Traveling with your dog

There’s nothing better than time spent exploring new places or visiting loved ones near and far and taking your dog along for the journey, especially if you are properly prepared. With a bit of planning ahead to understand the rules together with a some travel preparation, you and your pet’s next trip will be a breeze.

Road Trips with your dog

Before jumping into a road trip with your dog it’s a good idea to plan ahead so you can keep your pet relaxed and comfortable the whole ride. For starters, if your dog hasn’t been on a long trip, go on a few short practice trips. You’ll want to end these mini drives with a fun outing like the dog park, so your dog builds a positive association with being in the car other than going to the vet. If your dog is still nervous around spending time in the car try some serious exercise just before departure. Then, plan your trip to include plenty of pit stops where your dog can get some exercise, be outside and use the bathroom. A good guideline to follow is taking a break every 2-3 hours.

Keep your dog entertained while you’re on the move by having toys or fun bones to chew during the trip. If your dog is prone to car sickness, consider feeding after the long drive or at least a few hours before getting in the car as traveling on an empty stomach might help them not get sick.

Flying with your dog

There are very specific guidelines for each airline about flying with pets so ensure to take a close look at what your carrier allows and requires. Before flying you might want to confer with your vet that vaccinations are up do date. And take a copy of all vaccinations with you. If your dog is small enough to ride in the cabin, make sure to have some distractions available to help keep your traveling companion relaxed and comfortable.
Before bringing your dog into an airport make sure that they are well trained and can behave properly in busy public settings. It likely won’t be a fun trip for your pet if they are highly anxious and still working on their public behavior, so you might want to spend some time before the trip to reinforce training.

Staying at hotels and property rentals with your dog

Luckily there are many hotels and rentals that allow dogs, sometimes for a small added pet fee. When traveling to hotels make sure your dog is comfortable and not excessively noisy. If your dog might not handle a hotel environment well, consider alternative options like a property rental. In most cases it is not a good idea to leave your dog unattended at a hotel or homestay as many dogs will be prone to excessive barking or damaging property when left alone in a completely unknown environment. When arriving at a rental or hotel room make sure to inspect the room or property for pet safety concerns like loose wires or poorly fenced in areas before letting your dog or puppy run around.

Crates can be useful for traveling with pets

A crate can be an excellent tool to help your dog during travel as it can serve as a safe place in a car or in a hotel room as well as help prevent them from doing damage to anything. When buying a crate for your pet make sure that it is large enough for them to stand and lie down in, has ventilation on both ends and is sturdy and well made. You will want to put a cushion or blankets inside to make it cozy and put toys or bones and water in there as well to keep them entertained and comfortable.

Exploring the National parks with your dog

Dogs are allowed in most National Parks but only in developed areas and each park will have its own special policy so make sure to double check before you go. In general, you can take your dog to parking and picnic areas, on the roads and to campgrounds but there might be restrictions regarding travel to the popular sites in the park or on hiking trails.
The general guidelines are that while in all National Parks your dog must remain on a leash under 6 feet long and can never be left unattended, even in the car.

Hiking with your dog

While some National Parks don’t allow you to travel on trails with your dog there are plenty of other wonderful hikes that are available no matter where you are traveling to. The key to hiking with your furry friend is always planning ahead and preparing! You wouldn’t go on a long hike alone without bringing plenty of food and water and your pet feels the same way so ensure plenty of drinking water and a bowl along with snacks and treats to keep them happy all the way there and back. Depending on when and where you are hiking, carry bear spray and maybe citronella spray as well.

At all times during your hike, you need a charged cell phone in case of emergencies so plan accordingly and bring a backup charger on longer hikes. Plan ahead for possible changes in weather or temperature changes if you are going to be ascending much terrain by packing some warm layers for yourself and your dog’s jacket too.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the professionals

If you are worried that your dog might not behave well while in public traveling, outdoors or wherever your trip takes you, you can always schedule some training sessions with the professional dog trainers at Breakthrough K9 Training. Our premier trainers are here to help you tackle dog training challenges that might be standing in the way of planning a fun trip with the whole family.