Are you and your Best Dog Friend excited to travel beyond the same four walls this holiday season? Us too. Here are five tips to help make travel with your dog a little easier.
Traveling by plane? Check your preferred airline allows dogs and confirm the latest rules and requirements before booking your flight. Also note that air travel can be dangerous for dogs, especially in hotter climates, so do your research. Road tripping? Plan enough space in the car for a crate or travel bed and make sure your chosen route allows for frequent pet-friendly breaks for stretching, playing, hydrating and going to the bathroom. Call all hotels in advance to make sure they allow dogs and ask about pet policies, additional fees and other requirements. Be in the know before you go so you and your doggo can travel safely and stress-free.
Schedule a visit with your vet well before you leave to confirm that your pooch is healthy enough for the itinerary you have planned. Your Best Dog Friend should also be up to date on all their vaccinations, and don’t forget to ask about any medications they may need for the trip, like flea and tick meds and anti-nausea aids if your pup is prone to carsickness. It also helps to get an updated copy of your pet’s vet records should you need to share them with anyone during your travels (some hotels require it). Get your dog microchipped (if they aren’t already) and double check that your pet is properly tagged with up to date identification info and your phone number in case you get separated during the trip.
Packing for yourself (and your fam) can be stressful enough. It’s easy to forget all of the things your dog will need while on the road. Make a list ahead of time so you don’t leave anything important behind. Below are some checklist items to help you get started:
- Toys and chews
- Comfortable bedding and blankets
- Plenty of food (bring two days more than you need)
- Travel-friendly water bowls
- First aid kit
- Doggy diapers and pet pads
- Sanitizing wipes, rags and towels for cleanup
- Trash bags to bag up any mishaps
- Poop bags
- Leash, collar with ID and travel harness
- Comb or brush for grooming
- The Coat Refresh or the The Dry Shampoo to stay fresh while on-the-go
Consider bathing your dog prior to departure day for a fresh start to your trip. Depending on their coat type, you may also want to make an appointment with your groomer pre-travel. Giving a messy mane a quick trim can be a good idea, especially if you’ll be far away from your usual pet establishments for a long period of time. Also check with your groomer about getting a pedi for your pup—keeping their nails short makes handling them easier (and less painful) for you during travel.
You want to tire out your dog before you leave, so take them for a long hike or let them run in the dog park the morning of your journey. The key is to make sure they expel a lot of energy before you hit the road so they feel relaxed and ready to nap during the journey. When it comes to chow time, give your pooch a light meal a couple hours before you plan to leave and then feed them according to their scheduled routine. Also make sure to give them lots of water during your travels. Freezing the water the night before is an easy way to keep it cold longer.
Finally, don’t forget these important safety tips: never leave your dog in a hot or cold car—extreme temps can be very dangerous for dogs. Also make sure to keep your pooch’s paws protected from hot or cold surfaces—concrete, metal, pavement, and asphalt can burn or give delicate paws frostbite.
Have a safe trip and share your travel pics with us @rowanfordogs!