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What to Know About Traveling With a Dog

If you have a dog, it’s important to consider how you can travel with your dog. Of course, there is the option to have someone dogsit or to leave your dog in a kennel, but sometimes you just want to have your dog with you. There are many different forms of travel and a lot to think about, so you should take some time to learn how to travel with your dog.

 

Airline Rules

If you are flying, you should be aware of the specific rules for flying with a dog. Not all airlines will have the same policies. In general, your dog will need to be at least two months old in order to fly domestically. Your dog also must travel with an adult and cannot travel with an unaccompanied minor. It is also important to be aware of different ways your dog can travel. Depending on their size, there is an option for your dog to travel in-cabin with you. To do so, your dog must be small enough to be in a carrier that fits under the seat. Larger dogs will be traveling in a carrier in the cargo hold. For the safety of your dog, you should do thorough research about the policies surrounding dogs in the cargo hold. Contacting the airline beforehand can be helpful.

 

Bring a Carrier

No matter how you’re traveling, it’s likely that you will need to have a carrier. When choosing a carrier, you want to make sure you pick something that will keep your dog comfortable. There are several types of carriers you can choose from. Soft sided carriers are useful if you are flying with your dog in-cabin. The flexible nature of these carriers makes them easy to store under the seat. Additionally, they are more lightweight and easy to carry. Hard sided carriers are good if your dog is traveling in a cargo hold. They are more durable, and they are also easier to clean. If you have a small dog, you can also opt for a wearable carrier. These carriers are much like baby carriers and allow you to carry your dog on your back or front. Whatever you choose, make sure you provide plenty of space for your dog. Take their measurements and then add a few extra inches for comfort.

 

Preparing for a Car Ride

In order to have a pleasant experience when traveling via car with a dog, you will need to take some time to prepare. You should start by making your dog comfortable with riding in the car. You can allow your dog to sit in your car without going anywhere to grow accustomed to it. Next you can take some short drives so your dog gets used to the motion. While traveling, make sure your dog is getting plenty of fresh air, especially if they are in a crate or carrier. You also need to make frequent stops to exercise and use the bathroom. If your dog is prone to car sickness, then you should take preventative measures and make an extra effort to make your dog comfortable.

 

Understand Their Individual Needs

Not every dog is the same and you need to consider how your dog will specifically handle travel. Some aspects of travel, especially air travel, might be intimidating for your dog. A crowded, busy environment can be stressful. If your dog needs to travel in a cargo hold, the separation can also be hard on them. There are many puppy breeds with different temperaments and personalities. Considering these differences can help you decide whether to travel with your dog and how best to do it. For example, if you have a more aggressive dog then it might not be best to fly with them.

 

Keeping Your Dog Entertained

Just like you, your dog will get bored while traveling. You want to make sure you provide some entertainment for them. If you are traveling by plane, your options are limited, but not nonexistent. Bringing toys is the best thing you can do. You can opt for new toys to give your dog some excitement. Packing some of your dog’s old favorite toys is also a good idea because it can bring them comfort. If you are traveling by car, you can take breaks often. Let your dog run around for a while and stretch their legs. You can even teach your dog some new tricks while you’re in the car. This helps keep them mentally stimulated and it gives you something to do as well.

 

Prepare for Lodging

As a part of traveling, you will be staying in a new place whether it’s hotels along the way or at your final destination. If you are staying in hotels, make sure you are aware of their pet policy. Not all hotels allow dogs, so you’ll want to pick a pet-friendly hotel. You should also do your best to be respectful of other guests. Try to keep your dog quiet and always clean up after them. You can also check with the hotel to know where you can walk your dog. It isn’t a good idea to leave your dog alone in a hotel room. When in a new environment, some dogs will bark or even destroy property.

 

Pack Well

What you pack for your dog can help determine how well your trip goes. You need to pack all the essentials to care for your pet and to keep them comfortable. First of all, make sure you pack their usual food as well as some treats. There are collapsible travel bowls you can use, but you should get your dog used to them. Everything that is familiar will put them at ease. New items may disrupt their eating patterns. You should also pack a comfortable blanket that smells like home.

 

Bring Identification

While you don’t want to imagine it, sometimes dogs get away from you and can become lost. Having clear identification can help them be returned to you. Make sure your dog has a sturdy collar and a tag with their name, your name, a phone number, and address. If you are on an extended vacation, you might want to get a tag with your vacation spot address. It’s also a good idea to bring along a recent picture of your dog to help identify them if lost.

 

Bringing your dog along when you travel comes with many things to consider. Do plenty of research beforehand to prepare your dog and make sure you can be accommodated. You want to have the best experience for you and your dog.

 

Read this next: Things You Need to Remember on Your Packing List

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