Although I never thought of myself as a “dog person,” my Max is an official part of our family. He’s like my giant toddler and shadow all rolled into one. That’s why it’s natural that we would want to travel with him sometimes.
Max is such a happy dog and loves being around people and other dogs. If I could hear what he’s thinking, I’m sure it’s “Look! He’s my friend!”
Max loves riding in the car! It doesn’t hold negative thoughts for him, because he even likes going to the vet. (Weird, right?)
Not long after we got Max, we had to go away for a baseball tournament. We didn’t want to take him with us because the poor guy would be stuck in the hotel for hours at a time. That’s not fair. Just getting him ready to go to the Dog Ranch was a mission! That’s why I had to come up with my own tips for traveling with a dog.
Tips for Traveling With Your Dog:
Whether you are traveling to the countryside or an urban area, you should select a destination that will provide your dog with some benefit. Locking him up in a hotel room for 12 hours a day is unfair and will most likely lead to extreme anxiety, boredom and even destructive behavior. Make certain that there are plenty of dog-friendly parks, pleasant city streets or nature trails where you can spend quality time together each day.
Your dog can be a wonderful travel companion but packing him up is not as easy as tossing your clothes in a suitcase. Your pup needs you to plan wisely for his comfort and safety to ensure a positive experience for you both.
Before your departure date, make a list of items your dog will need for the journey. Even if you plan to purchase some of his food after arrival, make certain to pack enough for 2 or 3 days, since you have no guarantee how soon you will get to the pet store. Dogs associate pleasant experiences with treats, so don’t forget to include plenty of special snacks, new toys, and other items that will help distract him from becoming homesick.
If your dog is currently taking any medications, make certain to ask your veterinarian if it is safe to revise or skip a dose while driving or flying to your destination.
If you normally keep a blanket or other soft liner inside his crate, now is not the time to wash it. Dogs take great comfort in familiar odors and the blanket should smell like home. It is also important to bring his regular food and water bowls and a couple of old, familiar toys.
If you are traveling by car, you should expect to stop every 2 or 3 hours to give your dog a potty break, some water and a chance to stretch a bit. If the weather is warm, take extra precaution, since dogs can dehydrate very quickly in tight, hot quarters. Not to mention when the family is crammed into a car, dog breath can put a damper on your drive.
To help your pup have fresh breath, clean teeth and healthy gums, use PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX™ Treats. PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX™ are a tasty treat dogs love! The Triple Action Formula helps clean teeth, freshen breath and reduce tartar buildup. DENTASTIX™ Treats help clean down to the gum line to promote healthy gums, and its chewy texture helps scrape away plaque while chewing to help clean hard-to-reach teeth. Look for the patented X-shaped treat.
If you plan to fly with your pet, it is essential that you use an airline-approved carrier which can be purchased at most pet stores. Book your travel arrangements well in advance, since the holding/baggage area for in-flight pet storage is limited. Ensure that the holding area is heated and located in a quiet, restful section of the plane. Confirm proper labeling for the pet carrier and ask what documents you need to provide the airlines. Determine check-in procedures and protocols for retrieving your pet during re-routes, delays and landings.
Many hotels reserve specific rooms for travelers with pets. These rooms are typically located on the bottom floor of the building and may be a bit more rugged, but generally clean. Before placing your deposit, the clerk should inform you of any weight restrictions (30 lbs. max), the additional daily pet fee, and criteria used to determine damages above and beyond the normal wear and tear.
Reduce Stress for Your Pup
If you’re anything like me, you will want to travel with a clean, healthy pet. But try not to take him to a groomer or veterinarian the day prior to departure, since the added stress may increase his anxiety level on travel day. No one wants an agitated pup when traveling.
Though your dog certainly loves the creature comforts of home, traveling can add adventure to his life and help him become more adaptable to new experiences. A little careful planning will ensure his well-being and give you the peace of mind to enjoy your vacation.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.