Tips for Safe Travel with Your Dog

Being able to experience different places together with your best furry pal is definitely something to look forward to. Still, if you want to make this trip safe for your canine friend and reach your desired destination problem and worry free, you should make sure that the conditions that secure the happiness and safety of your dog are all met. Here are some useful dog travel tips to ease the discomfort of your beloved travel companion.

Dog Travel Tips You Need To Know

Ready to travel. dog travel tips
Ready to travel. Flickr: bildschoen / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

No food before the trip

In order to avoid unpleasant surprises during your trip, you should never feed your dog 4-6 hours before you get going. What’s more, if your dog is trained not to do its thing unless outside, inability to relieve will only hurt your pup and sometimes hinder its health as well. Therefore, refrain from feeding in the mentioned hour frame as well as from giving your dog some snacks during the trip. Of course, this doesn’t apply to really long trips, but if this is the case, you’ll have to make several stops during your ride. If, by any chance, you’re travelling by plane, and it’s a really long flight, there’s special staff on board that you can leave your dog’s food to, so that they can tend to its meals in time.

Back seat driver. Dog Travel Tips.
Back seat driver

Calm your dog

You don’t want your dog to be restless and hyper during the trip, so don’t allow it to sleep and lie around the whole time before the trip. You want to avoid medicating your dog at all costs, and this is certainly not the best dog travel tips to give. The best way to keep it calm during the travel is by taking it for a longer walk or run before the journey starts. You can also play with your dog. In general, make sure that your dog is physically active and relatively tired before the trip, so that it won’t feel too restrained and nervous when it’s unable to move around.

Sleepy pup. dog travel tips
Sleepy pup. Flickr: Jeff Hill / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Prepare the crate

No dog owner likes to put their dog in a crate, but this is the safest option for dog travel tips, like it or not. You need to make sure that the crate is secure and clean as well as comfortable enough for your pet. If this is the first time you’re buying a crate for your dog, make sure to get him one that’s proportionate to your pet’s size. Spending the trip in a crate is essential if you’re travelling by plane but it’s also beneficial for both of you during a car ride. It’s not safe to have your dog moving around as you drive or let it stick its head out of the window.

Life is good in crate. dog travel tips
Life is good. Flickr: s.yume / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bring the necessities

In order to be happy and well-behaved during the trip, your dog needs to feel the comfort of its home. Therefore, make sure to bring its favorite toys, blankets and/or pillows. Of course, other essentials include food and water, bowls, leash, brush, shampoos, etc. These are some of the packing essentials as well. But, if you don’t want to pack a whole bunch of dog food and bring it with you, especially if you’re going to be away from home for a longer period of time, check whether you can have your order delivered to the place you’ll be staying at and buy dog food online once you get there.

Happiness in dog toys. dog travel tips
Happiness in dog toys. Flickr: Nisakorn Keanmepol / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Have the papers ready

If you’re travelling across the border, you definitely need to have all your pet’s documents in order, together with your own. Each country has its own rules for travelling with pets, so make sure to check this out before you go. It would be wise to pay the vet a visit as well, not only to get vaccine reports and similar, but to make sure your pet is in good health for travelling.

Travel dog. dog travel tips.
Travel dog. Flickr: U.S. Army / CC BY 2.0

Unfortunately, sometimes there’s simply no way to take your pet with you, and in these cases, it’s up to you to find a reputable pet sitter or a dog boarding place that would look after your dog with the same love and dedication as you would. When the moment to say goodbye comes, try to be as calm as possible and don’t look too distressed, because you can translate these negative feelings onto your dog as well.

About Diana Smith

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys exploring new exciting destinations with her family.

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