What to Keep in Mind Before Traveling with Your Dog
Getting the opportunity to travel with your fur baby can be an amazing opportunity. It gives you a chance to see your dog react to seeing and hearing new things. Whether it’s their first time being boarded for a plane, seeing the beach for the first time, or even hiking, it’s all special, and it’s something you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. But with that said, there are some challenges that come with traveling with a dog. Even if your dog is super obedient, there are still going to be some issues or just general things you have to consider. So, no matter how you’re traveling, car, train, bus, or boat, here’s what to think about!
Consider Picking a Destination Your Dog May Like
One of the beauties of animals is the fact that every animal, regardless of species, has their own personality. Chances are, you and your dog’s personality align greatly. So why not pick somewhere that not only you will enjoy, but your dog will too? If your dog is lazy, then maybe pick a lazy destination such as a cabin in the woods, a cozy cottage, or even a beach vacation. If your dog is energetic, then you could look into something like hiking.
Also, find out if hotels in your area or along your route allow dogs. If they do, be sure to ask about any breed or size restrictions and pet fees. You may also want to find out if any nearby pet stores offer services like grooming and training and make a list of their hours and contact info. This is important, as it will help you to ensure your dog has access to necessary supplies while you’re away. In addition, you should get your dog used to spending time in its carrier ahead of your trip by rewarding them with their favorite treats and toys. This will help them associate the carrier with positive things and reduce their anxiety when it comes to traveling.
What are Some of Their Favorite Things?
Believe it or not, but like children, dogs also get homesick. Having some of your dog’s favorite things will help them feel at home while traveling. A couple of their favorite toys, a blanket or pillow, and some chews can help them relax during stressful travel times. These will contain scents of home, and the whole point is to keep your dog comfortable during this traveling.
How Long Can Your Dog Handle Being Away?
As stated above, dogs are able to get homesick, even if they’re with their owners. Ideally, before you make a major trip with them, you should look into how long they may be able to handle this. You want to make sure they’re completely happy and comfortable, so see if they’re happy the entire time during a weekend trip, and then try to start expanding from there.
Have Your Dog Get Used to Being in a Crate
Crates can be a cozy den for dogs where they can rest, play or nap safely. They’re also great for reducing travel stress and separation anxiety. But, like any new space, it can take some time to get your pup comfortable with their crate. Start slowly, letting your dog wander into the crate on their own and leaving them in there for short periods of time. This will help them become accustomed to spending time in the crate and will make it easier to close up the crate during long car rides.
Even if you’re not going to be driving but instead taking a cruise or flying, your dog will most likely have to be in a crate the entire time. Make sure you have a large enough crate for your dog to stand up, turn around, lie down, and wag their tail comfortably. You should also bring along some treats and a favorite toy for your pup. And, of course, a leash and an ID tag with your phone number and the address of your destination. That way, if your pet gets lost, the proper authorities can reach out to you.
Does the Breed Matter?
Yes and no; while it’s mostly going to depend on the dog’s health, how well they’re trained, and their personality, to a degree, the breed can have an impact as well on what dogs may be best to travel with. You could look into Lucky Labs, as labradors are very easygoing, social, and love exploring. In contrast, dogs such as basset hounds aren’t entirely as energetic and would rather lounge than be super active. So you can consider it to be a number of factors on whether or not you should take your dog traveling.
Practice Makes Perfect
Traveling is stressful for humans, and it’s equally so for dogs. That’s why it’s important to do everything possible to make the trip as pleasant as possible. Before your trip, take your dog on a few practice rides to get them acclimated to being in the car and getting into their carrier—or even some other type of method, like riding a train. You need to test the waters first to ensure your dog will be okay with all of this because, chances are, they may not be. So make sure you put this into consideration to ensure that they’ll be happy.
You Have to Research
If you’re planning on flying, research airlines that allow pets and follow their guidelines. Generally, they require that larger animals fly as cargo and that you have a health certificate indicating your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and rabies. If you’re taking the train, make sure they even allow pets, and if certain breeds are prohibited. How about accommodation? Not all hotels allow dogs, and some will only allow certain breeds or sixes. As a pet owner, you’re going to need to do extensive research on all of this.
In the end, it’s so exciting getting to travel with your dog, but it’s not entirely a cakewalk. So much preparation has to go into it. So you need to make sure you’re able to handle it.