How to Travel with a Dog (5 Steps)

Summer is family vacation season. And if you’re like us, “family” includes your dog.

Before you head out, make sure you’ve planned a trip that’s as much fun for your dog as it is for you. The following five tips for traveling with your dog are a good place to start.

Dog traveling in a car

1. Follow the rules of the road (or sky)

Traveling by plane? You’ll need an approved pet carrier. If your pup isn’t used to the carrier, spend time introducing it to him so he’s comfortable being contained before the trip.

You’ll also want to acquire proper health certificates and documentation. Depending on what you need, this process can take several weeks. So, start working with your veterinarian early to ensure all necessary exams and paperwork are completed in advance of your departure date.

Finally, if you’re staying in a hotel, confirm that dogs are welcome before booking.

2. Pack pup essentials

Before you start packing, jot down a list of supplies your dog will need during your journey so you don’t forget any critical items. This could include food, toys, leashes, poop bags, medication and a water bowl.

It’s also wise to bring along a pet first-aid kit and a copy of your pup’s medical records.

3. Keep your canine comfy

Your dog likes the comforts of home as much as you do. To reduce any stress caused by staying in unfamiliar accommodations, consider bringing your pup’s bedding or other favorite items.

If you’re taking a road trip, it may help to create a comfortable spot in the car where your dog can lie down and relax during the long drive. Pet carriers or harnesses can help keep your dog safe while in the car, as well.

4. Strategize your stops

Not all places are pet-friendly. Researching restaurants, parks and other destinations along your route ahead of time can help you plan successful stops.

Remember, it’s not safe to leave your dog in the car on hot summer days, so whenever you stop, be sure to let your pet out for a short stretch and potty break, too.

5. Always be prepared

No one wants to think about an emergency while on vacation. But it’s best to be ready—just in case. One way you can do this is by identifying a local veterinarian or pet emergency clinic at your destination. This will save you time (and stress) in the unlikely event that you need to make an unexpected trip to the vet.

Thinking through the details of travel ahead of time will allow you and your furry friend to focus on having fun during your summer vacations!

Dog riding in a car

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The mission of WISDOM HEALTH™ veterinary science and research is to facilitate responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship between pets, pet owners, breeders, shelters and veterinarians through valuable insights into pets as individuals. Through the genetic testing of dogs and cats we aim to make advances in science towards a better world for all pets so their owners can love them longer.

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