Tips to Make Pet Travel Easier

For many pet parents, it’s not a family vacation unless the dog comes too. If you’re planning on hitting the road or flying the sky with your dog soon, we’ve got tips to make the trip go as smoothly as possible.

Road Trip

Traveling with your pup by car takes a little more preparation than hopping in the car and taking off.

  • Take a test run first to make sure your dog can handle a trip without getting car sick or anxious. Nothing ruins a vacation quicker than pulling over to clean up a big mess.
  • Keep him contained. Letting your dog roam freely is not only a big distraction to the driver, he is also very likely to be injured if you get in an accident. Get a vehicle barrier or a car crate to keep him safe during the ride. If you choose to keep him in a crate, make sure he has enough room to stand up and turn around.
  • Come prepared. You can never have too much ID on your dog in the event you become separated. In addition to a collar tag with your name and contact information, consider a second tag that lists where you’ll be staying.
  • Make frequent stops. Even if you decide to forego that Big Gulp to cut down on your own bathroom stops, your dog still needs a break every 2-3 hours to get some exercise and a drink.

 

Flying

Unless your dog is small enough to sit under your seat, flying with your dog can get a little tricky. Flying as cargo can be extremely stressful for your dog, so take the steps to keep him calm and safe.

 

  • Do your research. Check your airline’s rules and regulations on flying with pets. This seems like a no-brainer, but you could end up turned away at the airport with your tail between your legs.
  • Book a direct flight if possible. This will cut down on the time your dog is left on the tarmac.
  • Get an airline-approved traveling crate. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably, and have a liner to absorb accidents. Before your trip, tape a small bag of dry food to the crate so workers will be able to feed him if you have a layover. Make sure the crate door is securely closed, but not locked, so that airline personnel can open it in case of an emergency.
  • Keep a familiar blanket or a shirt with your scent in the crate to cut down on anxiety.

 

Whichever way you decide to travel with your furry friend, consult your veterinarian to make sure he’s in the right shape for the trip, and that all vaccinations are up to date. Tranquilizing your pet before a trip is not recommended, so talk to your vet about ways to help your dog relax. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying vacation time with your pup.