Tips for traveling long distance with dogs. When you are planning a trip with your pet, you have to worry about many things, especially if traveling long distance with your dogs.
What is the pet policy on the airline you want to use?
Does the hotel you will stay in allow pets?
What kind of documentation do you need when traveling with the pet?
Do you need some form of medication or immunization?
What do you pack for the pet?
To make your life easier while traveling with your pet, here are some tips that might come in handy.
✔️ Have a Way to Identify your Dog
Before you start your travel, make sure that your pet has multiple ways to be identified. Losing your dog in an unfamiliar place may be very stressful for you and your dog.
First, when traveling long distance with dogs, make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag. I always have a special ID tag made for traveling that’s separate from the ones they wear at home. Plus, always make sure that you have the right information on your dog’s ID tag.
This should include:
- Your phone number, a secondary number in case you don’t answer
- the number of your hotel/destination.
- the dog’s name,
- any other relevant information that will make it easier to identify the owner. If they get lost, it becomes easy for someone to contact you if they find them.
Make sure your dog is micro-chipped, and that information is current. Some people go to extreme levels of placing traceable microchips under the skin of their pets.
These chips send real-time data on where the dog is located, making it easier to recover them if they get lost.
🐩 Investigate Pet-friendly Locations
Why travel with your dog if you can’t keep them in the same hotel room with you?
Our dog’s add a lot of tranquility to our lives, and we want to make sure that they have a great experience, wherever we are.
The best part about traveling is the idea of getting to see new places and places that are new to you. But, what’s even better than that is finding pet-friendly places while you’re out there.
However, imagine traveling hundreds or thousands of miles with your dog, only to discover that the hotel has a no-pet policy. This could be inconvenient for you and your dogs.
You may love your pet, but that does not mean that everyone else loves them too.
That is why you should inquire in advance. Book into hotels that allow pets on their premises.
Luckily, nowadays traveling with your dog is fairly easy. With a little research, most hotels, vacation rentals or other personal lodging are welcoming for owners with dogs.
Other pet-friendly locations include RV resorts, bed & breakfasts, personal family inns, cabin rentals, boutique hotels, camping cabins and there are even dog-centric retreats.
Not only that, but you can also find dog friendly beach, dog swim areas, and pet-friendly restaurants, activities and attractions.
🦮 Make Sure Your Dog Is Healthy for Traveling Long Distance with Dogs
You should always make a trip to your Veterinarian to have your pet checked to make sure your dog is ready for a long journey. The vet can help you with decision if your dog is anxious, scared or needs a little something to help your pup sleep.
You do not want to travel with a sick pet, especially in unfamiliar places. If there are any sort of vaccinations (Such as rabies vaccination) to be done, make sure they are done before you travel.
Some airlines may require that you get a health certificate for your dog before you board. Your veterinarian will be in a better position to advise you accordingly.
💩 Do Not Leave Your Dog in a Car
Just like you wouldn’t leave a toddler in the car alone, especially in the summer heat, do not leave your pet alone in the car. The stories about dogs getting stolen out of cars are all over the news.
Make a habit of going out with your dog or leaving your dog in the company of someone else.
- If it’s warm out, dogs can die from exposure to extreme heat inside the vehicle.
- The opposite is true in cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, freezing your pet to death.
I may catch some flack for saying this, but when you get a puppy, don’t teach your dog to stick their head out the window. Dogs do not need the windows down to ride in the car. Neither Ruby nor Callie, my dogs, have ever ridden in the car with the windows down. They drive with me every day and simply sleep in the car.
If you are driving with your pet, do not allow the pet to take their head out of the window as you drive. Debris could hit them or flying objects on the road.
🐾 Get a Proper Crate while Flying for your Dog
With the flight rules changing for emotional support dogs, a lot of dogs will now have to fly in cargo.
Make sure that you get a crate that matches the description and dimensions that have been laid out by the airline you want you to fly with.
Your pet should be comfortable inside this crate, especially if you will fly for long hours. Ensure that it is fastened safely.
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🦴 Carry Food and Treats for Your Dog
The goal of bringing treats for your pets when traveling is to make them as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Carry their favorite foods, favorite toys, and other items that will keep them comfortable throughout the flight. You would not want your pet to panic mid-flight.
However, take caution not to overfeed them. If you overfeed them or hydrate them too much, they might relieve themselves on the floor and this could turn a pleasant journey into a sour one for you.
Do not trust foods that your pet is not accustomed to yet. They could wind up with stomach upsets and complications.
🛩️ Book a Cargo Space for Your Dog
If you fly with your dog and they need to be in the cargo area. The airline needs to be notified in advance so that they can make the reservations to accommodate your pet. Many airlines only allow a certain number of dogs to fly in cargo.
Do not show up on the day you are flying. It’s always best to book a cargo space for the pet at the same time you book a flight for yourself.
You will know if there is an available space as many airlines usually reserve only a few slots for pets.
Always check each airline’s rules and regulations. Others may allow you to fly with your pet inside the cabin, as opposed to flying as ‘cargo’. Make your request and understand the airline policies about flying with pets before your book a ticket.
✈ Visit the Airport Early
I always research each airport’s dog potty stations in relation to which airline I’m following. This way I have a general idea of where to take them potty before and after boarding or unloading the plane with my dogs.
If flying cargo, you may be required to arrive earlier than normal. Sometimes, it’s a requirement when you book cargo space for your dog.
If going through customs, plan on taking longer if you have a dog.
Get everything checked and ironed out before you board the plane. This will give you enough time to check-in with no problems.
🐶 Carry a Well-Packed Dog Travel Kit
A pet travel kit should have several supplies. Carry an emergency first aid kit for dogs.
You should double-check to make sure you have the right travel documents, including a health certificate, if required.
In addition, any grooming items to keep the pet neat and relaxed, plastic bags for correcting waste, a scoop for the pet waste, a toy, and first aid items for your dog.
🐕 Practice traveling Ahead of Time
Get your dog accustomed to traveling by practicing traveling ahead of time.
Dog’s can become apprehensive and go into panic mode when presented with something they are not comfortable or familiar with.
The best way to do this is to occasionally go for short rides around the neighborhood to make the pets comfortable with the car and ride.
You can also take a few walks before the actual journey so that they can expedite some energy.
This practice may take as little as a few weeks to months, depending on the pet and frequency.
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