Planning on Traveling With Your Dog – Start Here

Many people do not like the idea of leaving their dog home when they travel on vacation or even to go visit family. But it can be very stressful when traveling with your dog and you may wonder what you need to know to make the trip as smooth and stress-free as possible. As a seasoned dog owner, even I have to make a checklist when traveling with my dogs to make sure I have everything I will need during the trip.

Preparation & Training

Bringing your dog with you when you travel may sound like the perfect getaway, but there are a lot of things you will need to keep in mind when you deciding to bring your four-legged friend along.

No matter what mode of transportation you decide to travel, be sure to carry a small first aid kit with you that is tailored specifically for your dog.

Some of the things to include in your dog’s first aid kit that the ASPCA recommends: (1)
Before heading out on your next great adventure with your dog, you will want to make sure they understand basic obedience commands and have some doggy manners. When staying with friends or relatives, they will expect your dog to be housetrained and have basic manners such as not jumping on people or the counters. There are many places such as PetSmart, PetCo, and even private trainers who will help you with basic obedience training.

Health & Safety

One of the scariest parts of traveling with your dog is worrying what to do if they become sick or injured. Therefore, a major part of preparing to travel with your dog should focus on health and safety.
Schedule a visit with your veterinarian for a health check. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and you have a fresh supply of flea/tick medication and heartworm preventatives. Ask your vet to print out a copy of your dog’s vaccinations and other medications they are currently taking.
Some modes of transportation will require you to get an official state health certificate verifying your dog is healthy. To be on the safe side, you should probably go ahead and get this certificate and keep it with your other important documents for travel.
Make sure your dog’s first aid kit is updated before you head out on your travels. Have a copy of your dog’s vaccinations and medications in the kit for easy reference. Take time to research your destination city and have the emergency contact information ready for a veterinarian near where you will be staying.

If you are driving to your destination, you can use an app such as VetFinderfrom MyPet.com that helps you locate a vet near your location if something happens while on the road.

Fit your dog properly to a collar or harness that they cannot easily slip out of if something spooks them. You may be excited to be traveling with your dog, but they may not be so thrilled in the beginning. Keep them safe by having them fitted for a collar or harness.
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