Traveling with your dog will require preparation and planning in order to avoid undue stress on your dog and yourself and to ensure your journey is peaceful and unencumbered. The following are five tips for traveling with your dog to help you prepare for your journey and provide advise to ensure happy trails along the way.
1. Consult Your Veterinarian
Aside from yourself, your veterinarian knows your dog best and can recommend ways to avert and treat your dog's possible stress during travel. It could be as simple as administering a calming medication for your dog before you begin your journey or it could mean practicing techniques before hand that will help alleviate anxiety caused by travel. In any event, your vet should be able to identify any possible stresses your dog may encounter during travel and ways to treat the symptoms.
2. Consult Your Travel Schedule
If you are traveling by car, allow for rest stops for both you and your dog. Most interstate rest stops have "dog areas" where your leashed pet can relive themselves and get a bit of exercise. Whether you're traveling by air or car, you will need somewhere to stay. If it is with family or friends, make sure no members of the household have allergies to your dog. If you are staying at a hotel or motel, be aware of their pet policies. Although some establishments may welcome pets, they may not allow you to leave them in your room unattended. Some hotels also offer pet services like dog walking, grooming, feeding and more. Take advantage of these so amenities that your dog will enjoy traveling as much as you.
3. Consult Your Airline
Many airlines have restrictions regarding traveling with pets such as having an airline approved carrier and necessary paperwork for your pet. Before making your reservations, call your airline and find out their requirements and restrictions so that you will be prepared for takeoff.
4. Purchase Necessary Travel Accessories
Whether you are driving or flying, a pet carrier or crate is necessary. They are also convenient when you want somewhere safe to keep your pet when you go sightseeing and provides them a place to sleep that is comfortable for them. You will need bedding for the crate and treats to entice your dog inside. When traveling by car, you may allow your dog to ride in a seat but you may want to purchase a restraint to keep them safe and secure. If you plan on letting your dog travel in the open bed of a truck, make sure he is inside a crate that is secured to the truck with straps or cords. Make certain you pack bowls, bottled water and plenty of food for your dog.
5. Make it Fun
Bring your dogs favorite bed or toy, take them with you on any side trips that are "pet friendly" and make sure you give them lots of love and attention as traveling is stressful for dogs and your presence offers a calming effect.