Bringing Your Dog For Traveling: Here’s What You Need To Know | If you’re considering traveling with your dog, you might’ve already considered options for pet insurance. However, a generously insured pet isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when traveling with your canine companion.
Contrary to popular belief, many holiday destinations are welcoming of four-legged tourists. Still, there is much to do in regards to preparation. If you are traveling with your dog for the first time, here is what you need to know.
Before You Travel
Research Your Destination
Naturally, you’ll want to consider a dog-friendly holiday destination. Within the United States, regions such as California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are pet-friendly. Here, you won’t find any shortage of dog-related activities to include in your itinerary.
Take note of pet-friendly accommodation and whether there are any nearby kennels in case of an emergency.
If you are traveling with a particularly active dog, prioritize dog parks or hiking trails where your pup can release its boundless energy.
Go For a Veterinary Check-Up
Before traveling, make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Some countries will require that you provide a health certificate upon entry. You’ll also want to make sure your dog is physically fit to travel.
If you own an older dog or one with genetic illnesses, it’s essential to get your vet’s seal of approval before traveling. Alternatively, they might advise against taking your dog with you at all.
Buy the Right Crate
Whether you’re traveling by air, sea, or land, purchasing the right crate is essential to your dog’s comfort. You want to buy a large container for your dog to sit, stand, and lie down.
Play it safe by purchasing an airline-approved crate. These kennels should have a leak-proof bottom and absorbent material if your dog has to “go” while traveling.
Prepare Travel Documents
If you’re traveling internationally, pack any pet-related documents—you never know when you’ll have to present them to airline officials or to cross borders.
Plus, you never know when you’ll need to visit a veterinary professional abroad. When you can provide a foreign vet with your pet’s medical history, they can more efficiently cater to their needs.
Pack the Right Supplies
When traveling with your dog, pack necessities according to your destination. For instance, if venturing into a hotter climate, consider taking along a pair of dog boots to prevent your puppy’s paws from burning.
If traveling to a colder climate, you’ll want to pack your pup’s winter coat. Other must-have staples include a collar, harness, identification tag, and your dog’s favorite toy.
While Your Travel
Consult With Locals
While the Internet is rich with information, there is nothing quite like asking a well-versed local for advice. If you’re looking for somewhere to dine with your canine companion, don’t hesitate to reach out to other dog-walkers.
However, it pays to be mindful of human-dog relationships across different cultures. Be respectful of whoever you meet—and pay attention to your dog’s boundaries. If your dog is socially anxious, avoid approaching strangers who might trigger aggressive behavior.
Consider Dog-Focused Activities
If your dog enjoys specific activities, consider indulging them while you travel. An active dog, for instance, might enjoy a trip to the dog park or wade along the shoreline.
Some destinations will even host dog-related festivals and events! Avoid forcing your dog to engage in activities that will make them bored or anxious.
Pack Food & Water
It should go without saying that the key to keeping your dog healthy while traveling is packing a supply of their regular food. As a rule of thumb, consider packing more than you need or taking note of pet stores near your hotel or resort.
When taking an all-day trip, always pack a bottle of water. Especially in hotter countries, having a generous supply of bottled water can keep your dog from experiencing heat stroke.
Know Where to Go During Emergencies
No matter how well-prepared you are, there is always some room for accidents. Before venturing out, take note of any animal clinics close to locations on your itinerary. Provide your family members back home with contact details for your accommodation.
Use Pet-Related Mobile Apps
If you’ve ever heard the saying, “There’s an app for that!” then the same applies to dog-centered travel. Mobile applications such as All Trails will point you to over 50,000 trail maps that you can take head-on with your athletic pup.
On the other hand, helpful apps such as Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross lists emergency animal hospitals near you. It even provides step-by-step solutions to common pet-related accidents.
After You Travel
Revisit Your Veterinarian
If your dog appears fine and dandy after a cross-country trip or holiday abroad, it can be easy to overlook any potential problems. Though nothing may seem out of place, you’ll want to take every safety precaution by revisiting your vet.
If there is any evidence of an infection, virus, or disease, your veterinarian should spot and treat it immediately.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve been grooming your dog for their upcoming holiday, being well-prepared can make your vacation even more enjoyable. Are you traveling with your dog for the first time? Don’t forget these additional must-know dog travel tips!
About the Author
Mike is a professional pet enthusiast and the owner of Dog Embassy. He is passionate about providing dog owners with the right resources for care, nutrition, and more.
Photo by Jacub Gomez from Pexels