10 Crucial Tips on How to Travel Better With Your Dog

Fun fact – did you know that pets outnumber people in the U.S.? Meaning the U.S. is a land of few babies and more pets (pun intended!). Read that again, there’s approximately 60 million more pets than people in America!

Obviously, the most popular pet in all these millions of households is the dog.

Now, if you are a dog owner like me (yes, King and Tammy, and they both say hello), you probably have them in your backseat while taking a vacay but definitely faced some challenges and wished it was easier for you. 

Well, you are not alone. Research by the Roanoke Times reports that approximately 78% of Americans who have pets travel with them each year. 

The big question here is, if you are taking that journey whether on a plane or in your car with your dog, are you prepared? 

Over the last 3 decades, I’ve made hundreds of trips with my dogs. I’ve learnt some crucial lessons to make your furry friend feel home away from home. I’ve put together these tips that you need to consider while traveling with pet for proper containment, adequate control, most comfort and proper feeding.

Let’s dive right in, guys!

Matters Clothing

1. Clothe your dog well

Do you own a cute cuddly Maltese, or do you prefer the more outdoorsy German Shepherd? 

Well, you know these two come as different packages with different requirements -and this could not be more evident as when you are traveling. 

Different dog breeds require different kinds of grooming. While traveling, most people overlook this factor. Be considerate and research the area you are moving to and have all the facts about the weather. 

Short-coated dogs (Pointers, Doberman Pinschers, and Boxers) should wear a jacket during colder months,

So, the big question is, are you moving to a very cold area, and does your Pinscher need a few jackets – and if so, then you need to order some for them before they freeze in the cold!

2. Get dog shoes in case the terrain isn’t friendly

How often do you like walking your dog? 

Admittedly, I do it a lot – like several times a week and I find it very relaxing to the mind. But those long walks with your pet in rough terrain sometimes end up hurting their paws. 

That is why you need dog booties to protect against cold, injury and rough terrain. It is always nice to be ready than to be sorry. Remember paw injuries are very detrimental to dogs. Injured paws mean that your dog cannot move or even play.

Health Comes First 

3. Consider your dog’s first aid

If you have lived with your pet for sometime, you will notice that with matters of health, they require the same care and keenness as we humans do. What this directly translates to is that you should be always ready to give your dog first aid in case of any medical emergency when you are traveling and away from your veterinarian. 

Some of the dog first-aid essentials include important paperwork like your dog’s vaccination records, antibiotic ointment, scissors, rubber gloves, towels and water bowls.

4. Check vaccinations and have proper medical records

Before you take your journey your first stop should be at your veterinarian. 

Your vet should check pet for health issues and make sure they are fit to travel. Inform your vet if you are traveling abroad. There are special requirements to be met in this case. 

The vital checks could include blood tests, heart rates, etc. Other crucial documents that you need to carry include vaccination certificates, health certificates and permits that allow you to cross borders with your dog. 

Due to the risk of spreading dangerous diseases such as rabies, many countries have put strict restrictions on dogs entering their countries. This is why it is important to have your pet vaccinated and to carry the evidence as certificates.

5. Before you travel, take your dog to the vet for a test

As mentioned above, tests are vital to determine if pet is fit to travel. 

Dogs, like humans, have health challenges and the risk of traveling with a sick dog might be fatal. Have your dog checked a few weeks or days before you start your journey to make sure he’s in the right shape to go with you.

Accommodation and Grooming

6. Choose pet friendly locations and accommodations

When you are traveling, your choice of accommodation is a priority. And more so, when and if you are traveling with pet, your choice of accommodation should be carefully picked. Always consider that you have company and not all locations or hotels allow dogs. 

The best idea here is to enquire directly before you book your accommodation whether or not they allow dogs and to what extent. This will make sure that your dog is not left at the gate while you are allowed in your villa! 

7. Choose locations with adequate dog entertainment activities

Sometimes you are craving for some fun, to go out and engage in fun activities; and so does your furry friend the dog! You might be shocked to realize that dogs also love going out and refreshing their minds as opposed to always being locked indoors. 

So, when you are traveling you might want to review your destination carefully and make sure that your dog has some open areas available to play, walk and even kick a ball with you! 

You might be surprised how this might keep your dog all lively in the new environment! 

Handling And Feeding Your Best Friend

8. Bring a leash on your journey

When you are traveling to new places, the possibility is that these curious best friends will wander. Remember that there are areas that you are unfamiliar with, and this means that there is the possibility that it will not be easy to find them. 

So, how do you solve this?

Simple. Bring a dog leash to contain them within your reach. It might be uncomfortable and strenuous, but it’s your best shot at keeping your pet within your reach and avoiding all the hustle of looking in corners you aren’t even familiar with. 

In this video, dog expert Cesar Millan teaches how to correctly use a dog leash to handle your dog. Watch the video to discover how you can use this universal dog control tool to connect and guide.

9. Use a dog collar with tags on them all the time

On a normal day, in your home area, you don’t need to do this because your pet knows your area and it knows its way home. But when you travel and you are in a new area, all of this changes. You need to find a way to locate your dog in case he gets lost and can’t find his way back to you. 

The way to do this is using a dog collar. 

If your friend gets aggressive the collar can be used to restrain them. In some cases these collars come in handy because they are used to carry vital medical information often required when you travel.

10. Bring along your pet’s favorite food

We’ve all heard the saying that the most healthy kitchen appliance is a hot plate. And while you are working those munchy saucy sizzles,  you do not want your best friend sitting there watching you. 

This is why if you are planning on traveling with your dog, it is important to bring some of his favorite food along. Remember that you could be moving to an area where the food the dog is used to isn’t available. This means that he has to get used to the new food and this might stress your friend. 

Also, it is important to note that you should avoid feeding your dog in a moving car as this may bring about dog car sickness. Ideally, feed your dog at least 4 hours before you start your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to travel with a dog on a plane?

According to the cntraveler online travel magazine, the size of your dog determines where they will be carried on the plane. Smaller dogs are allowed in the cabin while larger ones are carried in the cargo section. You also ideally pay a fee (around $125) for a one way flight for your pet.

How to safely travel with a dog?

The top safety tip that will ensure your own safety, that of your dog and that of other people is that you should always keep your dog under a leash. Another important dog safety tip is that you should never leave your pet in the vehicle and always carry all their medical and vaccination records with you. 

How to travel with dog food?

As a rule of the thumb when dealing with your dog’s food, do not leave it in the warm car. Leaving food in the heat makes it go bad fast, as bacteria propagate easily and fast in warmer areas. Always carry your pet’s food outside in airtight containers or bags to ensure longer preservation.

Quick Takeaways

Here is a quick list of the things you need to focus on to have the most rewarding travel experience with your dog:

  1. Proper preparation before traveling helps in proper containment, adequate control, most comfort and proper feeding.
  2. Preparation and having all essentials before travel is crucial to avoid stress.
  3. Different types of dogs have different types of needs.
  4. Vaccinations and medical certificates are important when traveling across borders.
  5. Always check if your preferred accommodation allows dogs to avoid disappointments.
  6. A dog leash and a dog collar are vital when in a new area to avoid losing your pet.

Are you planning your next vacation and wondering how you would take your dog with you? Do not hesitate to give your pet out to the neighbors to take care of it while you are away. You can take your dog with you if you follow these crucial tips on this post.

I hope you and  your best friend have a blast while at it!