Traveling with your pet can be enjoyable if you are prepared and know what to expect.

If you follow these simple guidelines traveling with your pet will be a in a car

Visit your local vet

The first thing you should do is have your pet checked by your vet. They will check your pet over and make sure your pet is in good health, along with being current on all of their shots, so they can travel. They can also give any medication that you may need for your pet while traveling.

Plan ahead

Before traveling with your pet you need to make sure that anywhere you plan to take your pet allows animals. Some hotels charge an extra fee in order to have a pet in your room, while others don’t allow pets at all. If you are flying, you will need to check with your airline to see what their rules and regulations are for traveling with pets. You may need to have a health certificate that you can get from your vet. All airlines and border crossings will want this. Air travel is not for all pets. The Humane Society recommends not flying with your pet unless it’s necessary. If you must fly with your pet, make sure that you get direct flights, and try not to fly during the summer or busy travel times.

Practice Practice Practice

If your pet has never traveled before you should take some short practice drives with them to see how they will react. Some pets will do just fine, while others may have anxiety, or even get car sick. In this case it may be best utilize a pet sitting service, like Waggy Tails, that can keep your pet while you are away.  Your vet can also prescribe some medication that will help with these symptoms as well.

Packing your bags

When preparing to take your pet on a trip there are things that you don’t want to forget. You will want your dog to have collar with tags that have your current info on them, in case your dog gets lost while you are away from home.  Also you will want to pack their leash, plenty of food, food and water bowls, treats, food dishes, favorite toy, and their bed or blanket. If your pet is use to being in a crate, don’t forget this as well.

Time to hit the road

When it is time to finally get going on your trip make sure that you don’t feed your dog too big of a meal or give too much water for a few hours before you leave. You will also want to plan, and map out some pit stops so that your furry friend can get out and stretch their legs, have a small snack, get a drink, and go to the bathroom. They will be much more comfortable if they have breaks where they can get out and run around a bit. Every 2-3 hours is a good guideline to follow.

Dog taking a potty breakSafety First

We all have seen a car with a dog hanging their head out, with their ears and tongue flapping in the wind. This however is not a very safe thing to do. Doing this can cause ear damage and lung infections. When traveling with your pet the best and safest thing is for them to be in their crate that is securely attached to the seat belt, or in a special harness that is attached to the seat belt. A dog roaming around in a moving car can be the cause of an accident. Also, no matter what time of year, it is never OK to leave your dog in the car alone while you are taking a break. Even though you may not think it is that hot outside, the inside of a car is much warmer.

By following these few suggestions you are sure to have a great trip with man’s best friend by your side.

photo credit: Traveling companion via photopin (license)
photo credit: Dog on Grey via photopin (license)