Traveling with Your Dog? 10 Helpful Tips and Tricks

Traveling with Your Dog? 10 Helpful Tips and Tricks

Few things are as exciting and refreshing as travel. More and more people want to travel with their furry companion instead of leaving their dog at home or the kennel. Whether you’re hitting the open road or flying on a plane, be sure to keep these 10 helpful tips and tricks for traveling with your dog.

Source: Javier Brosch/Shutterstock.com
Source: Javier Brosch/Shutterstock.com

1. Print Out Hard Copies and Save Digital Copies of Their Documents — Print out any pertinent copies for their health and vaccination records. You can keep them in your travel bag or wallet or stow them away in your dashboard if you’re traveling by car. Make sure you have digital copies on your phone at all times and don’t forget to keep your phone secure in a phone case as well because you never know when you’re going to drop your phone or accidentally spill that coffee during your travels.

2. Pack Their Food and Medications — Make sure to pack your dog’s wet and dry food. Bring extra water bottles for yourself and your dog. If they take any medications, keep a list of all the medicines they need and pack all of their medications. Have extra on hand if you need to extend your trip or in case of an emergency.

3. Have a List of Pet-Friendly Hotels — If you’re planning on staying at one or multiple hotels, you’ll want to stay specifically at pet-friendly hotels. Don’t try to sneak them into a hotel that doesn’t accept pets.

4. Bring Along Portable Travel Accessories — Portable travel accessories for you and your dog can include anything from dog boots to keep their paws dry to collapsible water bowls for when they’re thirsty. One portable travel accessory you may need is an AirTag dog collar case to keep your dog’s AirTag nice and snug for the journey so you don’t lose your beloved pup in all the hubbub. It’s not just your dog that can get lost. You may even want to get an AirTag case for your items like your wallet or car keys when you travel. Whatever you decide to pack for your dog should be relatively small or foldable and practical for traveling.

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  1. Get Them Used to Traveling — Taking a long trip with the dog when they’re not used to taking long trips? You’ll want to build them up to traveling slowly. For example, if you’re planning on making a trip that can take five to six hours, you’ll want to try driving with them for two to three hours at first and then three to four hours so they become acclimated to long periods of travel. Practicing traveling during these shorter trips will also give you an idea of where to stop or how often you would need to take pit stops with your dog. That being said…

6. Map Out Pit Stops for You and Your Dog — Especially if you’re traveling to an area you’re unfamiliar with, you’ll want to map out pit stops in advance for you and your dog. Most roadside pit stops or welcome centers in each state have restrooms for you and areas for your dog to run around.

7. Use Crates for Air Travel — As much as we wish our dog could stay buckled up in the airplane right next to us, that doesn’t work for larger dogs. If your dog is less than about 20 pounds or can fit under the seat in front of you, you can bring them in-cabin. According to the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, you can also find a dedicated pet shipping company to ship your pup to your destination.

8. Traveling By Train or Bus — While we’ve talked about traveling by plane or car, it’s also possible to travel with your dog by train. Most local train and private bus companies have their own policies when it comes to what is or isn’t acceptable for traveling pets. However, Amtrak trains only allow dogs up to 20 pounds. Greyhound buses only allow service animals aboard the bus.

9. Make Sure Their Collar Tags Are Updated — Your dog’s collar tags should be updated with their latest contact information. That includes your dog’s name, two phone numbers to call and their address. You should also have a tag that shows any special medical conditions they have.

Source: dezy/Shutterstock.com
Source: dezy/Shutterstock.com

10. Keep Puppy Pads for Accidents — Even if you take breaks with your pup on the road, expect the unexpected and that your dog will have an accident every now and then. That may also happen if you travel by plane and then stay in a hotel or at your in-law’s house. Keep puppy pads around to put down in case to anticipate any accidents they’ll have during the journey or once they’re in their unfamiliar destination.

With all of these 10 helpful tips and tricks in mind, you and your pup are sure to be travel pros. Get out there with confidence and safe travels!