Traveling With Your Dog? What You Need to Know Before You Go

Traveling with your dog can be fun and exciting, but there are few necessary things to know before taking off to make sure the trip goes off without a hitch. Consider these steps before heading out to keep everyone happy while you travel.


Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, and be sure to bring all health certifications along if you are using airline travel. Get an overall physical checkup for your dog to catch any issues that may need to be taken care of before extensive travel. Be sure to bring an ample amount of water just for your dog, along with a spill-proof water bowl, dog food and any medications. Visit your veterinarian before the trip if your dog shows signs of carsickness—these can include displaying a hunched posture, drooling or trembling.


Purchase a crate for safe travel in a car and to keep your dog in line at a hotel. It is also a requirement for airline travel. Crates should be large enough for your dog to lie down, turn and to stand and should have ventilation on both sides. Dog seat belts are also good for securing your dog during road trips, especially if you plan to have them ride in the back seat. Make sure that you attach an ID with a secure collar and leash, and consider installing a microchip for permanent identification.


Crate training reduces barking and hyperactivity during car travel. Try stuffing a Kong toy with food to keep your dog occupied during the trip. If your dog is afraid of car rides, start small by feeding your dog once in a car without turning the car on. Next, take your dog on short rides to fun places such as a dog park or hiking trail in order to associate car rides with enjoyable activities.

Get the Right Permissions

Some forms of transportation have restrictions on who can bring dogs on board and where they will need to be for the duration of the trip. If you intend to travel by plane, train, or boat, make sure the crew is aware that you are bringing a dog and get any necessary permissions for doing so. Most airlines have simple rules for bringing dogs on board, but make sure you double-check with them before purchasing tickets, just to be sure. Taking a dog on an airplane can be extremely expensive, however, so use Expedia coupons to save on the flight itself and keep your canine-assisted travels within budget. You might be required to provide a crate for your dog in some places, so keep this in mind while you’re packing.

Bathroom Breaks

Get your dog acclimated to eliminating in other places besides the home by teaching them how to eliminate on cue. Create a cue such as, “Go Now!” when you see your dog sniffing or approaching a tree and aim to do so right before urination. Praise the dog as they go and give them a treat after they finish. After two weeks of this repeated action your dog should eliminate on cue, and may do so almost immediately after three weeks.

Taking these steps will protect your pet and makes sure that every trip goes smoothly. Covering these bases well ahead of time is the most effective and gives you time to take of any mishaps, and your dog will appreciate it too!

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