Dogs on the Move: 5 Top Tips for Traveling with Your Dogs
Traveling with your dogs doesn’t have to be problematic if you’re prepared. Here are 5 top tips to help make traveling with dogs easy for everyone.
Americans own roughly 78 million dogs. And most of those dogs are considered part of the family. Therefore, it’s no wonder that many people will want to have their dogs with them when they travel.
Dogs can travel by all modes of transportation that people can, but you may have to take special considerations. If you’re traveling via public transportation, you will need to pay special attention to their guidelines to make sure your pet is allowed onboard.
Read on for some top tips of traveling with your dogs for both maximum comfort and safety.
Buckle Up for Safety
When you travel with your dog in the car, it can be pretty tempting to just let him or her sit in the trunk without a seatbelt. While some owners practice this habit, it is incredibly unsafe.
If you got into a car accident, your dog would go tumbling backward or forwards, and this means you risk serious injury or even death.
When you travel with your dog by car, buck them up with a safety harness. Most pet stores sell harnesses that clip into the seatbelt hook to ensure your pet is properly secured.
With a seatbelt, not only is your pet safer, but more comfortable. Many dogs slip and slide without proper restraint, especially if they’re sitting in the backseat alone. If they’re properly buckled up, this isn’t a problem.
An alternative to a seatbelt is by using a crate for your dog.Find the right size and put your dog in it. Then, use it to transport your dog in the car. If your dog isn’t too sure of the crate, practice having him go in it a few times before you travel.
You may also need to use a crate to transport a dog on an airplane or train, depending on the rules of the company.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Your dog might be scared of traveling. Some dogs, in fact, get so nervous about car rides that they vomit or shake the entire way.This is incredibly normal, especially if the dog’s rides have only been to scary places like the vet or groomer’s.
If you want your dog to become comfortable with traveling, practice putting them in the car and driving somewhere fun. For example, you can travel to a dog park or a friend’s house. This way, your dog will understand that going in the car doesn’t have to be associated with fear.
Some dogs may simply be afraid of the car itself. If this is the case, practice riding around for 10-20 minutes at a time to get them used to it.
Do this several times before a big trip. Otherwise, you may have one very nervous dog on the day.
Read the Rules
Are you planning to take your dog on a train or plane? Most companies do allow it, but you may need to follow certain procedures.
Some companies require dogs to be under a certain weight or in a certain type of carrier. Others may allow uncaged dogs, as long as they’re on a leash or sitting on a towel. Still, others may allow the dogs if they have on a muzzle.
Know the rules before you travel. If you’re going to another state or country, read up on transporting your pet there. There maybe meticulous rules that if you don’t follow, can result in your pet being refused entry onto the train or aircraft.
Plan ahead to prevent delays and disappointments.
Travel doesn’t always go smoothly. Trains, buses, and airplanes can be delayed. Sometimes a traffic accident or someone not feeling well can slow down your road trip.
When traveling in general, you should adopt the mindset of hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
With this in mind, have enough food and water on you for the dog to last a couple of days in case of any issues. You should also have a mat for the dog to use the bathroom on. While not all dogs are fans of these puppy mats, if you get stuck on a broken down train, bus or airplane, your dog might not wait to relieve itself.
You’ll need to have a place for them to go so that they’re not traveling for the next several hours in their own mess.
You should also always have water on hand and a travel bowl. You can purchase pet water bottles and collapsible bowls at most pet stores. Offer water to your dog at regular intervals.
Bring Along a Favorite Toy or an Item You’ve Worn
No matter how much your dog loves adventures, traveling somewhere new can be particularly scary. This is especially the case if he or she is separated from you for a long period of time during the journey.
While you can’t completely alleviate your dog’s anxiety, pack a favorite toy or two with them to help keep them calm. If the pair of you need to be separated during the journey, wear an old shirt the day before and then give it to your dog to have in their carrier. This way, they can smell you and feel a little more relaxed during the journey.
The Ins and Outs of Traveling with Your Dogs
Traveling with your dogs can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’re moving or are going for a big life event. However, if you follow our tips, your trip should be just a little bit smoother, not to mention safer.
Not sure what type of dog crate to buy for your best buddy?Click here for a rundown on 5 different kinds.