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How to Travel with Your Dog Like a Pro!

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Updated to include FAQs

Dog hanging its head out the window in an orange Volkswagen

There are many reasons why people choose to travel with their dogs. For some, it's simply because they don't want to leave their furry friend behind. For others, it's a way to bond and create new memories together. And for some, it's just easier and more convenient than finding a pet sitter or boarding kennel.


Whatever the reason, if you're planning on hitting the road with your dog in tow, there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind. Here are the top things you need to know about traveling with dogs.


Traveling with Dogs - What You Need to Know


Traveling with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies and plan for any potential issues. Start by making sure your pup is healthy and up-to-date on all vaccinations. Pack all their must-haves. Plan plenty of stops for bathroom breaks and exercise along the way, and check your destination to make sure it's dog-friendly with plenty of things to do together. With some careful preparation, you can travel with your pup like a pro!


A Clean Bill of Health from the Vet

Dog getting a checkup at the Veterinarian.

Start by ensuring your dog is healthy and has all the vaccinations they need! A visit to the vet can go a long way in supporting your pup's well-being. Not to mention, it’s important to ensure they’re healthy and protected when traveling between cities or countries. A vet visit may just prove to be the crucial difference to keeping your pup safe while you're away. Plus, the physical and emotional satisfaction of knowing your pup is BOTH safe and healthy while you are out exploring should provide true piece of mind.


Pack your pup’s necessities


You'll also want to make sure you have all the necessary supplies for your dog, such as food, water, bowls, toys, leashes, and anything else they may need. It's also a good idea to pack a first-aid kit for both you and your dog in case of any emergencies.

Dog wearing a fedora and sitting in a suitcase with a rubber duckie floatie

Traveling can be stressful for dogs, and changes in routine can often lead to upset stomachs. Be sure to pack enough of your dog's regular food to last the trip and avoid making any sudden changes in their diet while on the road.


Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need before hitting the road:

  • Food and water bowls

  • Travel food and snacks

  • Leash and collar

  • Waste bags

  • Doggy first aid kit

  • Toys and chews

  • Bed or blanket

  • Crate or carrier (if necessary)

Plan extra stops in your trip


Dogs need to be given bathroom and exercise breaks regularly. This allows them to stay happy on the road and can even help make for a better journey. If you decide to take your pup for a car ride, be sure to plan your route accordingly. Include stops for them to move their muscles, get their energy out, and take care of their needs. A tired pup is much more manageable on the road and happy in the long run. So, make sure to factor plenty of pit stops into your agenda and enjoy the ride!


Just like humans


Many dog owners don't realize that their furry travel companions can get car sick, scared, or homesick just like humans. It's important to plan ahead and be prepared for any issues that may arise during the travel. Consider additionally if there are any signs of anxiety, such as panting, trembling, or pacing, and short circuit the symptoms with an extra dose of reassurance; perhaps by having the pup's favourite item, blanket or toy from home along for the ride, it will help calm them down. Treats act as an excellent remedy in such cases, temporarily alleviating those overwhelming feelings and making the car ride an enjoyable one.


Is it dog-friendly?

Funny, small dog sitting on a hotel luggage cart

You'll want to do some research on your destination to make sure it's dog-friendly and that there are plenty of things for you and your dog to do together. Not all hotels and campgrounds are pet-friendly. There are often specific rules and regulations regarding dogs at different hotels, campgrounds, and attractions. Do your research ahead of time to find accommodations that will welcome your four-legged friend.


You and Your Dog are Travel Ready


Traveling with dogs can be a fun and rewarding experience, but to recap, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  1. Vaccinations/clean bill of health from the vet

  2. Pack all the necessary supplies

  3. Plan extra stops

  4. Plan for issues

  5. Research your dog-friendly destination

With a little planning and preparation, you and your furry friend can have a great time on the open road.


FAQs


Here are some frequently asked questions about traveling with dogs to help make your trip go smoothly:

Q: Do I need a special license or permit to travel with my dog?

Q: What if my dog is an anxious passenger?

Q: What should I do if my dog runs away while we're traveling?





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