Travel Safely with a Dog

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Graeme, Rebecca M., Lynn and 4 others

Dogs are considered by many people to be an integral part of their family. When watching TV late at night or eating, they are always next to their masters. They accompany individuals when they take a morning walk. For reasons such as this, lots of dog owners cannot bear the thought of not bringing their dogs on their vacations or travels.

S2NOV46-1 1.jpg

Bringing your dog with you while traveling makes everything worth the while; it not only contributes to a livelier experience, but it can also help relieve your stress. To make this happen, you need to brush up on your doggie travel knowledge.

Most planes and cars are not designed to transport canines , and with that in mind, you should have a thorough plan laid out. Planning ahead of time will make traveling easier and more enjoyable.

There are lots of ways to travel with your dog - by land, air or even water. However, bear in mind that you can't just load your pet into a small corner and ride away; you have to think how the ride will be for them. Owners must also consider the dog's safety and its personality. Does the dog get car sick? How will you keep the dog in its seat? And there are other possible problems.

Canine on Wheels

If you plan to let your dog accompany you in the car, there are many possible ways of doing so. Place your dog in an open crate or have a harness ready. Dogs are natural attention seekers; at home, this is cute but when you are driving this can get especially dangerous. Imagine driving on a steep curve when suddenly your dog jumps on your lap. By either putting your dog in a crate or harness, the vehicle environment will be safer.

  1. 1
    When traveling with your dog, make sure that it doesn't have a full bladder
    You should make sure it has access to clean water - enough for it to be hydrated, but not too full.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  2. 2
    Another tip is not to feed your dog lots of food before going on a trip, as many dogs tend to get motion sickness
    It is recommended that the dog fast for at least six hours prior. It is also not recommended to feed your dog in a moving car. Wait until there is a break and the car stops and give your buddy a little snack.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  3. 3
    Additionally, when on a break, you can walk your dog or play with her to help her stretch and release the pent-up energy
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  4. 4
    Lastly remember not to leave your dog alone in the car for more than 15 minutes
    The sun's heat will quickly turn the car into an oven and make your dog dehydrated or sick, or can even kill them.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help

Taking your dog on an airplane

When bringing your dog along for air travel, the first things you must check are the documents. This includes the health certificate and being aware of the rules regarding pet travel.

  1. 1
    You can also call the airline company's support line to ask them about their rules about pets, so when the time comes you won't get shocking news as to why your dog can't be brought with you
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  2. 2
    Your dog will be mostly traveling by crate, and it will make everyone's lives much easier if you train your dog beforehand and put him in a crate at home, rather than only when you get to the airport
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help

Traveling in a Boat

Before you can start traveling by dog in a boat, of course, there is some paperwork to be done. This involves having a valid pet passport. Getting a pet passport involves having your pet fitted with a microchip, and having it vaccinated and tested against rabies. Processing a pet passport will at least take 21 days, so it is recommended to have this done a month or two ahead to avoid unnecessary problems rising up.

If you plan to travel with your dog on a boat, there are some ships that have installed dog kennels to help people travel with their canines.

  1. 1
    Every now and then you should visit your pet at the kennel to check on them
    If your dog is seasick or uneasy, assure your dog of your presence.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  • 2
    Keep in mind though that most ships don't allow pets on passenger decks or in cabins
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  • 3
    Additionally if you don't follow the regulations of the ship, they have the right to quarantine your dog for up to six, months so be careful and follow the regulations.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  • Since your dog is not situated with you in the main cabin then don't say goodbye, this will only make your dog upset. Show that you are calm, and in return, she will be the same way.

    By Bus or By Train


    It is normally restricted by the state and local government to bring pets on buses and trains unless they are guided pets which assist disabled people. It is best to check the transportation providers in advance to avoid any hassle.

    Tips, Tricks, and Warnings

    • When traveling by land, remember to secure your pet. An unrestrained pet can become a deadly object during a crash. For example, imagine a 25-pound dog, and while driving you suddenly crash at a speed of 40 mph. This becomes like 1,000-pound mass or a half ton object flying back and forth inside the vehicle.
    • Large dogs should be restrained with a pet harness designed specifically for cars. This can be bought in pet stores while small dogs can be secured in pet car seats which allow them to see out of the car while being restrained in a proper position.
    • It is not recommended to attach a restraining device on a dog's collar which can lead to injuries. Always use a harness on the body.
    • If possible the dog should be contained in a crate unless it is fully trained. Always restrain the dog and never allow it to roam freely inside the vehicle. The dog could distract the driver or get tangled with the driver's feet.
    • When driving in the city or in the suburbs, close the Windows and don't allow the dog to put its head out. It is possible that another close vehicle or hard object can hit your pet's head, causing injury or worse, death.
    • When taking a break, it is a good idea to let the dog out and let it stretch. Just make sure that your dog is on a leash so it won't suddenly run away in an unknown environment.
    • Always bring fresh water for you and your pet. It isn't convenient to stop now and then just to buy water because your pet will get very dehydrated.
    • When feeding your pet, feed it small amounts of food. Don't allow it to overeat, or it will get carsick, seasick, etc. Feed it after you reach your destination.
    • Do not leave your dog in your car. During the summer the car can become a pressure cooker within just a measly 20 minutes and cause your pet get dehydrated. During the winter, your pet can freeze to death if left for more than 15 minutes.
    • Prepare a first aid kit for you and your dog when venturing on a trip. This should contain medicinal items such as an antiseptic cream, tweezers, assorted bandages, tape, eye drops and many more. Memorize your vet's number or any local number nearby.
    • One of the most basic tips is to put a collar on your dog at all times. This will help you locate the dog if it runs away or is suddenly missing. Make sure to include your house and phone number on the tag.

    Traveling with your dog is never easy and can be very dangerous if not done properly. It can also result in too much hassle during travel rather than a fun memory if not prepared. So, before going out and travelling, make sure to remember the tips and guidelines discussed above.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


    Article Info

    Categories : Dogs | Travel & Leisure

    Recent edits by: Jen M, Eng, Robbi

    Share this Article:

    Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,364 times.


    Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

    Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No