Traveling Safely With Your Dog

Traveling with your dog can be fun for the both of you. There are several steps you should follow to also ensure that it is safe.

Before you start the trip, visit your vet to make sure your pets' vaccinations are up to date. You might also consider having your pet microchipped. This will aid in their identification should they become lost.

Make sure your dog has a collar with identification and rabies tags on at all times on your trip. You should also carry a study lead. The I.D. tags should have your home phone number on them and you should have an answering machine set up to answer. This leaves you a way to check in at home, should your dog be separated from you.

Take along your pet's favorite blanket or bed. This allows your pet to know where they are to sleep in unfamiliar territory.

Don't forget to pack the food that your dog eats at home. Food that is familiar with your dog will provide them with a sense of security.

Your dog may be prone to traveler's diarrhea, so always give your dog filtered or bottled water. An alternative could be to carry water from home for them.

Dogs are prone to overheating, so NEVER leave your dog alone in a parked car. Temperatures on even a mild day can quickly climb to over 120 degrees in just a few minutes inside a parked car. Heat stroke can kill your dog!

Check online or call ahead to see if you dog is allowed in the hotel. Some welcome pets, but most do not.

Always pack a first aid kit for your dog. It should include:

  • Bandages - assorted sizes
  • An antiseptic cream
  • An antidiarrheal medication (check with your vet to find one safe for your dog).
  • The phone number of your vet
  • The phone numbers of vets along the way (the internet is probably the best way to find this information).
  • The phone number of an emergency vet (24 hour) at your destination
  • The phone number of the national poison control
  • A small jar of peanut butter (I use this to help the pills go down)

Be sure to carry a recent picture of your dog. This will help in finding your dog if they get lost.

Your dog will need exercise. Be sure to walk your dog at least every two hours. (This has the added benefit of reducing the risk of blood clots to you.)

Never allow your dog to ride the car with their head outside of the window. Things could fly into their eyes or ears. And it may cause inner ear damage or lung infection.

Be a responsible dog owner and always clean up their poop. Carry plastic bags with you on your walk. Nobody likes to step in their poop.