When leaving a pet is not an option, traveling with them can be an incredible adventure. Instead of going in blindly on a trip, prepare for it by following some general tips.

Preparing for Traveling with dogs

  1. Before traveling, visit the veterinarian; they can provide safe and alternative ways to keep a pet calm, safe and happy during travel.
  2. No pet wants to be in a cage too long, so while in the car, let them out. However, do not forget to buckle them in. It is not safe to let them roam within the car. Try to make your pet’s cage as comfortable as possible.
  3. If staying in a hotel, call ahead to make sure they accept pets. Some hotels have a pet weight limit just like apartments. Travelpets and Petswelcome websites offer free lookup services for pet-friendly destinations.
  4. The same goes for airplanes as well. If not booking through a travel agent, call ahead to the airlines and find out the fees and weight limits. Pettravel helps with airline policies, passports and other vital information.
  5. Always attach pet information: Name, Address, Owner’s name and telephone number, to the pet carrier. Do not forget to make sure that the pet’s ID tag is attached securely to the collar.
  6. A USDA approved kennel is important to have to ensure the safety of your pet when traveling. It is important that when traveling, the pet has enough room to stand and lay down. IATA.org has more information on how to calculate the correct dimensions.
  7. Lastly, the pet should have a travel kit. Just as humans need emergency supplies, pets need them as well.

First Aid Travel Kit for Dogs

Here are some items to include in the first aid kit:

  • Car seat/ seat belt
  • Travel bed
  • Dog food bowl
  • Watering system
  • Medicine
  • Treats
  • Chew toy
  • Life Jacket
  • Pet walker (leash, backpack)
  • Cleaning supplies: brush, sanitary bags and pet sprays
  • Sleep aids if necessary

Summary: Traveling with Dogs

Don't forget to take a break in between to give your dog a run. 

Before making a long trip, it is wise to test each pet. Start out slow with a 20-mile journey. During this voyage, take note on how the pet acts. Some questions to ask while observing the animal:

  • Is the pet antsy?
  • Do they just lay there, scared?
  • Are they uncontrollable?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it is important to face these issues head on before taking any other trips. For a scared or antsy pet, bring things from home that makes them comfortable. Those pets that are uncontrollable, may have to ride in their carrier to keep them calm enough to make the trip. Don’t forget to take a break in between to give your dog a run.

Once the first test is done and any issues that come up are corrected, try again. On the next test, a longer time should be tested, preferably going for about two hours. Remember, to ask those questions each time, to see how the pet does. If the second go around is successful, traveling with a pet should not be an issue. However, be ready in case things do not go as planned.