9 Important Things to Remember When Traveling With Your Dog

9 Important Things to Remember When Traveling With Your Dog

It is not uncommon for people to treat their dogs as a member of their family.  So, when the family plans a vacation, it’s not unusual for them to include their dogs in their arrangements or even take their pets with them.  The plans that the family make can have a major difference in whether they have fun or encounter difficult unforeseen problems along the way.  In either event, here are some tips for traveling with dogs that can make it a little bit easier.

1 – Vaccinations Must be Up to Date

Before leaving home, someone in the family should ensure their dog gets a health check, meaning it is essential that they are taken to the vet to get all of their vaccinations up to date.  After the vaccinations are complete, the certifications that the vet gives the owner should be kept safe and be included with the other essential paperwork during packing.  Based on the type of travel that the family will be doing (domestic or international), proof of vaccinations may be required before the dog can make the trip.  In some cases, an airline may even require that dogs are dewormed or be given tick or flea medications.  Therefore, requirements for traveling with a pet should always be confirmed prior to the day of departure.

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2 – Proper Identification Required

To minimize the chance of your dog running off and not being returned, you will need to make sure that he or she wears proper identification at all times.  Part of the identification should be the cell phone number of a family member or a friend who is easy to contact in the event that the dog gets lost en route or some other emergency occurs.

3 – Keep the Dog in a Crate While the Car is Moving 

When traveling by car, there are some rules that should always be followed, especially when people are traveling for long periods of time. Similar to humans, dogs can also get tired so these factors should be considered before they become restless and distract the driver.  With the dog being placed in a crate, there’s less chance for these problems to occur as the crate is designed to protect the family and the dog and help make the trip much more enjoyable for everyone.  Choosing the right size and style crate is therefore essential to a successful trip since it must be well ventilated and large enough for the dog to lie down, stand up, and turn around.

4 – Take Meals and Water with You

Even though some family members and friends may try to give your pet a special treat while traveling since the family will be eating all kinds of different tasty cuisines, this may not be the best idea for the dog.  When a dog’s diet is changed, it could cause them to have diarrhea, making a very unpleasant trip for them and the family.

5 – Eating Out and Dog Friendly Restaurants

In some cases, the family may stop along the road to eat a good meal, but they may not want to leave the dog alone in the vehicle.  To keep problems from occurring and to respect the code of the restaurant, it is essential that the family does their research in advance and identify dog-friendly restaurants prior to leaving home.

6 – Carry a Collar and a Sturdy Leash

Before leaving for vacation, dogs should be leashed trained if the family has not already completed the training.  So, whenever the dog is taken outside or in public places, they are kept on a sturdy leash that they cannot break from and run away.  It may also be a good idea to bring two different size leashes for your trip.  One shorter leash for bathroom stops, and one long leash for playing on the beach or another big open space. 

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7 – Plan Frequent Stops

Any time a pet is taken on a vacation, their activities must be well planned out too.  Even though some people may be tempted to only consider their needs, lots of traveling can be quite confining after long stretches.  With this in mind, frequent stops should be made so that the dog will not only have a chance to relieve themselves, but also get a little exercise.  This part of the travel arrangements must be considered well in advance if people are traveling on a schedule, particularly when the schedule requires several days of traveling.

8 – Check for Dog Sitting Facilities

There might be places that the family want to visit that don’t have provisions for pets, so this factor should be also considered in advance.  To ensure these issues are addressed appropriately, the family should investigate the availability of dog-sitting facilities.  Since more and more families are traveling with their pets, these accommodations should be a normal part of hotel requests.  If such services are not available, the family should make sure that they are exercising the options that will be best fit their pets’ needs as well as their own.

9 – Pack Personal Items

Just like any other member of the family, a checklist should be made for dogs too so that all of their personal items are taken on vacation.  From the dogs favorite toys to keep them occupied, to a water dish that they can drink out of, there a number of different things that must be taken to ensure that there are no unforeseen issues with them traveling.


When the planning the family’s vacation includes taking the dog, there are a number of things that must done and taken care of well in advance, and hopefully these tips can assist with that.  More importantly, the family must be prepared to do whatever needs to be done to ensure the dog is prepared with their vaccinations, their regular foods, and the personal items that they need in order to keep them well groomed and satisfied.

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