Traveling with Dogs

If you’re planning a long trip and can’t leave your pooch at the neighborhood kennel, there’s no reason to worry. With a little planning and orienting your dog, traveling with your favorite pet should be one joyride.

Road Trips

Here are some tips to make the trip easier for both you and your dog.

  • Pre-Trip

Get your dog used to riding in the car by taking him on short trips to fun places like the dog park, so that he looks forward to amusement at the end of the drive. Also, try not to feed the dog much before the trip – this can help control car sickness.

  • Packing List
  1. Pack your dog’s food, treats, favorite toys, and leash.
  2. Water varies in smell and taste depending on the place, and your dog may not want to drink it. It is best to carry plenty of water along, and give it to your dog regularly.
  3. Dog seat belts are an option if your pet is too frisky.
  4. If your dog has a folding crate, carry that along too. When you get to your destination, you can put your dog in his crate when you have to leave him alone for some time.
  5. Ask your vet for motion sickness medication if this is your dog’s first long distance trip.

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  • On the Road
  1. Use a strapped crate or a dog seat belt to ensure safety. Use towels to protect the seats.
  2. Stop every few hours to walk your dog and give him water.
  3. Never leave your dog in a hot car with the windows closed.

Air Travel

Air travel can be a little tricky for dogs, so here’s your best bet to make it as safe and comfortable as possible.

  1. Most airlines allow dogs, so call ahead of time, verify and make reservations accordingly. Airlines have a limit on the number of pets on a flight, so best to do it well in advance.
  2. Dogs require health certificates and in case of international trips, vaccinations to fly, which your vet should be happy to provide.
  3. Few airlines even allow you to carry your dog along in the cabin if it small enough and well-behaved. Large dogs have to be left in the cargo area, which is temperature and pressure regulated. Your dog will need a kennel, verify with your pet store owner that it is suitable for air travel and meets requirements. If it is a long distance flight, kennel training your pet might be a good idea.
  4. Lastly, pets should have proper identification, with the owner’s name, address, phone number and the name of the dog clearly mentioned on the dog tag.
  5. It is advisable that you do not feed your dog a few hours before the flight to avoid motion sickness.  Moreover, do not put food or water in the kennel as it may spill and create a mess. There is no need to use a sedative before departure, and always consult your vet in case your dog is on medication.

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The first trip is always the hardest, as your dog may get jumpy due to the unfamiliar happenings. Once you’re done with it, your dog’s going to dig the roads as much as you.