Tips for Traveling with your Dog

Traveling can be dull without your best friend by your side — and by best friend, we mean your beloved canine companion. Although bringing them along for the ride can be stressful and tiring, there is no need to worry. There are numerous ways to keep your pet safe and comfortable during a long trip. Here are some tips for traveling with your dog:

If you are traveling by plane book a direct flight if possible. This decreases the chance that your pet may be mishandled by personnel or left on the tarmac during bad weather conditions if they are required to go under the plane.  If your companion will be in a cabin with you, it will reduce the chances of an accident.

If you do have to book a flight with a layover and your dog will be in the cabin with you, be sure you find out where the pet relief area is during your stop and allow extra time to let your dog use the pet relief area.

Before your flight, make sure you book an appointment with your vet to make sure your pet has all of their vaccinations in order and to acquire a health certificate that enables them to fly.

For larger dogs, be sure to Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate — make sure it’s large enough so they can stand, sit, and turn around comfortably. Mark the crate with proper identification, including your name, number, and a photo of your pet. Make sure to print the words “live animal” on the crate to ensure proper treatment of your pet.

For smaller dogs, that will be in the cabin with you, be sure the dog carrier is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.  Check with the airline you will be flying with on the size requirements.

Each airline has different requirements for flying with a dog, so be sure to do your research to find out what they are.

Traveling by vehicle with your pooch is a different task. Prep your doggy for a long trip by getting him or her used to long car rides. Start small at first and gradually work up to longer car rides.

Use a well-ventilated crate to keep them secure and in place. Once again, the crate should allow your pet to stand, sit, and turn around comfortably.

Bring a travel kit that carries food, water, bowls, waste bags, and first aid.

Be sure you include time for stops on your ride for bathroom breaks, especially for longer rides.  You can also look online to find places that are dog friendly to eat versus eating in the car.

Last but not least, do not leave your pet alone in a vehicle for a long period of time. This could cause them to endure heat stroke on a hot day, even with the windows open. On a cold day, your dog could freeze.

Keeping your pet safe is important, especially while traveling. These tips will ensure safe travels and a happy, smiling pooch.