Best Way to Travel With a Dog
Author: Alina Andreeva
Alina A. is a professional writer, editor, and pet-lover. She has published over 50 articles on how to care for pets properly. Alina has been writing articles for 3 years, so she has considerable experience in this niche. Her natural curiosity helps her to expand her knowledge and learn new pet care life hacks, which will make your life much easier.View all 58 articles Learn about our editorial process and veterinary review board.
Updated on: 11/17/2020
Traveling with your pet can make a vacation more fun for you and your family if you approach the issue carefully. Here are some travel tips to make any trip with your dog safe and enjoyable.
Pay attention to how your dog feels during the trip
If you take a dog on a trip, look closely at how it will feel during non-standard situations and new experiences. Watch your dog – make sure that it also perceives the journey as a fun event.
Learn the requirements of various countries for the importation of pets: individual vaccines, medicines, and procedures are things that may vary in different states of the European Union.
If you are traveling outside the European Union, be sure to read the requirements of third countries for the import of pets.
What to do before the trip
When planning a trip, make sure that the chosen mode of transport (car, plane, ship, bus) is comfortable for the animal. You can prepare your pet for the road using various vehicles here in the USA. This will help your dog to get used to the means of transportation, and prepare for travel in a crate.
Choosing the right hotel
If you organize a trip yourself, make sure that you are allowed to stay with your pet in the chosen place for the night. If you cannot find this information on the home page, contact the hotel representative to ensure that no unpleasant surprises await you upon arrival.
If you plan to use a travel agency’s services, inform the agency’s consultant that you plan to travel with an animal.
Going on the road, people, as a rule, take the most necessary medicines with them. When traveling with a pet, do not forget to take medication for it, too – you will save time and do away with worries during the trip.
Car Travel with your Dog
Tips for a pleasant and safe car travel
Regardless of whether it will be a short or long trip, it is essential to have a pleasant and safe trip for everyone in a car.
Why is it important to fasten your pet? An unfastened dog at the time of a collision can be a danger to the lives of other passengers and because the dog can get severe injuries. An unfastened dog during the trip can also accidentally interfere with the driver, provoking a dangerous situation.
How to make a car trip enjoyable?
- Start accustoming your pet to travel by car while it is a puppy. When the dog grows up, it will already be a traveler with experience. Start with short trips, gradually increasing their duration. If your dog feels sick while traveling by car, bring along medications for such cases. Moreover, feed your pet long before the trip – and the dog will not feel sick.
- Before the trip, take your dog for a walk.
- When planning trips, take breaks during which the dog can run and drink.
- Make sure that the dog doesn’t feel hot. It is essential to ventilate the car more often.
- If it is hot outside, in no case leave your pet closed in the car because the air in a car heats up very quickly.
- If possible, transport the dog in a crate, placing it in the luggage compartment or on the floor behind the front seats. Fix the crate in which the animal is transported.
- If it is impossible to purchase a metal crate, other means to ensure the safe transportation of the animal are available. Choose the right quality product, because it can be crucial during an accident.
Sea Travel with your Dog
Tips on how to make a sea trip enjoyable for your four-legged friend
Remember that dogs do not always understand what is happening on the shipboard.
For a dog, being onboard a ship is not only unfamiliar but also frightening experience. If you know that sea traveling is an integral part of your life, train your dog as soon as possible so that it gradually gets used to sea trips. Be a supportive helpmate for your dog, because the calmer and more confident you are, the more confident your pet will feel.
What is essential to do before the trip?
- Before boarding a ship, take your dog for a walk – the pet will be much calmer.
- Feed your pet before your trip to avoid seasickness. Just in case, take pet medication for nausea.
- If during the trip you see that the dog feels very uncomfortable on the ship, the next time it is better to leave it at home.
- If you decide to go boating, remember that the dog also needs a life jacket: it must be bright in color and match the weight of the dog.
- Make sure that there is a handle on the back of the lifejacket to move the dog from the ship to the lifeboat if necessary. Many animals are afraid to jump from the ship on their own.
- Before traveling, trim the dog’s nails so that the paws do not slip. Just in case, you can buy specially designed rubber socks for this.
- The sun on the ship is always more intense and brighter. If the dog is particularly sensitive to sunlight, you need to use unique sunglasses for dogs. If your dog has light or short hair, use sunscreen.
- Take all the necessary pet medications that may come in handy if an accident occurs.
- If you plan to travel by ship outside the country, you should familiarize yourself with the vaccination requirements and the documents necessary for visiting.
READ MORE: Stages of Dog Life
Air Travel with your Dog
Tips before flying
Assess how your dog feels under stressful circumstances. Flying is not a problem for some dogs, but some dogs become very nervous on planes. You need to evaluate how well your pet tolerates stressful situations and whether it is wise to take your pet with you on a flight. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian.
Before the flight: important information
- If you travel with a dog, then preparation will require a little more time than if you moved alone. If you plan to fly, you should purchase tickets in advance, since the number of seats reserved for animals on one flight is limited.
- On the day of departure, you need to arrive at the airport with your dog in advance to check-in. The flight rules with four-legged friends are different for each airline. This also applies to registration before the flight. So, be sure to check the provisions of the corresponding airline before arriving at the airport.
- Before the flight, prepare your pet for the noise and the crowd. So, the dog behaves calmly at the airport. If the pet is nevertheless anxious and cannot calm it down, contact your veterinarian who will recommend some kind of medication.
- Before flying, accustom your dog to a crate to feel calm while traveling by airplane.
- May I take a dog to the cabin? It depends on the size and weight of the dog. Small dogs and puppies are allowed in the cabin as hand luggage. Each airline has its own rules regarding the size and weight of the crate or bag that you can take to the cabin. Therefore, before choosing a specific airline, read the rules.
- Always be calm. Regardless of how the dog behaves during the trip, remember that you still need to be quiet and balanced. So, your anxiety and irritation do not pass to your pet.
Features of traveling with a Dog abroad
The attitude towards dogs differs in various countries and cities. In order not to get confused in an unfamiliar place, pay attention to the information plates.
Abroad, entrance to shops, shopping centers, and street cafes with a pet is usually allowed. In some parks, you can walk dogs only on a leash; in others, it is forbidden to take a pet for a walk, so pay attention to the plates.
Always clean up after your pet – carry bags to collect excrement. In many EU countries, you are fined for not doing so.
If traveling with your dog, we recommend using a dog carrier if possible, to limit your dog’s exposure. Of course, be sure to get the right dog carrier to ensure your dog is comfortable and safe. 
Also, in some countries, it is forbidden to use electronic collars for dogs. This is regarded as violence against the animal and is punishable by a hefty fine. Before you go to a particular country, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with its laws regarding pets.
The bottom line
Follow these simple rules and take care of the necessary procedures and documents for your four-legged friend in advance, and your trip with your pet will be pleasant and exciting!
- “Are Dog Carriers Safe For Your Pooch?” Furry Friends Gear, 2 June 2020, furryfriendsgear.com/are-dog-carriers-safe/
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