Traveling With The Family Dog

Are you planning a family vacation?

Does that mean that your dog will be traveling with you?
Are you going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house. If so you may need a doggy bed if granny doesn’t want Fido sleeping in the guest bed. Then after everyone goes to bed, Fido can join you.


Many of us simply will not travel if we can’t take our dogs along, too. There are a few things that you need to consider if you are planning on taking an extensive trip.

These tips can also apply to traveling with cats.

You may find that you need a special travel bag  for your dog or cat, even if you are only traveling by car rather than on an airplane.
We need to pack all of our pet’s gear such as toys, meds, food, water, so we need a bag to keep it altogether rather than bagging it in several tote bags.
Check this out to keep your pet organized! A real stress reliever when everything is in one bag!

Please remember that dog travel bags are not for leaving your dog confined in your car while you shop. Dogs should never be left in a car in hot weather or freezing temperatures.

Many dogs die yearly due to exposure to high heat or freezing temperatures.

Depending on the size of your dog, you can find a dog carrier for him/her unless, of course, your dog is large.
But, if your dog is small, this Sherpa bag might suit your needs.
There are other choices also, but check this out just in case.


Visit The Vet
You will need to get your traveling companion a checkup, just to make sure that there are no issues affecting your travel plans, especially if you are crossing any borders.
 You will certainly want a copy of your pets medical history, just in case you have an emergency while on your vacation.

Your vet will be happy to provide copies for you. This will make it so much easier in case you have to visit a vet in a different city or state.

And, of course, if you are planning overseas travel, you will need up to date vaccination records to provide the airlines, at least a month before your departure.

Don’t feed your pet and then immediately go out the door and hit the road. Some pets may have a problem with motion sickness, so give them time to let their food digest. Otherwise, you may see it again!
Also, the excitement of packing and going may be upsetting to their stomachs.
Some pets become very anxious when they see suitcases appearing and their daily routine being interrupted.

Be sure to pack the basics for your Furbaby.

Items that have their scent on them, that they are familiar with, like their own bedding and toys.

If your dog is used to sleeping in the big bed with you and you are going to granny’s, she may not want your dog sleeping in the guest room bed with you, so you can always take along a dog bed or sneak your dog in when she’s not looking!!


Always have a leash.


Also, pack water bottles with water from home. Sometimes, foreign water may cause digestive upsets for your pets. The last thing you need is a dog with diarrhea. If that happens you can give Kaopectate or Immodium.

Make Pit Stops Often

Stopping for a rest every hour or two is good for the driver, as well as your pet. Your dog will enjoy a chance to get out of the car to stretch his legs.

Always offer a bowl of water. If the weather is hot, keep the air conditioning on, but NEVER leave your pet in a car unattended, even with the air conditioning on.
Remember, your pet is wearing a fur coat. Fur in the summer can be mighty warm! Your dog might enjoy licking on ice cubes in hot weather.

If you choose to let your dog sit wherever he chooses and not be restrained, make sure that you do not let him poke his head out the car window.
This is harmful to their eyes

And NEVER, EVER let your dog ride in the back of a pickup truck.
You see this a lot, but it’s very dangerous for the dog and other drivers.

Also, in many areas letting a dog ride in the back of a pickup truck is against the law.


I.D. Tags
Please be sure to have the proper I.D. tags on your pets collar.
Just in case you and your pet become separated. Proper I.D. could prevent a nightmare experience for you.
It might be a good idea to have dog tags on your pet’s carrier as well as a collar.

The more ID, the better!!

These are cute tags and an be customized when you order them.
Check them out here…….

You may also consider having your pet micro chipped.
But,the best thing to do of all, is keep close watch over your pets.


Overnight Stays 
Make sure that if you have overnight accomodations at a motel or hotel, that they allow pets. Don’t assume and do not try to sneak your pet in.

Some lodges charge extra for pets and many have specific rooms set aside for travelers with pets.
You can easily do a search for listings of dog friendly hotels, motels or campgrounds that meet your needs.

There are many and this is the easiest way to plan a trip.

Traveling with your pets can be fun, especially if you don’t want to kennel them.
Think of all the cute pictures you can take.
Your vacation can be fun for everyone involved if you just use a little common sense.
You can all come home from a great trip, with great memories, for you and your Furbabies, too!

Flying the Friendly Skies(?)
Since the airlines are charging for everything you carry on except the air you breathe (and that may be next), it only stands to reason that they are raising the rates for your pets to ride in cargo.

Actually, the skies are not so friendly anymore where our pets are concerned. Cargo has never been the choicest location, but for some that was the only choice.

There are many pet restrictions that you need to be aware of–such as age limits, weight and kennel size and design.
Be sure to search each carrier’s Web site so that you can compare cargo and cabin price variations. Perhaps, if you are traveling with a small dog, you can put him in a pet carry on bag.

Please check with the airline long before you arrive so there are no surprises for you or your dog.

I have heard many horror stories of dogs dying in cargo or getting loose when the baggage is being removed from the plane and being runover on the runway……many reasons to consider NOT trusting your best friend to a baggage handler!

We have all seen how luggage is thrown around and many times the kennel carriers come open. Can you imagine how frightened and confused your dog would be?

You might consider being choosy about the airline you fly when you are not traveling
with your dogs and giving your business to an airline that is pet-friendly.