Traveling with Dogs - Helpful Tips and Tricks for a Fun-filled Journey

traveling with dogs

Who doesn't enjoy traveling with dogs when on vacation? They are your furry family members that are both amusing and adorable, making your trip more enjoyable and memorable.

To make the journey safe for you and your pet, however, you must organize it ahead of time.

It's not easy, and stressful to travel with your pets, which may make you wonder why you need an ESA in the first place!

With that in mind, here are some helpful hints to ensure that both you and your emotional support dog are safe, calm, and stress-free throughout the trip.

Taking your dog with you can make a family vacation more enjoyable for everyone if you plan ahead. Here are some travel recommendations to make traveling with your dog pleasant.

Traveling By Car - Safety Tips and Tricks

  • Begin by letting your dog sit in the car with you without leaving the driveway and then taking little trips.
  • Allow your dog to go on an empty stomach if he gets carsick. Make sure he has plenty of water, though.
  • Keep the vehicle's ventilation system in good working order. If the dog is confined in a crate, be sure fresh air is able to enter.
  • Consider getting a dog seat belt or dog car seat to keep your pet safe.
  • Do not let your dog ride with his head exposed from an open window. This can result in eye damage.
  • Never put your dog in the back of an open truck. This is a major safety concern, and it has the potential to cause serious harm or even death.
  • Keep an eye on your puppy to make sure he doesn't overheat. Frequently move him about for exercise and bathroom breaks. Make sure you wash the dirt off of him after he's done.
  • Because riding in a car is tedious for everyone, advise your children not to tease or bother the dog in the automobile.
  • Never, ever leave your dog alone in a closed vehicle, especially during the summer. If you must leave the vehicle, choose someone from the family to keep watch over the animal.

Flying with Your Dog - Important Things to Consider

  • Before flying with an emotional support animal, visit your veterinarian. No more than ten days prior to travel, the airline must be notified of the animal's health status.
  • Your puppy must be at least 8 weeks old and completely weaned before vaccination may begin. Rabies vaccination certificates and Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccines are also necessary.

    The risk for dog rabies is high when importing dogs from other high-risk countries. Therefore, some airlines require the owners to get a CDC dog import permit when traveling with dogs and cats.

  • Airlines urge you to verify the health and flying ability of your dog before purchasing a ticket. It is the owner's duty to ensure that their dog's health and flying capability are valid. If your pet should be tranquilized for the journey, check with your veterinarian.
  • Also, be sure the route is suitable for your dog. It might be too hot or cold to be safe to fly with your pet.
  • The maximum shipment temperature for live animals is 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours throughout departure, arrival, or connections; therefore, companies that transport live animals must avoid these conditions.
  • Remember that each airline has its own set of rules and services. If your crate does not meet the requirements of the airline, you may not be permitted to use it.
  • If your crate or pet carrier fits under the seat in front of you, they may let your dog travel in the cabin.
  • When you make your reservations, you must provide details regarding your dog. The number of animals permitted on each plane is limited. They are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The pet fee for traveling with your dog will also vary. Make sure that you know about any additional charges beforehand. The American Airlines policies for emotional support animals have been updated and when choosing this airline, check the new instructions.

Traveling by Train, Bus Or Boat - Important Travel Considerations

If you're going by train or bus, prepare for a letdown. Only dogs weighing less than 20 pounds are allowed on Amtrak trains (There is also a $25 fee).

Greyhound and other interstate bus companies do not allow dogs aboard their buses. (Service dogs are permitted.) Individual bus and rail firms have their own regulations but usually, they also allow service animals.

If you're going on a cruise, you'll do better. You should, however, double-check the cruise line's or ship's rules before making plans to take your dog aboard a cruise with you.

Best Practices When Traveling With Your Dog

  • Plan Appropriate Bathroom Breaks for Your Dog

    Before you go, teach your dog to relieve himself on a variety of surfaces, and not just grass.

    If you take your dog outside on different surfaces, such as concrete, mulch, or gravel, he'll be less anxious and there's a lesser risk of mishaps.

    Bring a bag to collect the debris and a leash.

  • Bring Games and Toys to Keep Coco Engaged and Happy

    To keep your dog entertained, give him a few new toys and a couple of old favorites. To keep him occupied, add a puzzle-type toy.

  • Pack Your Dog's Favorite Food and Enough Water

    To prevent your dog from getting an upset tummy, only give him bottled water while you're away from home.

    Instead of buying big bowls, get collapsible ones and let him practice using them for a week or two before you leave.

Health And Safety Checks before Traveling

  • Bring your dog to the doctor for a checkup before going on an extended trip. Get his vaccinations up-to-date, as well as shot records. It is important and as an emotional support animal or dog owner, it is your responsibility to get your animal checked in time.
  • Airlines may require your dog to pass a health examination before allowing him or her to fly. Check with your veterinarian to see whether your dog is in good mental and physical condition to travel.
  • Keep in mind that not all dogs will like being away from home for an extended period of time.
  • Bring some of his regular food on your trip so he stays healthy. Don't forget to bring water and any prescriptions your dog requires, as well as anything else you'll need.
  • Prepare for an emergency. Save the number of your nearest 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital into your phone, along with the office and emergency numbers for your regular veterinarian (in case they need to talk to each other).

You'll be ready if your dog needs medical attention, by having the required knowledge on hand.

Choosing a Good Crate for Your Dog

A crate is the best method to keep your dog safe in a vehicle and is required for air travel. It may also prevent your pet from getting into trouble at a hotel or while visiting with your host.

Most pet stores sell crates. When shopping for one, look for these characteristics:

  • In order for the dog to be comfortable, you must provide an appropriate crate. The crate should be big enough for the dog to stand, turn, and lie down in.
  • The product should be sturdy and have handles and grips. There should be no protrusions to make your dog uncomfortable.
  • The bottom is leak-proof and covered with absorbent material. It should be soft-sided and as per your dog’s size. A crate or carrier for a small dog will be different from the one made for a big dog.
  • External rims or knobs on the outside to prevent blocked airflow and allow for ventilation on either side.
  • A "Live Animal" label, arrows indicating an upright posture, and the owner's name, address, and phone number are all on the collar.
  • Your dog will be comfortable in his crate with a soft mat, his favorite toy, and a water bottle.

Having Proper and Complete Identification Documents

  • If your dog gets away from you on your journey, make sure he can be properly identified, as this increases the likelihood of recovery.
  • Make sure your dog has a strong leash and collar. The collar should include the dog's name, your name, and your home phone number as well as proof of rabies vaccinations.
  • Consider purchasing a second identification tag with the destination and phone number of your holiday location if you'll be away for longer than a few days.
  • Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip for hassle-free recovery.
  • Bring a recent photograph of your dog and a copy of his health records, which should list all of his current immunizations.

Finding Suitable Lodgings for Both of You

  • Find out ahead of time if hotels or motels along your route or destination allow canines. Many do not, or have size limitations.
  • If your dog is accepted or allowed to stay in a hotel, be considerate of other guests, staff, and the establishment.
  • Try to keep your dog quiet as much as possible.
  • Do not leave the dog alone. If left alone in an unfamiliar area, many dogs will bark or wreak havoc.
  • Find out where you may walk your dog and pick up after him. Make sure there is nothing left behind.
  • Remember that one bad encounter with a dog guest may persuade the hotel management to refuse to accept dogs in the future. Be considerate of other guests and leave your room and grounds in excellent condition.
  • Make sure the holiday house is puppy-proofed (or room). Make sure your dog is safe to explore before allowing him free reign of his home away from home.
  • Make sure there are no electrical cords within reach, and that your dog isn't exposed to anything hazardous left by previous occupants.

It's difficult to travel with a nervous owner, but a relaxed owner typically has a calm pet. Our pets are sensitive to our stress, so if you're tense and uptight, your dog will sense it too.

Some dogs dislike traveling, and your dog may want to spend the day with a dog sitter at home.

All dogs arriving in the airports in the United States must be certified healthy. However, as of July 14, 2021, CDC has imposed a temporary suspension to the dogs coming from countries having a high risk for dog rabies.

Please check online to ensure that your country is not on the list before you prepare to bring your pet along with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What paperwork do I need to travel with a dog?

When traveling with your dog, or any other kind of animal, you will need a recent and updated health certificate from your dog’s vet. The certificate must be signed within 14 days from your date of departure. Some airlines may require it to be no more than 10 days.

Is it stressful to travel with dogs?

No, if you follow the necessary precautions, traveling with dogs isn't stressful. You should feed and transport them in a comfortable dog carrier.

It's also vital that you obtain all the necessary permissions before taking your pet on a trip.

Also, make sure your vehicle is prepared to transport a dog carrier. If you're traveling by air, be sure to get clearance from the airlines to take the dog with you.

Is it bad to travel with a dog?

No, it's not terrible to travel with your dog. In reality, if you bring your dog along, you won't have to worry about him getting left behind. Furthermore, the company of your fluffy companion might make your trip more pleasurable.

Do dogs travel well in cars?

Yes, dogs can travel well in cars. Make sure your vehicle is pet-proof. Furthermore, you should have a strong dog carrier or dog car seat in the back of your vehicle. Alternatively, you may use dog car seat belts to ensure that your pet is secure inside the vehicle.

How do you travel long distances with a dog in a car?

The best way for your pet to travel is in a carrier that has been secured to the seat with a seatbelt or other anchor. Check that the carrier is big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down.

A pet seat belt may be used instead, but because they have not been tested in a vehicle accident, their effectiveness is still debatable.

Are long car rides bad for dogs?

Taking your pets on a trip is an excellent method to avoid the stress and expense of boarding them. However, for all animals, traveling long distances in a vehicle isn't as simple as it appears. To prepare them for traveling in a car, experts recommend taking them on shorter trips first.

Can I give my dog Benadryl for a long car ride?

If you're giving Benadryl to a dog with motion sickness in order to help him feel better, wait at least 30 minutes before beginning the journey.

This medication can also be taken with or without food. Benadryl has an almost immediate effect, and you should start to see it within an hour.

Should you feed your dog before a long car ride?

Although many dogs are afflicted with automobile sickness, it's best to feed them several hours before getting in the vehicle. Take a nice, long walk prior to leaving so she'll be ready to relax during the trip.

It may not be possible for you to accomplish everything exactly as you would at home, but the more you stick to a routine, the better.

Can dogs be sedated for travel?

Simply said, the answer is NO! Sedating cats or dogs during air travel, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), raises the danger of heart and respiratory problems.

Veterinary professionals should not administer sedatives to dogs or other animals that are being moved unless absolutely necessary.

How often should you stop when traveling with a dog?

What is the average time for a car journey to last? When traveling with your dog, you should stop every two to three hours to let them go potty. It's also a good idea to exercise your dog so they become tired and sleep in the vehicle.

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