Bringing your doggo with you on your adventures sounds like every avid pet owner’s dream. However, traveling with a canine isn’t always pawsible without some unexpected hiccups. From the things you need to pack up to the laws you have to think about, here are some of the must know tips for traveling with a dog:
As a start, here’s a simple travel guide from Dog Momager:
1. Be in the know of your pet’s temperament
Traveling with dogs isn’t easy, especially when it comes to their temperament and behavior. High-stress dogs can be a pain to travel with but you can train them ahead of time.
Also, some airlines would require you to train your dog before it can fly onboard. The same goes if you intend to send your doggo through a pet carrier.
It will help to subject your pooch to basic dog training or the Canine Good Citizen program of the American Kennel Club.
2. Pack enough food
You wouldn’t want to be caught unprepared when your doggo goes hungry. Although you can purchase dog food on your destination, packing some would save you from the hassle. Delayed flights mean your dog would have to wait for hours. Without some food, the canine might experience hypothermia.
Pack some kibble, snacks, and some chews. You may want to keep things as familiar as possible when traveling with your pooch.
As much as possible, don’t feed your doggo while on the plane! If it’s just a short flight, just ration some water to the pooch enough to keep it hydrated until you arrive at the destination.
3. To crate or not to crate?
Regardless if you’re traveling via on air or by land, crating provides a safe space for both you and your dog. Take note that most airline companies nowadays impose strict standards for the quality of the crate you’re going to use.
For example, Delta Airlines only flies dogs that are small enough to fit in a carrier that can suit the under-seat space of the cabin.
If you want to skip the hassle, you can avail the service of a pet courier. They will provide the crate for you.
4. Check the airline/train rules
Airline rules vary widely. When it comes to flying with dogs, the breed-specific regulations are the most common impositions. For example, American Airlines won’t accept flat-nosed or brachycephalic breeds like Pit bulls, Boston Terriers, Chow Chow, Mastiff, and more.
Some bans the so-called ‘dangerous breeds’ like Rottweilers, Pitbulls, and the likes.
When traveling via train, the subway system requires you to secure your dog in a bag. For the Eurostar, your pet won’t be allowed to enter the train unless it’s a guide dog.
5. Secure all the necessary pet certificates
A health certificate and a pet passport are necessary to fly with your dog or to travel cross-country by land. A health certificate from the vet won’t cost a lot. This should state the latest vaccines your dog received as well as the pre-existing conditions it might have.
The requirements will vary based on your destination country. Usually, it will include vaccinations, blood tests, and microchipping.
For service or guide dogs, travel documents are crucial so you will be allowed accommodation by landlords who usually prohibit pets.
Pet courier services can help you with this.
To know more, here’s a short guide courtesy of Howcast:
6. Take your dog to a long walk first
This is one hack I personally practice with my dog. On the day of my flight, I’ll take my dog to a stroll around the neighborhood. By the time we board, he will be dead tired to even whine, bark, or chew on the crate.
Releasing the extra energy without draining the dog’s body is the key to a peaceful flight. However, this can get a bit tricky for small breeds. They are prone to hypoglycemia and a short walk can drain most of their energy.
7. No feeding two hours before departure
This may seem a bit ruthless, but this is all part of having a safe and comfortable flight. Just like humans, dogs can get motion sickness. Anxious dogs tend to have upset stomachs too.
Just like how you will avoid meals in the morning of your flight, your dog should too.
If your dog gets really hungry, you can give some snacks or small chews but never a full meal.
8. Look for accommodation that welcomes dogs
This is one of the most common challenges among pet owners regardless if they are traveling domestic or international. Many hotels, inns, and motels won’t allow pets unless it’s a service or guide dog.
Always book ahead and understand the hotel rules. Usually, hotels that allow canines would ask for an added fee which is pretty standard. You may also want to look for pet-friendly restaurants and itinerary.
9. Watch out for the plane’s environmental condition
Your pup will get cold in the plane. And since some planes would have floor air conditioners, it’s a must to bring some extra blankets with you.
One thing that I do is to line my dog’s crate with one of my sweatshirts. This keeps the doggo relaxed since my scent is always around. This will get your dog through the travel time without the need to jump into your lap. It’s a good trick for lap dogs too!
10. Mind the extra fees
It’s normal to pay extra fees when traveling your dog. A $25 or $50 charge on the hotel per dog is standard while some airlines will have varying rates.
Trains don’t usually charge pet owners when they are traveling with their dogs; the same with car rental services.
Approximately, flying with your dog will cost you an additional $100 or more. It’s always advisable to budget your trip to avoid getting short in cash.
These must know tips for traveling with a dog are just some of the points you have to tick on your travel list. Traveling with your dog is fun, but it will be more enjoyable if you plan ahead.