Traveling with your dog can be a fun experience for both of you as long as you take the necessary steps to ensure your dog is happy and healthy for the trip. Traveling can be stressful for dogs, so taking time to make sure your dog is comfortable will make for a great experience for the both of you.
Some things you should keep in mind before you go:
- See your veterinarian: Whether you are traveling by car or plane, make sure your pet has recently seen a veterinarian so that he has a clean bill of health. If your dog has underlying issues, it would be unfortunate for them to worsen due to the stress of traveling. It is also important to be up to date on all current vaccinations. Some airlines will not always accept dogs who have received vaccinations too recently before the flight, so if you are flying, make sure to schedule an appointment well in advance.
- Pack more food than you expect: In case of an emergency, it’s important to pack more food than you expect for how long you are staying, especially if you are traveling to a location where your dog’s food may be difficult to find. If your car breaks down on the side of the road and you need to stay at a hotel, this could cut into your vacation time. You will be glad to have extra food in case you need it!
- Bring a dog crate: It is strongly recommended to crate your dog while traveling, so if he/she isn’t crate trained, start now! Having a crate for your dog will not only provide them a safe and comfortable space, it could potentially save their life in case of an accident. Dogs who are in crates are much more likely to survive in a car accident than ones who are not.
- Map your route for dog parks/resting areas: Before you leave, do a computer search and print out dog parks and resting areas for your pet to stretch their legs and get out some energy. This will not only make sure your dog isn’t restless in the car, but it will establish traveling with happy, positive feelings, making them less stressed for the next trip.
There are also important things to keep in mind during the trip. Do not leave your dog in the car if it temperatures are too hot or cold. Many gas stations will allow you to bring your dog into the store as long as you are making a purchase, and this is a good time for your dog to stretch their legs. Make sure to bring water bottles and bowls so that your dog is never dehydrated. Bring his favorite blankets and toys to put in their crate. If you decide to buy calming treats, give them to your dog before the trip to make sure they do not upset your pet’s stomach. By following these steps, you will be more likely to have a safe and happy trip with your dog.