Travelling with a dog can be a lot of fun. Of course, it’s also a bit more complicated than travelling without your dog, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on that idea.
With some research and planning, you should be able to take your furry companion with you on your next adventure instead of leaving him with a pet sitter while you’re gone.
These nine tips on travelling with a dog will help you joyfully plan your next vacation.
1. Take your dog to the vet for a checkup before you leave
Taking the dog to the animal urgent care vet before you leave for a vacation is always a good idea, especially when you will be gone for a long time.
The vet will ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and that he has the health certifications required for travelling by plane. They will also advise ensuring your dog is comfortable during the trip.
2. Look for dog-friendly hotels and make your reservations
Before making your reservations, ensure your dog is allowed at your destination. Some dog breeds are banned in some countries, while other countries will require a pet quarantine and costly fees.
When you know your dog will be allowed, look for dog-friendly hotels. Some hotels will ask you to pay an extra fee, while others will happily welcome your dog for free.
3. Prepare yourself for a possible emergency
It’s important to see your dog’s vet before you leave. But you never know what might happen during your travels.
Just as you must prepare for an eventual health issue, you must be ready to help your dog if he ever gets sick or injured.
Be sure to bring copies of your dog’s health records. And do some research to determine where the nearest veterinarian clinic will be in an emergency.
4. Bring your dog’s regular food
Bring a good supply of your dog’s regular food in your luggage to ensure he stays well-fed and healthy. This is even more important if your dog is a picky eater who only likes one type of dog food.
You should only give him bottled water to help prevent an upset stomach. Bring collapsible bowls, which are easier to carry around.
5. Pack your dog’s essentials
Apart from food, water, and collapsible bowls, there are a few things you should bring. Along with your dog’s health records, don’t forget any medication he might be taking.
Bring a sturdy leash, some poop bags, a bed or a blanket, and some toys, in case your dog gets bored while you spend time together in your hotel room.
6. Be sure your dog’s collar has identification tags
Your dog should wear a collar at all times with an identification tag. But on top of having a tag showing your dog’s name and your contact information, it might be a good idea to get him a second tag with information about where you will be staying during your vacation.
7. Keep your dog safe with a travel crate
A dog crate will be required for airline travel, but it can also be a good idea for car travel.
Be sure you choose a sturdy travel crate with a leak-proof bottom and plenty of ventilation holes. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably, and you should identify it with your contact information.
8. Make sure your dog is comfortable while you travel together
To take the plane with your dog, you must check airline policies long in advance. You need to ensure your dog will be allowed on the plane, and if so, how can you safely bring him?
Ask your vet whether getting your dog tranquillized for the trip would be a good idea.
If you’re going to travel by car, make sure your vehicle is well-ventilated and that your dog has access to water. To avoid car sickness, ensure he travels on an empty stomach.
And, of course, you will need to stop regularly so your dog can walk a bit and take potty breaks.
9. Always be respectful and considerate
It’s always easier to travel with a well-trained and well-behaved dog than with an unruly dog who won’t listen to you.
Always be respectful and considerate of everyone you meet during your adventures. Not everyone loves dogs or is comfortable around them.
And if your dog tends to be unfriendly with humans he doesn’t know or with other dogs, be sure to make that clear before you let anyone approach him.