Your best friend -no, not the guy you were friends with in high school who has been there for you every step of the way throughout your life- your furry best friend, can add so much excitement and joy to your life that wouldn’t it be great if you could travel with your dog?
Traveling with a pet can be complicated. A lot of hotels don’t allow pets and if you’re renting a house, you could run into some trouble that way, too. A lot of people are more amenable to small dogs or cats because they don’t have a reputation for being as destructive as a larger dog, such as a mastiff, German shepherd, or even a lab.
Here are six tips you should know about traveling with your beloved dog.
Tip #1: Call ahead to the airline.
You’re certainly going to need to have your dog in a crate in order to fly with it, but the specific airline you choose may have certain requirements on the size limitations of those crates. The airline may demand the crate not exceed a certain size for the particular breed you have.
Tip #2: Keep the crate free of potential harm.
If you have leashes or loose collars inside the crate, this could become a choking hazard. If the leash gets wrapped around the dog’s neck, and it gets caught at something, that little animal can panic and choke himself.
Tip #3: Stay positive when luring the dog into the crate.
The dog may very well see the crate as bad news, especially if that’s what he goes in when heading to the vet. You want to try and create a positive atmosphere when trying to corral the animal into the crate.
Tip #4: Keep your dog in a crate when riding in the car.
Maybe you take your dog for rides frequently and he holds his head out the window to feel the fresh air blowing over him. That may be fine, but if you’re traveling to the airport, a train depot, or somewhere else where you will have to transfer by crate, it can cause more trouble than it’s worth. A good piece of advice is to just keep the dog in the crate from the time you leave the house until you reach your destination.
Tip #5: Should you medicate?
Some dogs will become extremely anxious and agitated when traveling in a crate. There are certain pharmaceuticals that can help sedate and calm the animal for the duration of the trip. It’s usually best to avoid this unless the animal is extremely upset and can’t calm down after you’ve walked away.
Usually, most dogs will calm down, lay down, and wait it out, even if they are not happy or slightly nervous, when they no longer see their human counterpart.
Tip #6: Know where to walk your dog at your destination.
As long as you choose a pet friendly hotel or other accommodation, you should be fine in that regard. You want to make sure you know the leash laws, clean up after your dog when you take him for a walk, and find out where the best places to go for walks happen to be.
There may very well be a dog park close to where you’re staying and that can be a great way for your dog to get exercise and feel that it was well worth being crated for the duration of the travel.
Written by G. T. Hedlund.