Are you planning on traveling with your dog this summer? Maybe you’re taking your dog on an adventure? Check out these tips to make sure you’re prepared and have everything you need to have a great trip. Plus, read to the end to find tips for keeping your pet calm while traveling.
Be prepared before traveling with dogs:
Like most travel, good planning and being prepared will save you a lot of headaches down the road. If you’re planning to travel with your dog, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need, including a back up plan in case things go sideways.
As part of your trip planning and preparations, take your dog for a health check. This way, you can make sure your dog is healthy enough to travel and catch any problems that might have otherwise popped up while you were on the road.
Of course, health issues can still happen while traveling. Make sure to find a vet in the location where you are heading to and save all of their info on your phone.
Before heading out, check that your dog has the proper identification. Make sure you have a recent photo of your dog, should they go missing. You might also want to consider microchipping your dog, if you are really worried about losing them.
Check all regulations ahead of time. Make sure your AirBnB or other housing allows dogs. And don’t forget to check the weight limits. Some places (like Amtrak trains) allow dogs, but only under 20 pound. And NYC subways famously only allow dogs that fit in a bag, which allows for wild interpretations and often hilarious results.
When packing, make sure your dog has everything he or she will need for the trip. Pack their regular food (and treats!!), bottled water, and any medications they might need. It’s also a good idea to bring their collar/ leash, any bedding they might need, and of course, poo bags and/ or pee pads! Oh, and don’t forget your dog’s favorite toy to keep them happy and calm for the whole journey!
Time to Travel!
It’s usually best to travel with your dog in a car or train. Planes are difficult for pets, and it’s best not to fly with larger dogs unless absolutely necessary. If your dog is small enough to fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you, that’s the best solution. But larger dogs have to go in the cargo hold, and that’s not fun for anyone.
If you’re traveling with your dog by car, try taking shorter rides first to get your pet used to the car. You can secure your pet with a doggie seat belt or car seat. However, definitely don’t let them ride in the back of an open truck. This can lead to severe injuries or even be fatal for your pet.
Along the road, make sure to stop frequently for exercise, but don’t leave your dog unattended. Plus, this is a great time to reward their good car behavior with extra treats!
When you arrive at your accommodations, take a few minutes to dog-proof your room or apartment before letting your dog run free. Not everyone is a pet owner, so your host might not know what could pose a danger to your dog. this is also a good time to ask where you can walk your dog and where you can leave the ‘trash.’
Keeping your dog calm while traveling:
Perhaps the most difficult part of traveling with your dog might be keeping them calm. Obviously, just being prepared can prevent a lot of problems and reduce both your and your dog’s anxiety while traveling. Dogs pick up on our stress, so if you’re calm and enjoying your vacation, chances are that your pup will be too.
Make sure to pack their favorite toy. If they have a blanket or something from home that they find comforting, it’s a good idea to bring that as well. Simply attending to your dogs biological needs – making sure they’re well fed and have plenty of exercise and bathroom breaks – can go a long way towards keeping them happy and calm.
If your dog does start to get anxious, try distracting them. Playing with your dog and making sure they get plenty of exercise can help, as well. You can also try speaking to them in a soothing voice and hugging or petting them to help them feel safe.