Traveling With Dogs: What You Should Know

We all need a break. Traveling and experiencing a new place is the easiest way to give your mind a break from your usual routine. Leave the stress at home as you relax, dine and explore. However, when you’re a dog parent, vacationing may require some extra planning. For anyone traveling with dogs, keep reading to get all the tips you’ll need to make the best of it.

Traveling With Dogs: Air Travel

You can bring your dog with you on an airplane, even if you’re traveling overseas. Airlines differ on their restrictions for pets, so explore your options before paying for your plane ticket. You should also contact the airline in advance, as most airlines limit the number of animals allowed in the cabin. Most airlines have dedicated staff to help make arrangements for anyone traveling with dogs.

In addition to this, air travel can be risky for dogs with “pushed in” faces. The medical term for this is “brachycephalic” and includes bulldogs, Shih Tzus, and pugs. Air travel with these dogs is risky because their short nasal passages increase their vulnerability to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke. Driving is a better option when traveling with these breeds.

Once you’ve purchased your tickets, you’ll still need to take some steps to ensure the experience goes smoothly for you and your dog. These steps include the following:

  • Make sure you have an appropriate carrier. 
  • Visit your vet prior to your flight. Airlines will require you have a health certificate that is less than 10 days old with vaccines listed. 
  • Anxious dogs may need medication, but use these with care. Some tranquilizers may interfere with your dog’s ability to manage the change in air pressure. This may be especially true for brachycephalic breeds.

Airport Security

There are also many other precautions and risks of traveling with dogs by air. Your pet’s carrier will have to go through a security screening. You’ll need to have a way to secure your dog while her carrier is x-rayed or request a special screening that won’t require her to be removed from the carrier.

Traveling With Dogs in Cargo Hold

We strongly discourage flying with your pet in the cargo hold. When flying as cargo, pets can be injured, lost, or even killed. If you’ll have to fly with your dog in cargo, check consumer reports for companion animal incidents before choosing an airline. Even after checking an airline’s record, there are many steps and precautions you’ll need to take due to the high risk of traveling with a dog in a cargo hold.

traveling with dogs

Traveling With Dogs: Car Travel

Traveling with dogs by car can be a great alternative to flying. You and your pup can stretch your legs and take a break any time you wish. Bring treats, food, toys, and comforts of home with you without worrying about taking up precious luggage space. In addition to this, you won’t have to worry about bothering passengers who may have allergies or sensitivities to dogs.

Car travel may require a protector for your seats, especially if your dog gets carsick. You will also need to bring plenty of bags for poop scooping and a plan of appropriate places to stop. Many stores and restaurants don’t allow animals and it’s not safe to leave a dog in an unattended car. Plan to pack your meals while driving and eat at a park or rest area rather than leaving your best friend alone in what could become a very dangerous situation.

Don’t Let Your Dog Roam

You may also want to invest in a crate that can be anchored to a car set. Letting your dog roam freely throughout your car can be dangerous for your pup and could pose a distraction for the driver, so keeping your dog in one place is recommended. Seat belts and dog restraints are a good option for stopping your dog from roaming, but they aren’t able to protect dogs in the event of a collision.

You’ll also want to keep your dog in the back seat of your car because airbag deployment could seriously injury her.

Keep Her Furry Head in the Car

Your pet should also remain inside your car. While seeing a dog sticking her head out of the window of a car is cute, it can also be dangerous. Your dog could be injured by debris particles or get sick from having cold air forced into her lungs. This is also why dogs shouldn’t travel in the back of an open pickup truck.

Travel With a (Human) Buddy

Traveling with someone else may not always be an option, but it makes traveling with dogs by car much easier. Not only can you give each other breaks from being behind the wheel, but you can also alternate watching your furry passenger. This will help you avoid situations that may force you to leave your dog alone in the car.

traveling with dogs

Vacation Boarding for Dogs

While traveling with dogs is fun, vacation boarding is often the best and safest option. Booking a stay for your pet at a dog boarding facility guarantees your pet’s safety and security. You will have fewer difficulties with managing dog-friendly locations, less stress and dog boarding can be a vacation for your pet as well!

At Fon Jon Pet Care, our dog boarding campers are always treated with love and care. We want your dog’s stay with us to be as relaxing and enjoyable as possible so Fon Jon can feel like her home away from home! 

When your dog stays with us, she’ll get her own private, indoor, climate-controlled den with access to a covered outdoor patio. Your dog will then be able to spend her day in our outdoor play yard where she’ll get to make friends, playing with our other campers and pet technicians. We also provide camp gear like bedding options, toys, treats, water bowls, and nutritious food at no extra cost!

If you’ll be traveling soon, make plans to board your dog at Fon Jon Pet Care in San Diego. We have more than 70 years of experience providing top-quality dog boarding, grooming, daycare, and training in the San Diego area. We would love to provide your pet with the vacation of a lifetime!