How to Travel with Your Dog
With careful planning, your dog can make a great companion while on vacation.
There are a number of things to keep mind before and during your vacation to ensure your dog's health and safety. Whether your dog is a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, these tips on how to travel with your dog will help make your journey together a smooth one.
Before You Leave
When packing your suitcase, don't forget to pack your dog's essentials as well:
- Basics. Remember bowls for food and water, dog food, dog toys, a leash, chews and other natural treats. If possible, bring along dog food that your pet eats at home and is used to; the same goes for water.
- Medication. If your pet is on medication or his medication is due during your trip, make sure to pack enough for the entire vacation. Make sure the medication is kept in a secure place, where your pet won’t accidentally get into it.
- Health records. If your dog has a history of health issues, bring a copy of his medical records with you in case he develops a problem. Ask your veterinarian for referrals to vets in the area you are visiting.
- Proof of vaccinations. Some destinations will require proof of vaccinations or a certificate of health. Bring up-to-date tags or certificates with you as needed.
Part of knowing how to travel with a dog includes making your lodging plans. Remember that not all hotels or other accommodations are amenable to pets. Contact the American Automobile Association (AAA) for a listing of motels that allow pets. Before confirming a reservation, make sure to review restrictions such as size and type of pet.
On the Road: How to Travel with Your Dog in a Car
After ensuring that you have all of the necessary items for your dog while on vacation, there are a few steps to follow to maintain your pet's safety.
- Identification. Make sure to keep your dog on a leash at all times. Update your pet's ID tags just in case he decides to bolt at a rest area. Including your cell phone number or your veterinary clinic's number on the tag may be helpful when you are away from home.
- Secure seating. Accidents do happen, so make sure to decrease chances of distractions by keeping your pet in a carrier or a proper car seat or restraint.
- Leaving your dog alone in the car. Never leave you dog in the car in warm weather — even for a few minutes. High car temperatures can be deadly.