Traveling the world with your best friend can be a lot of fun, but what do you do when your best friend is your dog? If you ever tried it, you know that there are challenges. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up and leave your best friend at home! There are ways to make traveling with a dog easier.
We’ve put together some tips to help you get started on planning your world-wide trip with your best friend. As long as you take these tips seriously and do some homework of your own, traveling with your dog is not as impossible as it seems. Instead, you will be able to look forward to having your furry companion by your side no matter where you go.
Research Your Destination
Unfortunately, you can’t decide on a whim to hop onto a plane and expect everything to work out. Other countries have different regulations regarding bringing an animal over the border. If you don’t research ahead of time to find out how to clear your dog at customs, you could end up in trouble.
For example, a dog must be microchipped to enter any country in Europe. Countries, such as China, require dogs to spend 7 to 30 days in quarantine after arrival. All countries will require you to bring a certified health certificate. However, the issue date changes with every country you visit.
Therefore, it is extremely important to research the countries you are planning on taking your dog to. Find out what vaccines your dog needs to have, what certifications you must show, and if your dog can even enter the country. For example, Fiji only allows dogs traveling from Australia, Hawaii, and New Zealand into the country.
Prepare For Air Travel
Preparing your dog for air travel will take more preparation than you might think. For starters, if you own a pug or another dog breed with breathing problems, you won’t be able to travel by air. The size and weight of your dog will also determine if you can have your dog with you on the plane or if your dog must travel as cargo.
Either way, you will need to purchase a travel bag or carrier. Even if your dog is allowed with you on the plane, he or she will still not be allowed out of the travel bag. If you aren’t sure what type of bag you should get, read this article to pick out the best dog travel bag.
When you are looking at flights, try to book flights in the early morning or late evening. It will be better for your dog if you are on a lighter flight. Your dog will feel more comfortable without a lot of people or cargo surrounding him or her.
Book a flight without a layover if possible. Flying directly to your destination will be less stressful for your dog. Some countries may even require you to fly your pet through a professional cargo company.
Finally, call the airline ahead of time. Find out what kind of health certifications need to be presented before boarding. Some airlines require a reservation be made for dogs. It’s also a good idea to find out if they have restrictions about flying with a dog when it is hot or cold out.
Prepare Multiple Forms Of Identification
When traveling to other countries, you will most likely get a pet passport. Your vet should provide this passport when your dog receives the required vaccinations and health check-ups needed to travel abroad. However, always bring along multiple forms of identification of your dog.
If you are traveling to a country that doesn’t require your dog to be microchipped, consider getting him or her microchipped anyways. This way if an airline messes up or your dog gets loose unexpectedly, a veterinarian can look up your contact information.
Make sure your dog’s tags are correctly labeled. Along with a rabies tag, make a tag that has your permanent address and phone number on it. Finally, bring along extra photos of your dog just in case. Treat your dog with the same respect you treat yourself. While you may hope for the best, always e prepared for the worst.
Traveling By Car
Traveling by car is probably the easiest way to get around with a dog. If you are traveling in-country it saves you the trouble of traveling by air. However, if you are traveling out-of-country you will probably need to rent a car, as most countries don’t allow dogs on public transportation.
While traveling by car won’t require special health certifications and vaccinations, if you are traveling in the United States, there are still preparations to make. It may even be a good idea to visit the vet for a health check-up anyway.
Purchase a harness or leash that clicks into the seatbelt buckle before going on a trip. This way your dog won’t roam around the car. Not only will this prevent accidental injuries, but it will prevent your dog from distracting you while driving. Always secure your dog in the backseat.
Plan the route you will be taking ahead of time as well. This way you can avoid heavy traffic areas or at least be prepared for them in advance. Getting stuck in traffic when you haven’t let your dog out to use the bathroom in while could end up in disaster.
Finally, bring chew toys, snacks, water, and ice cubes. Your dog is bound to get bored when he or she is cooped up for hours. Bringing along toys and snacks will help keep your dog entertained, as well as keep his hunger in check. Ice cubes can help prevent motion sickness. If you are worried about them melting, place a towel or blanket underneath your dog.
As a final tip, never leave your dog unattended at all times. Traveling with your dog should be just as enjoyable for him as it is for you. Keep in mind these tips and you’ll both have a great time.
Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com.