It’s often said that a dog is a man’s best friend, but how often do you travel with your dog? Some never do, giving the familiar reply that is it’s difficult to move around with a dog. Not if we can help it.
If you’ve always wanted to travel with your canine friend but have little idea how to do it, or what the rules are regarding pet travel, you’ve come to the right page.
Pet Travel in Cars
Choose the right pet crate
Crates offer the safest option when traveling with your dog in a car. Crates made of aluminum and plastic reinforced with fiberglass are the most durable, but whichever crate you choose make sure it’s safety-certified, crash-tested, and has good insulation.
Bring a pet travel kit
Your dog traveling kit should have enough provisions for both short and long trips. Below are items your kit should have:
- Water in a non-spill water carrier and a bowl
- Travel documents such as proof of veterinary certification and proof of rabies shot
- Waste scoop and doggie bags
Turn off your power windows
Dogs are very inquisitive and may accidentally open the car window with their paw. Dogs have been known to jump out of moving vehicles or accidentally choke themselves by accidentally pressing the power window switch. Even if your pet is inside a crate, it’s wise to disable power windows. There may be a time when you forget to secure the latch.
Take breaks often
Don’t push yourself to keep going to cut down travel time. Dogs have different needs. Take a break every two hours to stretch your legs as well as your pet’s.
Pet Travel by Plane
Check with the airline for their rules regarding pet travel
Not all carriers take animals, and rules for flying with them varies. So the first thing you should do is check with the airlines for their rules regarding pet travel.
The size of your pooch is critical when deciding whether you can bring him in-cabin with you. Usually, dogs around 15 pounds or less can fit comfortably in the mandated size of the airline-approved pet carrier.
If your dog isn’t flying with you in the main cabin, don’t have a big goodbye scene. You’ll only upset your dog. If you’re calm, your pooch will be calm.
Find a Suitable Pet Crate
If your pooch isn’t traveling with you in the main cabin, you will need to get an International Air Transportation Association (IATA) approved travel crate for your dog. The travel crate needs to meet certain regulations to ensure the safety of your dog during travel. Your dog needs to be able to stand erect (ears not touching the roof of the crate), sit, turn around and lie down in a natural and comfortable position.
Prepare Your Pooch
Make sure you have enough food, toys and treats to keep your furry friend occupied during the flight. Monitor your dog’s food and water intake. You don’t want your pooch to be dehydrated but you should restrict his water intake somewhat. Make sure you give him one last potty break before you check in (if you’re flying your dog in cargo) or right before you go through security (if your dog is flying in the cabin).