Traveling With Your Pets

June 14, 2016

Well all love going on vacation or taking a trip to get away from it all. For us dog lovers, we want to bring our pets everywhere with us–even on vacation. While this can be a challenging feat to pull off, it is worth the effort.

Before your trip, it might be a good idea to make sure your dog is microchipped in case they should wander off somewhere. It is also wise to research dog-friendly destinations such as hotels, parks, restaurants with outdoor patios, and more importantly, the nearest vet. You also need to make sure you pack appropriately for your dog’s car ride. Make sure to bring food, treats, a bowl, bottled water for him to drink, any medications (when applicable), waste pick-up bags, and a pillow or favorite toy to give him a sense of familiarity.

Now you’ve done all of your research and preparation, it’s time to hit the road! When traveling by car, your dog should be in a crate or a pet seat and harness to ensure his safety and the safety of all the other passengers in the car. If you are unsure how your dog will do on a long car ride, you can take him on a series of short car rides before your trip to get him ready. On your trip, be sure to make frequent stops so your dog can stretch, relieve himself, and have a drink of water. In terms of feeding, your dog’s travel feed schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours before you hit the road. If you take a bathroom break or stop for any reason while driving, do not leave your dog alone in a parked car. Even with the windows rolled down, a car can become a furnace in no time and your dog can very easily suffer heatstroke or worse. It is also very dangerous to let your dog ride with his head sticking out the window. While it can be cute, it can cause serious injury. Riding with your dog in the bed of a pick-up truck is also a no no.

Long car rides can get boring after a while, so please instruct any young children not to tease or annoy your dog during the ride; it can be stressful enough for him as it is.

Some pets may react to a crate by excessive vocalization, drooling, vomiting, and/or urinating. Consult with your vet for options such as sedatives.

Road trips are great, but what if you want to take your dog on a plane? We’ve got you covered!

Some smaller dogs may be allowed to travel under your seat. Make sure you have the correct pet carrier to comply with the airline’s policy. Do some research by calling the airline directly or visiting their website. Most commonly, your dog will travel in the cargo hold of the plane. You will need to purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate big enough for your dog to sit, stand, turn around, and lie down in. It should be lined with some kind of bedding to absorb any accidents. You may want to also put one of your dog’s favorite toys in the crate with him to bring familiarity. You also need to make sure the crate has proper identification. You should mark the crate with the words “live animal” along with your name, cell phone number, the number of where you will be staying, and a picture of your dog. If you are traveling by plane, a federally accredited veterinarian needs to fill out a health certificate within 10 days of air travel.

Have fun and travel safe!

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Resources:,, WebMD Pets