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How to Travel With Your Dog

Posted on Aug 22nd 2022


How to Travel With Your Dog

Taking a trip with your dog sounds like a dream come true, but actually getting to your destination of choice can be tricky. Here’s everything you need to know about the different ways to travel with your dog. For advice on choosing a destination and general travel tips, check out our blog on How to Plan a Trip With Your Dog.

Getting There

Maybe you found the perfect dog–friendly place to vacation with your dog, with plenty of pet–friendly spaces, activities and even a place to stay. But the destination is only part of your trip. Getting there is a whole other story — and depending on where you go and on the size and even breed of your dog, you might need to rethink your travel plans.

You may have a few different options to choose from when traveling domestically, but traveling internationally likely includes flying. Flying isn’t a great option for every dog. Here’s a breakdown of the different modes of travel for you and your dog, as well as tips on how to take care of them during travel.

By Car

Driving with your dog as co–pilot is definitely the easiest way to travel with your dog, especially if your dog loves car rides! If your dog doesn’t love being in the car, get them used to it by sitting in the car for short periods of time without going anywhere. Then, start taking short rides with them. If your dog is crate trained, consider taking their crate with you.

Some other tips for making your dog comfortable in your car while road tripping:

  • Make sure they have access to fresh water
  • Travel on an empty stomach to avoid carsickness
  • Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed car
  • Pack favorite toys. Durable toys your dog can chew on for a while are great!
  • Stop frequently for potty and exercise breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog
This cute pup on a bus happily stands by their owner thanks to training at Dog Training Elite in Orlando.

By Bus or Train

Unfortunately, traveling by bus or train is rarely an option for dogs. While your own local rail and bus companies may have policies that allow dogs, most interstate bus companies such as Greyhound do not allow non–service dogs on their buses. Amtrak trains do permit dogs, but only if they are under 20 pounds. If your dog does fit the criteria for traveling by bus or rail, many of the same tips from traveling by car apply.

By Plane

If your dog is small enough to fit in a carrier which can fit under the seat in front of you, they can fly in the cabin with you. If your dog is larger, they dog will have to travel in the cargo hold with luggage. However, flying in the cargo hold may not even be an option for your dog depending on their breed—pugs, for example, are not allowed to fly in the cargo hold because their flat faces can affect their breathing. Most bully breeds are forbidden from flying at all. Check with your local airlines, but if your dog’s breed bars them from flying at all, pick a closer vacation spot.

If you do fly with your dog in the cargo hold, know there are many potential risks to consider. Federal regulations prohibit animals from flying if they will be exposed to extreme cold or heat for more than four hours during departure, arrival or while making connections. You can try to mitigate extreme weather by booking your flight accordingly—if you’re flying to a cooler climate try to fly in the middle of the day, or if you’re traveling somewhere warm book a flight early morning or late at night. Check the weather forecast for your departure as well as your destination, and look for non–stop flights with no transfers.

Familiarize your dog with the crate or carrier they’ll be flying in, and consult with your vet about food, water and medication. Your vet may suggest giving your dog some sort of tranquilizer before flying. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork, such as vaccination records or other health certifications the airline requires for your pet. If your pet will be flying in the cargo hold, attach a photo of your dog to the carrier as well as a small bag of food or treats in case of delays. Finally, research the terminals you’ll be flying out of or into so as soon as you’re reunited with your pup, you know where to take them for a potty break.

This pup is happy to behave at the airport, especially thanks to training from Dog Training Elite in Orlando.

Train Your Dog

The best way to keep your dog safe when traveling is to train them. The trainers of {frann_brand_name} can assist with obedience training, crate training and more. Our proven positive reinforcement method works for puppies, senior dogs and everything in between. Schedule a free training demo to see what we can do for you and your dog to help you have the trip of your dreams with your four–legged best friend!