Today’s post, contributed by Nicole McCray, is loaded with practical tips on planning travel with your dog. Enjoy, darlings!
Traveling can be cumbersome when going for long periods in a car or plane. But, when you also need to bring the dog on a road trip or family vacation, you might worry about how your dog will do. And how you can make the journey less stressful.
With some research, extra planning, and preparation, you can take your furry companion along on your travels without worrying. Follow some of the helpful tips below to help you travel without stress and safely with your dog.
HEALTH EXAM, PAPERS, AND IDENTIFICATION
Before you travel anywhere with your dog, you first need to have a checkup done by a veterinarian. This is to be sure that all vaccinations and other necessary preventions are up-to-date. You can also take this opportunity to check with your veterinarian about bringing your dog on your upcoming trip. They will have advice for you.
Not all dogs will enjoy road trips. And there are instances of travel anxiety in dogs. Therefore, you should have a conversation and evaluation of your pet with your vet to verify you have taken all proper precautions. This is to ensure your dog won’t suffer during your journey.
The next step is to be prepared for any type of emergency. Bringing documentation of your ownership to your dog if it gets lost is important. You should also have a collar or some sort of tag with identification. Some things to include on the tag may be:
- Your dog’s name
- Your name & number
- A second tag with a contact number where you’ll be staying
There is a greater chance of your dog going astray because it is in an unfamiliar location. Because of this, you need to make sure you are prepared with proper identification. You may even consider having your dog microchipped as a permanent form of ID. Bring a current picture of your dog with you.
You should also locate the closest veterinary clinic or hospital nearest to where you will be traveling, and make sure to add it to your phone. Then, if there’s any situation where your dog needs medical attention, you will have everything you need to take care of it immediately.
There are many things that you need to bring for your dog on a long trip. When packing essentials, include dog treats and bones that will keep your dog occupied. As well as puzzles, toys, a blanket, or a dog bed. Don’t forget food and water!
If you want to keep your dog in a crate, make sure it has enough room for your dog to move around a bit. Make sure she can at least stand, turn, and lay down. You don’t want your pet to feel too confined.
Especially if you plan to put food and water bowls in the crate. You want your dog to have space to move to and from them. If you don’t want to use a crate, you should look into investing in a harness since you shouldn’t let the dog roam free throughout the car.
Leashes are also an essential item to bring. If you take a long road trip, you will need to take frequent breaks to allow your dog to go to the bathroom. Even if you have a dog that is trained well and obeys commands, you can never be too careful, especially when traveling to a new environment that will entice your dog’s curiosity.
GET YOUR DOG USED TO THE CAR
One of the best ways to ensure a leisurely trip with your dog is by getting your dog used to the car well before you take your trip. Think about starting gradually; take your dog on short errands in the car with you, or even to a pet store where they allow you to bring your dog in. This is so your dog will feel more comfortable.
Slowly you can build up the length of the car rides with your dog. If you want to avoid your dog getting sick, only provide it with some water but no food. Be sure to keep the air ventilated, either by air conditioning or slightly opened windows.
TRAVEL WITH YOUR DOG BY PLANE
Airlines will have varying regulations and policies when bringing your dog along. Take time to check with the airline online or by calling about their requirements when traveling with your dog. It would also be helpful to get a veterinary health certificate before your travel to provide. The airline may require more specific documentation of health, too.
Ensure that your dog is healthy and able to fly with your vet. Your vet may also provide sedation for an airplane ride to help keep your dog from becoming too anxious or stressed.
TRAVEL DON’TS WHEN TRAVELING WITH YOUR DOG
While it is helpful to understand how to prepare and be ready when bringing your dog along on a long trip, you should also know what not to do. Here are some things to avoid when you are traveling with your dog:
- Do not allow your dog to roam free in the car or stick its head out of the window, as he could get injured.
- If you have children, make it clear that they are not to tease or bother your dog during the trip.
- Do not leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, even if you lock it, especially in hot weather, since the temperature in your car can reach well over a hundred degrees.
- Do not put your dog in the excess baggage or cargo area if it is a cold area on an airplane; it is also helpful to check the temperature from where you take off and where you land to ensure it’s not too hot or cold for your dog.
Remember, some dogs simply won’t adjust to taking trips. Therefore, it may be more beneficial to pay to board your pet or have a dog-sitter come to your home and care for your dog when you have to go away.
BE PREPARED AND BE SAFE
Ensuring you pack all of the essentials and are prepared in case of an emergency will bring you peace of mind when traveling with your dog. Plan bathroom breaks, get lots of games, toys, and treats for play, and pack plenty of food and water for your furry companion.
Traveling can be stressful, but the more prepared you are, the calmer you will feel. Your dog can pick up on stress cues since they sense emotion, and it can sense if you are feeling nervous. So do some research and planning to avoid that anxiety, and you and your dog will have a safe and worry-free trip.
Have you brought your pooch on a trip with you? Please share your tips in the comments! I would love to hear from you!
About the author: Nicole has been obsessed with beauty and fashion since she was a young girl, always flipping through Vogue and stealing her mother’s cosmetics bag to experiment. She’s a former wedding makeup artist who loves spending her free time trying new products and staying up to date on the latest beauty and style trends. While Nicole’s days are now spent contributing to fashion, beauty, and lifestyle sites from home while raising her kids, she can still always be found putting looks together, even if it’s just for a trip to the grocery store!
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