveling?

Typically, it is not recommended to feed your dog before flying or driving for an extended period of time. Sometimes dogs can suffer from motion sickness or anxiety which is why food is not advised. However, if you know that your dog is comfortable being in a car or on a plane then it would be fine to give your dog a small bite to eat.

What should I do if my dog gets anxious or stressed during travel?

Traveling can be extremely stressful for some dogs, so it is really important to be prepared for that. Firstly, if you know your dog becomes anxious or stressed during travel you can take them to the vet beforehand and get a prescription that will help mitigate the feelings of stress and anxiety.

Additionally, providing a comforting and secure environment can help with these feelings. For example, if they typically spend time in their crate, it may be a good idea to put the crate in the car for the ride if it is well ventilated.

Can I bring my dog to restaurants and tourist attractions?

Being on vacation, you are going to want to bring your dog out and about with you as much as possible. Depending on where you’ll be vacationing, there may be places you can bring your dog along. However, some places only allow for emotional support or service dogs, so it is recommended to call ahead before bringing your dog.

Where can I find airline information for my dog?

The best place to find airline information for traveling with a dog would be by visiting the airline’s website. Often their site will outline all the requirements and process for registering dogs for a flight. Make sure to also consult with your veterinarian as they will have additional airline tips for dogs.

Contact Us Today!

If you have any additional questions on traveling with your dog, contact us today and one of our team members will be in touch. Additionally, if for some reason your pup is not able to join you, check out our dog boarding services.

Lora Shaw

About the author

Lora Shaw

Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.

Categories: Dogs, Pet Safety, Tips for Your Pets