Dog Travel tips Advice

Get advice on taking your dog on trips and making a dog travel kit

See also dog trick games and training walking dog on leash

travel with my dogIt stands to reason that from time to time you'll need to go on a trip away from your home. 

And instead of boarding your dog or leaving him at your house with a friend, you will bring him with you. 

Before you traveling with a dog, you should be prepared to do a few things that will make the process easier and less stressful for your pet. 

If you do it thoughtfully, you can have a fun time traveling with your dog and he'll adjust to a different place like a seasoned road warrior.  Read on to find the top dog travel tips advice.

Make a Dog Travel Kit

Your dog needs a bag for travel just like you do. To make a dog travel kit, pack a bag with everything you dog would need for a day at home: dog food, water, a pet bed or blanket, food and water bowls, treats, a rawhide or other bone, a can opener (for canned dog food), dog pick up bags, any medications your dog takes, a dog brush (if your dog sheds a lot) and two of his favorite toys. Youíll also want to pack a towel into the dog travel kit for drying your dog in case he gets wet and a roll of paper towels in case of any accidents. It is also an excellent idea to make sure your dog has taken his heartworm preventative and is on flea/tick prevention before you go on your trip, but of course you can pack these items into the dog kit too.

Find a Pet Friendly Place

When you first begin making your travel arrangements, make sure to book your lodging at pet friendly hotels. Many hotels are pet friendly nowadays, even some of the more upscale brands like Sheraton or Westin for example. All La Quinta motels allow dogs - this in one our favorite places to stay. Check your hotelís pet policy online and call to confirm. Many hotels say they allow pets on their website, but when you call, they may tell you that they only allow pets of a certain size. Make arrangements before you go or just plan on staying in a universally pet friendly hotel chain.

Making a Home Away from Home traveling with dog

Once you reach your destination, unpack your dogís bags and make him feel at home. Being in a strange place is very stressful for your pet, but taking out some of his things from home will make him feel instantly more comfortable.

Unpack his toys and food bowls and place his blanket or bed where it will stay for the duration of your trip. Take some time to brush your dog or play with your dog. Making your hotel feel like a home away from home will help your dog adjust to his new surroundings and make him feel more at ease.

Don't do Fast Food

dog travel dietSince most people are in a rush to eat on the road, fast food is the cuisine of choice on many car trips. Doing the drive through is also particularly convenient because you probably donít want to leave your dog in the car. But just because you are eating fast food, donít fall into the bad habit of feeding your dog food from your plate, or bag in this case.

Fast food is extremely greasy and if you feed it to your dog, he will probably get an upset stomach, gas and he may even have diarrhea. Your dog will already be a stressed under the situation and adding new things to his diet wonít help. So, unless you want to smell something foul from the backseat, keep those French fries to yourself.

Make Some Pit Stops

When your dog is riding in the car for long distances, take frequent breaks so your dog can stretch his legs and use the bathroom if needed. Because traveling with a dog breaks up his normal routine, his bathroom routine might also become altered. Remember that if your dog doesnít get a bathroom break when he needs one, he may have an accident in the car. Try to be sensitive to your dogís needs and stop about every two hours for a pit stop.

Establish a Feeding Schedule

Routine and regularity are important to your dog. When youíre on the road together, make sure you feed your dog at the same times you would if you were at home. Itís easy to slip out of routine when youíre on vacation, but for your dogís sake, keep his feeding time similar to what he does at home. Having some regularity in his schedule will help him adapt to the other changes he will encounter while youíre traveling.

Make the Car Comfy 

Since you and your dog will be in the car for a while, make sure that the car is comfortable for your dog to ride in. Put a blanket or a pillow in the backseat so your dog can bed down when he wants to. Also, if your dog has a favorite toy, put that in the back with his as well. It is also very important to keep a few bottles of water in your car specifically for your dog. Offer your dog water at every stop you make along your journey.

To Plane or Not to Plane

If you are planning to take a plane ride as part of your trip, we strongly recommend that you leave your dog at home. Plane rides can be extremely stressful for dogs and if your dog is too large to be kept with you in the general seating area, he could get injured or die in the cargo hold underneath the plane. If you are going away for a few weeks, just board your dog or hire a pet sitter at home. No matter how much you may want your pet to be with you, itís not worth putting his health at risk.

Marking Territory 

As soon as you enter your hotel room or wherever youíre staying, your dog will begin to make it his home and therefore, his territory. Many dogs that are good watchdogs at home make bad neighbors in hotel rooms because they naturally bark when they hear unfamiliar sounds and see strangers out of the window. If your dog acts as a watchdog at home, be sure to get a room in a quiet area of the hotel and take care to close all blinds or curtains that view the outside.

Many dogs also feel itís necessary to ďmarkĒ their territory upon entering a new place. This behavior is especially embarrassing if youíre staying with family or friends. Give your dog plenty of time outside before you bring him inside so he can relieve himself. No matter what else youíre doing, keep a close eye on your dog during your stay to make sure he doesnít mark.

Keep a Positive Attitude and Have a Good Trip

When you begin your trip, get excited and keep a good attitude throughout your vacation. Remember that your dog takes his cues from you. If youíre stressed about being in traffic or driving through heavy rain, your dog will pick up on those negative emotions. Enjoy your trip away from home and most likely, your pooch will too!