Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Traveling with Your Dog

By Lisa Mason

Traveling with your dog is different from traveling with cats. If you have an upcoming trip and you want to take your dog along for the ride, there are a few things you should know first and that you should prepare for. Let’s explore this topic for a bit to help you prepare.

Should You Bring Him or Leave Him?

One of the first questions to ask yourself when traveling with your dog is if you should even bring him along or not. To find your answer, consider where you are going and for how long, what method of travel you will take, if your dog has traveled before and if he likes traveling.

If you consider leaving him instead, how will he be cared for in your absence? Do you have a dog sitter you can trust or will you be using a kennel service? Have you researched the kennel and the conditions your dog will be in?

If you plan on taking your dog, will your destination be dog friendly? If your dog has traveled before, how did he react? Are you prepared to handle any behavior issues that may arise while traveling to unfamiliar territory with your dog?

Driving with Your Dog

If you and your dog both like traveling by car, a road trip can be an excellent way to spend time together. Try to plan your route ahead of time with dog-friendly stops along the way (hotels that allow pets, dog parks, dog-friendly rest stops, etc.) and be sure to pack the car with your dog’s safety and comfort in mind as well.

Know that you are probably going to have to make more stops than you usually would. Give your dog plenty of potty breaks and chances to walk around and stretch if this will be a long car ride. Be sure to pack a secure leash and be sure he has his collar, tags and identification on. You don’t want him to go missing in an unfamiliar area.

Flying with Your Dog

If you will be flying with pets, there are some extra precautions and planning you should take. You need to book with airlines that allow pet travel and you will want to fully investigate the conditions and how your dog will be transported. Currently, public airlines have pets travel in the cargo area, not with the passengers, and you will want to ensure your pet is properly cared for.

Flying your dog can also be very stressful for your pet so it’s not recommended for short trips or situations where you could just leave him at home. In some situations, however, you may have no other choice so you want to make sure you fly as safely as possible with him.

Packing for Your Dog

To help make the trip more relaxed and comfortable for both of you, it’s important to bring along some things that are familiar to your dog. Don’t forget his CANIDAE dog food, because you might not be able to find a place to buy it along the way. Bring dishes for food and water and some bottled water in case you stop somewhere that does not have access to water for filling his bowl.

CANIDAE TidNips™ and Snap-Bits™ treats are great for packing along for the ride and when you get there. If your dog is in an unfamiliar place, you may need to resort to old training methods. It’s also helpful to have something familiar and tasty for your dog so she feels comfortable and safe.

If your dog has a favorite bed, blanket or toy, be sure to pack this and keep it close to her while traveling and once you arrive.

The truth is that sometimes it’s just not best to bring your dog along. A quick business trip where you will spend most of your time in meetings and your dog will spend most of her time alone in the hotel room is probably not the time to bring her along. If you could leave your dog with a trusted friend or family member instead, she’s sure to have a better time.

But family vacations, extended travels or just a long car drive to a neighboring city might be great times to travel with your dog, especially if she has shown she likes to travel. So pack properly, plan ahead and bring your canine friend along for the ride!

Top photo by Kirbie the Dorkie
Bottom photo by kdnewton  

Read more articles by Lisa Mason


  1. We took Finn with us last fall on a weekend trip and she did not enjoy the hotel experience at all! I think it would be less stressful for us to leave her at the dog sitter, who she loves!

  2. We think dogs love to travel, but people shouldn't let their dogs hang their heads out the window. We are surprised at the number of people who allow that without any concern for their dog's welfare or eye sight.


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