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10 Tips to Make Traveling With Dogs Easier

10 Tips to Make Traveling With Pets Much Easier

By  Fernando Villarreal

 

 

 

Are you ready to travel with your pet? Traveling with your pup can be highly satisfying. Whether relocating, planning a flight, or exploring new destinations with your pet, you must plan carefully and ahead of time. 

This ensures you and your furbaby are safe and healthy and have fun during your vacation. If you’re planning a pet vacation with your furbaby, here’s what you need to know. This 10-point checklist will help ensure a fun and safe pet vacation for you and your fur baby.

 

 

  1. Plan: Research pet-friendly accommodations, pet transportation options, and activities at your destination. Start by using websites that specialize in pet-friendly travel. Booking platforms like booking.com or BringFido allow you to apply a “pet-friendly” filter to search results, simplifying finding hotels that welcome pets. Call ahead and check each accommodation’s pet policy beforehand to understand any restrictions or additional fees.
  1. Visit the Vet: Before traveling anywhere with your dog, you should have him examined by your veterinarian to ensure that he’s fine and can travel. This helps ensure your dog is healthy enough for travel and doesn’t have health issues that could worsen by traveling, like heart problems or anxiety.

Your dog should also be up-to-date on vaccinations. This is important because some places you might visit require proof of vaccinations. The AVMA says you’ll need a health certificate if you’re crossing state lines. 

You’ll need to get it within 10 days of when you plan to travel. Your veterinarian will examine your pet to make sure it doesn’t have any signs of infectious disease and that it has the appropriate vaccinations (e.g., rabies).”

  1. Identification: Ensure your pup has a collar with identification tags, and consider microchipping for added security. Ensure the information on the collar tags and the microchip is up-to-date, including your current phone number and address. Updating this information is essential if you move or change your phone number. 

Consider using a GPS dog collar for peace of mind. Whether your dog escapes the hotel or dog park or gets lost during a hike, a GPS collar can quickly help you locate them. These devices are particularly useful in urban areas with a higher risk of losing pets.

 

 

 

  1. Pack Essentials: Bring enough food, water, medication, and familiar items from home to keep your pet comfortable during the journey. You should always pack the food that your dog is used to eating to avoid an upset stomach while traveling. 

Also, bring along supplements your pup takes daily. To organize your dog’s pet medications and supplements for travel, you can use a pill box with marked days of the week.

 

  1. Practice with Carrier: Before the trip, familiarize your pet with his carrier and make it a comfortable space with familiar bedding. Your dog should also be secure in the car during travel, so consider a crate, seatbelt, or car harness to avoid mishaps if you suddenly slam on the brakes. 

If you’re traveling with a crate, start the familiarization process several weeks before your trip. Place the carrier in a common area where your pet spends time so they can explore it at their own pace.

Leave the door open to encourage curiosity and voluntary entry. Always place a favorite blanket and toy to make the space feel safer and more comforting for your pup during travel.

 

 

  1. Exercise Before Travel: Allow your dog to exercise before going on a plane flight or long car ride to help them relax during travel. Exercise helps your dog burn off excess energy, making them less likely to feel restless or anxious during confinement. A tired dog will sleep or rest quietly during the trip. Proper exercise can help manage potentially disruptive behaviors by getting your dog tired before car or air travel.
  1. Safe Transportation: Use a secure carrier or harness for your pet’s safety during travel, whether by car or plane. Your dog should always be safe in a vehicle or when flying. The AVMA says that your pet should always be properly restrained while in the car. That means a secure harness or a carrier. A secure harness or carrier keeps your pet safe and prevents them from distracting the driver, which can cause accidents. “A loose, small pet could crawl down in the footwell, interfering with use of the brake or accelerator pedal.Unrestrained pets could be thrown out or through windows or windshields in a collision. “

It’s essential for the safety of the pet and all passengers in the car. Secure carriers provide your pet with a familiar and comfortable space, reducing their anxiety during flights or long drives.

 

 

 

 

  1. Regular Breaks: Take breaks during long journeys to allow your dog to walk and stay hydrated. If driving, make a pit stop every two hours for pups or senior dogs. This helps to loosen up muscles and gives your dog some fresh air. 

If you’re traveling by car, ensure the temperature inside the vehicle is not too hot or too cold for your pup. And if it’s during the summer, keep the AC on and never leave your pets alone in the car. 

The AVMA says that each year, thousands of dogs die from heat exhaustion because they’re left in parked vehicles. “Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you.”

 

 

 

 

  1. Hydrate: It’s vital to hydrate your dog and ensure he gets water at all the rest stops. Keeping your pet hydrated during a trip is critical, especially in warm weather.

Use toys that release water or hydrating treats such as ice chips or frozen dog-friendly broth. These can be particularly appealing to pets, encouraging them to hydrate while providing some entertainment during the trip.

 

  1. Stay Calm: Pets can pick up on your emotions, so stay calm and reassuring to help them feel safe and relaxed during travel. Just as humans can experience travel anxiety, pets can feel the same. Your ability to remain composed and reassuring can significantly influence your pet’s comfort level, helping them to stay relaxed and less anxious during the journey.

When you arrive at your new destination, do everything you can to adhere to your dog’s exercise and eating schedule. Sometimes, dogs will find new surroundings confusing, and it takes them a while to get used to it. Spend time showing your dog where his bed, food, and water bowls are.

What Do Redditors Say About Pet Travel

 

 

 

 

” You should never put a dog in cargo. It’s torture. Drive, or have a friend, family member or kennel watch your dog.” Mrmercur

Another Redditor advises using La Compagnie- “Look into La Compagnie. They fly from Newark to Paris. All business class and their weight restrictions are more lenient. Plus if your dog is well-behaved, they usually don’t care if you have them out of their carrier.” dutchyyardeen

“Drive. I work for an airline as a mechanic. I wouldn’t ever put a live animal underneath. To many people throwing the cage around. Plus god forbid depressurization or even worse a fire in the cargo when they blow the bottles, all oxygen is gone from the cargo area,” advises another Redditor. shitters-full

Finally, this Redditor pilot adds, “As a pilot, I wouldn’t put my dog down there unless I absolutely had to. It’s loud, dark, and disorienting for the pet. Aside from that, if we happen to get any cargo smoke warning (even if it’s a false indication), we have no choice but to suffocate the fire. Not fun for anyone.” teamsidestick

FAQ’s Tips to Make Traveling With Pets Much Easier

What are the tips for pet travel?

Always keep your dog safe, comfortable, and well-hydrated throughout your travels. If your pup suffers from motion sickness, feed your pup at least two hours before catching a flight. 

If you’re traveling by car with Fido, consider feeding a light meal and using Cocculus, a homeopathic remedy that helps prevent motion sickness. Bach Rescue Remedy helps to reduce anxiety when flying but could result in an upset stomach.

Is it easy to travel with pets?

Yes, but you need to plan and contact pet-friendly hotels to ensure they are pet-friendly. The American Kennel Club (AKC) says these pet-friendly airlines are great for dogs that fly in the main cabin. “Always check your airline’s own materials before booking a flight, and communicate directly with your airline before traveling.”

These include the following:

  • American Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines

How do pets pee on long flights?

Puppy potty pads can be used in their carrier, and extra absorbent pads should always be carried during pet vacations. Bring zip-lock bags to dispose of used potty pads and puppy wipes to keep your dogs clean while traveling.

Depending on the flight length, you may need to change pee pads. Carrying extra pads is essential, as this allows for switching out absorbent pads.

Where do pets go on a plane?

Pets can travel in a cabin or cargo, though most pet parents prefer to fly their pets in the cabin for optimal safety. Cargo is the belly of the plane where the luggage is placed, and some pets, if unaccompanied, will travel in cargo.

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