For long trips and short trips, taking your dog on the road requires preparation, much like with a baby. No matter where you are going and how you are traveling, brushes (link to page) snacks, food and water bowls, and toys should be easily accessible in your bags.
Be careful when booking a hotel, B&B, or even staying at a friend’s house. Make sure it is ok that your pooch comes along with you for your stay. Check to see if there is enough grass nearby, and safe places for you to take your dog on long walks.
If you are traveling a distance or for an extended stay, make sure to visit with your vet to take care of updating shots and inquire about recommended vaccines for your destination(s). If your dog takes medication, make sure you have an adequate supply for your trip and a complete copy of any important medical records. You can also ask your vet for a recommendation on a provider, should you need emergency assistance on the road.
Will you need a crate for any part of your trip? While it can be hard to put your dog in a crate, it may be necessary on a plane, or even at the hotel where you are staying. If you are staying with friends, they may not be comfortable leaving your pet alone in their home to roam. A crate, while limiting, can also be the safest place to keep your pet in new surroundings so he/she does not get hurt as they explore unattended.
Travel with your dog by car
We all know the iconic stereotype of the dog hanging his head out the window, ears and tongue flapping in the breeze. But from a safety perspective, this might not be the best plan for your dog when traveling down the highway. Make sure you save plenty of space in the car for your dog to stretch out and spend time with you up front as you drive, as long as it is not distracting. Plan your route to take plenty of breaks for walks.
Travel with your dog by plane
Before you book your ticket, call your airline to discuss pet accommodations on the particular flight you want to take and figure out any extra steps you need to follow based on your destination. If you are interested in bringing your pet on the plane with you, make sure you have the right size carrier and your pet does not exceed the maximum weight (usually around 20 pounds). If your pet is going into the cargo area, pay close attention to the fact that usually pets are first-come, first–on, and an airline can limit the number. Your animal will need to go into a crate, so it is best to keep the crate in your home for a few weeks beforehand and use it, so your pet can become accustomed to it.
It is very common for pet owners to want to take their pet owner on vacation. These tips will help you be certain that your dog has the most fun of all.