A Guide to Travel Safely with Your Dog

A Guide to Travel Safely with Your Dog

All of us love to take our furry buddies on vacation. We want to give them the best life possible. But getting outside their comfort zone means an anxious dog that needs to be handled carefully. Travel is fun, but dogs may get anxious when they leave their homes as they are unsure where you are taking them. The chances of them wandering off in a new place are higher, so you need to be extra cautious when you travel with the dog. Here are a few tips that you should follow when you have travel plans with the dog.

1. Get the Dog Checked by the Vet:

Bring your dog to the vet before you leave for the trip. You need to ensure all vaccinations are up to date and the pet is fit to travel. If going by airlines, you will need health certification that states the dog is fit to fly. The vet can also prescribe some medication to make the travel easier on the dog.

2. Use a Crate:

A crate is an excellent way to keep the dog safe while car travel. A crate is also needed for airline travel. You can keep your dog in a crate to keep them out of trouble in the hotel. If your dog is trained to go inside the crate in a new place, it will feel much calmer when inside it as it is familiar to them. The crate needs to be large enough for the dog to stand, turn and lie down. It should be strong, free of interior protrusions, and have handles to move it. The ventilation should be good, and the bottom should be leakproof. Do not forget to label it with a ‘Live Animal’ sticker if you are traveling by airline. Also, put arrow-up stickers just in case. Do not forget to add the owner’s name, address, and phone number. Line the crate with a comfortable mat and put inside a water bottle along with your dog’s favorite toy.

3. Add Proper Identification Tags:

You must always consider the possibility of your dog getting away from you on the trip. The thought of it may seem scary, but it can happen, anyway. The chances of recovering your dog depend on several factors, such as micro-chipping the pet so that if it ends up in any animal shelter, the possibility that it will be returned to you increases. You should also add tags on the dog’s collar with the dog’s name, your address, and phone number just in case the dog wanders off nearby and someone needs to contact you to give the dog back.

If you seek an additional level of safety for your dog, there is an excellent solution to it. Adding a halo collar that comes with a GPS tracker would be the perfect solution here, as you can easily track the dog and bring it back. Another feature that is useful here is the smart dog fence that can be set so that the dog does not leave the property even if there are no physical fences up. You can off-leash your dog and let it enjoy its vacation, too, without your fear of losing your beloved furry friend.

4. Avoid Car Sickness and Injuries:

If you are traveling in the car with the dog, then you need to put up some safety measures there, too, so that the dog gets to the destination safely without any health issues. Dogs can get car sickness if they travel on a full stomach hence do not feed them immediately before the travel. If you need to start early morning, wake up a bit earlier, and feed the dog an hour or two earlier so that they do not feel much heavy. Do not feed the dog during the travel, but you should make them drink water throughout the journey.

The car needs to be well ventilated, especially if you carry the dog in a crate. Make sure the air can flow into the crate. If you are carrying a large dog, you cannot use a crate. But you should definitely put up a car seat that seems like a hammock so that the dog does not fall into the seat gaps when you suddenly brake the car.

Your dog may love to hang its head out to enjoy the breeze while you drive the car. You can let the dog do that once in a while just so that it does not feel claustrophobic but not the entire journey, as dust may cause issues to the dog.

Be careful as the dog can escape when you open the car door. To avoid that, make use of a dog seat belt for additional safety of the pet. If you drive an open truck, never let the dog ride back in the open truck, as it can cause serious injuries. You should frequently stop during the journey so that the dog can stretch and relieve itself. The journey may get boring for the dog, too, to keep its favorite toy along so that they can play during the trip. Do not leave the dog alone in the car, especially during summers when the car can get super-hot.

Be Careful While Flying:

When traveling by plane, especially with a large dog that must be crated and sent to live cargo, you need to be extra cautious. The dog can get anxious as you send it away in the cargo; hence you need to train it to stay inside the crate much before you plan the travel. You need to meet all the requirements, or else the airline may decline your request to carry your pet. Sending the pet into the live cargo can cause stress to you, too; hence mentally prepared for it before you plan to travel by air.

The Bottom Line:

While traveling with pets can be fun, you must become a responsible pet owner. Start with short trips to nearby places where you can go by your car. Let the dog get used to the idea of traveling a bit before you take it on a prolonged vacation.