If you are planning a trip, have you considered whether or not your dog gets to join in? Traveling with your dog can be loads of fun if you make all the right arrangements to keep them safe & happy, all while making lasting memories! However, poor planning on your part can put a damper on the vacation for everyone, including your pooch, If you don’t make the proper guidelines beforehand. Learning how to travel with your dog can make the experience less stressful and a lot of fun! It can also keep you and your dog less stressed and emotionally supported through your exciting get-away.
If you think it would be best for your dog to stay behind, then look for a sitter or caregiver to take care of your precious pup. Boarding facilities can sometimes be a little overwhelming for dogs especially if they aren’t used to being around a lot of noise and other animals. It is best if you have a sitter come to your home and spend time with them or have them go to a trusted calm home, making sure they will be comfortable and in safe hands! But, If you have decided that your furry companion should be part of your trip, let the planning begin! Fist off, make sure you have a collar with current identification and contact information on your dog at all times. Having your dog microchipped may also be very beneficial for extra security in case of any emergency situation. Before you travel, your dog should have at least some basic training so he/she will be well-behaved during the traveling period. Then, plan the transportation, accommodations, lodging and daily/nightly activities!
Air travel for dogs is not always the best decision for your dogs mental and physical health. Us pet parents typically do not think of our dogs as cargo, but airlines do in fact consider them to be just that. The cargo hold does not make for a pleasant travel experience, even for relaxed dogs. This is not to say that flying is not an option, just that it is not ideal and can SOMETIMES be unsafe. We have all heard of the horror stories of some dogs passing away while traveling onboard an airplane, but this is not always the case! Certain breeds, health conditions, emotional conditions, etc. do not do well as cargo, so please educate beforehand and keep yourself in the know-This will save your dogs life! Smaller dog owners, ESA or service dog owners however are in luck. Most airlines will allow you to bring your pet in a carrier if it can fit under the seat in front of you or you can sometimes buy a seat ticket for them. Learn the finer details of air travel with dogs so you can be fully informed before you book a flight.
Pet-loving entrepreneurs have been developing pet-friendly airlines that may actually be affordable. One such company is Pet Airways, a pet-only (no human passengers) airline that allows pets to fly in the main cabin rather than cargo. However, these small charter flights are only available in a limited number of cities. Until these types of airlines are more accessible, many of us will have to make do with the rules or find another mode of transportation.
The automobile is usually the safest & best way for your dog to travel. If you own a vehicle, chances are your dog has accompanied you in various trips, outings, errand running, park play dates and so on. If not, now is the time to start! Some dogs have anxiety while riding in the car and training or relaxing techniques/supplements may be necessary. The more exposed your dog is to the car and the more positive your dog’s automobile experiences are, the more likely they will enjoy the ride.
If your dog only rides in the car for vet visits, and he dislikes the vet, his anxiety is understandable. Try taking him for short, frequent car rides that end up at the park, doggie store (where you can reward them with a toy or treat), or another positive place where they can associate the car with positivity. If your dog does not adjust to the car, then a road trip probably is not a good option. If you must bring your dog for a long car ride, talk to your vet about soothing options or look into supplementing them with holistic options. Pet Hemp Oil is a safe, organic and natural way to calm your pet without any negative side effects on their health in the long run. If all these methods fail, seeking out other travel options is necessary. If you’ve decided that your dog can handle the long car trip, make sure to take all the necessary car safety precautions and have your car packed with all the items needed for a safe and enjoyable ride!
Along the Way
Planning for regular stops while traveling in the car is definitely recommended. There are typically plenty of rest stops along the way, so plan to stop about every 3-5 hours to allow your dog to relieve themselves, get a drink of water, stretch his legs and sniff around a bit to get some mental energy out. Another smart tip is to make a list of veterinary hospitals that are easily accessible from your route, preferably within one hour’s drive from any given point-JUST TO BE SAFE. Check that they will be open during your traveling time and try to avoid traveling in the middle of the night unless absolutely necessary.
Car Ride List should include:
- Lists of rest stops & veterinary hospitals
- A leash, harness and collar
- Dog Seat belts and kennel
- Water and bowls
- Dog Treats
- Blankets and/or Dog Bed
- Dog Waste Bags
- Medications (if needed)
- Your dog’s Medical Vet records
- A Flashlight & batteries
- First Aid kit
- A Map
Hotels & Dogs
If you will be staying at a hotel while traveling with your dog, cover all your bases in advance. A pet-friendly hotel is more than just one that allows pets; it is one that welcomes them. Some hotels offer special dog beds, turndown service (down to the treat on the pillow), dog spa services and doggie daycare! While these amenities are not necessary, just see what amenities are available for your dog and remember to inquire if there is a cost involved. Many hotels charge a non-refundable pet deposit upon arrival and sometimes a daily pet fee. Some even tack on a special cleaning fee. Bottom line, before you choose, do your research about pet-friendly hotels. If you have an ESA or service dog, these fees are more than not legally waived.
Camping With Dogs
Camping with your dog can be the perfect way to spend time together while communing with nature. However, camping with dogs is not always a wise choice and not always allowed due to the risks involved. Before you decide to bring your dog, make sure the campground you are considering actually allows dogs and is safe for them. Many state and national parks do not allow dogs because they can attract wild animals.
Emergencies do not only happen close to home; they can also happen while traveling with your dog. Advance planning can make these emergencies less stressful. Again, prior to your trip, make a list of veterinary hospitals in the area where you will be staying and along the way. If your dog shows sudden signs of illness or distress, that list can help save your dog’s life! Before you leave, make sure you have not forgotten anything. Be diligent and use this list as a guide while you are packing. Add your own personal touch as needed and you can always find more ideas and safety precautions online or with your veterinarian! Have fun and be safe!
About Walk’n Dogs – A Dog Care Company | Maitland, FL
Rachel has been working in the Pet Care Industry for the last few years and started her career in a local Canine Health & Fitness Center that also incorporated canine hydrotherapy, dog daycare & boarding. While working at Rocky’s Retreat, under the previous ownership of Sherri Cappabianca and Toby Gass, Rachel became certified in canine hydrotherapy and they taught her everything she knows about canine care, hydrotherapy, health and fitness.
Rachel is currently the owner/founder of Dip’n Dogs Canine Hydrotherapy and Walk’n Dogs – A Dog Walking Service in the Orlando, FL area. Dip’n Dogs provides water therapy for dogs with any orthopedic condition, degenerative disease, injury or obesity. Walk’n Dogs provides in-home visits for dog walking, pet sitting, pet taxi and pet errands. Each service is customized to fit each dog and their needs. Rachel caters to the Winter Park, Baldwin Park, Maitland, College Park, and Altamonte Springs, FL areas.
Rachel is also the owner and dog mom to her two beagles, Leo and Lola.