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Hit the Road: 10 Essential Tips on Traveling with Your Dog

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Traveling is good for your health. It’s a huge mood-booster, blasts away stress, promotes mental resilience, and can even enhance creativity.

If you want to reap the benefits of traveling but you have a furry friend at home, don’t worry. You can take your dog with you!

Are you curious to learn more about traveling with your dog? If so, you’re in the right place.

Keep reading for ten helpful pet travel tips that will teach you how to safely travel with your dog. Let’s dive in!

1. Start with a Simple Trip

Before you drive across the country, plan a smaller trip to test the water. A short day trip is a great way to see how your dog reacts to traveling and what issues may arise.

Take your dog somewhere fun, like the dog park, for the best results. And don’t feel discouraged if things don’t go perfectly. The first trip is always the most difficult.

As long as your pooch seems generally happy with traveling, try again. Before you know it, you’ll be having grand adventures together.

2. Use a Crate

Crates are the best way to travel with a dog. They’re required on airplanes, and will also keep your dog safe and secure during a car ride. And if you’re staying in a hotel or renting lodgings, a crate will keep your pup out of trouble.

You can find the perfect crate for your dog at a pet store or any big-box store in your area. When making your selection, look for a crate that’s large enough for your dog to move comfortably inside. They should be able to lie down, sit, and stand.

It’s also important to look for a crate with plenty of ventilation and sturdy handles. Once you buy a crate, label it with your contact details.

3. Plan Ahead for Plane Travel

If you want to travel with your dog by air, you’ll need to do some extra planning. Here’s a checklist of everything to get done before takeoff:

  • Make an appointment with your veterinarian to get all the medical paperwork the airline needs for your dog
  • Ask your veterinarian if they think your dog needs a tranquilizer
  • Make sure you have a crate that complies with your airline’s requirements
  • Check with your airline to see whether it’s safe for your dog to fly in the cargo hold area (click this link to learn more), or if they can travel with you in the main cabin

If you give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead, you can feel safe about flying with your dog.

4. Bring Your Pup’s Favorite Toys

Your dog’s favorite toys will make them happy and bring them comfort during a long journey. Don’t forget to pack all your pooch’s preferred chew toys, balls, and any other items they enjoy.

5. Puppies Need Special Care

You may feel confident in your knowledge of how to travel with your dog. But, when you’re traveling with a puppy, it’s a whole new ball game.

Puppies may have accidents, separation anxiety, and issues with chewing. This doesn’t mean that traveling with a puppy is impossible. It just requires more planning (and some extra cleaning supplies).

6. Identification Is Vital

If you’re looking for safety tips for traveling with pets, this one’s for you. It’s very important that you provide your dog with the proper identifications while traveling.

This way, if your dog somehow becomes separated from you, you can rest assured that whoever finds them will have the means to contact you. Here’s a list of items to check off before you start your journey:

  • A high-quality collar, labeled with your name, phone number, your dog’s name, and confirmation of your dog’s latest rabies shots
  • A picture of your dog
  • A copy of your dog’s veterinary records

With these basic items, you can feel safe traveling with your dog. If you want to take your dog’s identification one step further, look into microchipping.

7. Pack Water and Food

Excellent sources of food and water are two of the most basic and essential items needed to care for a dog. And this doesn’t change just because you’re on the road.

Pack high-quality dog food and tons of water for your journey. Make sure to bring your dog’s bowls, too. If you’re unsure of what kind of food or water to bring, consult your veterinarian.

8. Plan Lodging in Advance

Not all hotels are pet-friendly. For this reason, it’s important to book your lodgings in advance.

And when you arrive at your destinations, make sure to be respectful. Keep your dog quiet, and take them out for as many bathroom trips as possible.

9. Identify Veterinary Hospitals

While you’re planning your route and lodgings, take a couple of minutes to check for veterinary hospitals along the way, too. If your dog gets sick, the last thing you want is to frantically scramble to find a hospital. Planning in advance will ensure your dog gets the help they need.

10. Bring a Clean-Up Kit 

Accidents happen. Especially when you’re traveling with a dog.

Even if your dog is perfectly housebroken, traveling may throw off their routine. A clean-up kit will come in handy if your dog has a mishap on the road. Bring paper towels and cleaning spray, just in case.

Avoid accidents by making plenty of stops and walking your dog. And if an accident does happen, keep in mind that your dog is doing their best under these new circumstances.

Enjoy Traveling with Your Dog!

As you can see, traveling with your dog is not only possible, it’s simple. As long as you use the tips above to plan your trip with comfort and safety in mind, you and your dog will be wandering the world together before you know it.

For the best results, make sure to start with a short trip first to test the water. And once you’re ready to hit the open road, book your lodgings ahead of time to ensure that you’re not left high and dry.

Want to learn more about traveling? Check out our travel blog page for tons of information and tips.

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