When you’re planning your next family trip, everyone is likely to be thrilled and will have more fun if you take the family dog along. Whether you are planning to travel by car, plane, train, or ship, in hot or cold weather – traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be difficult for you or your canine pal if you follow these simple pet travel tips:
1. Are you traveling outside of your home state or to another country? Make sure that you obtain an up-to-date canine travel document from the places you plan to visit. Most states and foreign countries require a health certificate from your vet including a statement that your dog has had his rabies shot. If you are going out of the country, you will also need these papers from a vet to get him back into a United States. And find out early about quarantine rules.
2. Advanced training in car etiquette will keep your dog safer, which means more pleasant traveling experiences for you and the other passengers on any car trip you take. It’s best to start him out on short drives, if possible, when he is still a puppy. Hold him on your lap or on the seat beside you to give him confidence. Right from the start, do not permit leaping in the car or any chance of jostling the driver. Helping your dog get accustomed to the sensation of motion in short stages will help greatly in preventing car sickness.
3. Your dog should have on his collar, a license tag, and identification plate which gives his full name, address, and contact number of a trusted person in case your pet is lost. However, you should take precautions against his straying and keep him on a leash in strange areas. Never let him run loose without supervision, regardless of how well-behaved and well-trained he is. Do not leave him alone in a hotel or motel room – it is easy for a room attendant to open a door and accidentally let your dog out.
4. Your dog will feel more at home, while in strange places, if you take along some familiar items like his favorite toy, his own grooming supplies, and feeding bowl. A small kit or suitcase for carrying these supplies is a great idea. A large plastic container is useful for carrying drinking water. He will also appreciate his own dog bed or blanket when you stay in a motel or hotel (and you can bet the proprietor will be grateful too).
5. Feeding while traveling doesn’t have to be a problem these days. Purchase soft-moist dog food, which is ideal for the traveling dog, since these foods do not require refrigeration and are easy to take along and serve. With his favorite food along, it will be easier for your dog to become used to the routine of traveling.