Travel with Your Dog: An Apartment Dweller’s Guide to Pet Travel

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Travel with Your Dog: An Apartment Dweller’s Guide to Pet Travel

Staff Writer · Oct 11, 2010

When it comes to pet travel, vacationing with your dog can be a rewarding experience, but actual travel with a dog can be tough. Just make sure you’re well-prepared so you can better enjoy the time you spend with your pet. Before making reservations or packing your bags though, have your pet checked by the vet to make certain he’s healthy and ensure that his shots are up-to-date. Once you’ve determined he can travel, use the following information as a guide for your vacation planning.

Locate the Dog-friendly Recreational Spots and Hotels

Depending on the area of the country where you’ll be traveling, there are a number of dog-friendly recreational spots and hotels where you and your dog will both be welcome. If you want to go hiking with your dog, for instance, you can find out the requirements for hiking with your dog at the various recreational spots by checking online. Just do a Google search for things like “dog-friendly” parks or beaches to obtain their rules with respect to pets. You can also check with a travel agent to find out which recreational areas or hotels cater to dogs. Make sure your pet meets with the weight requirements set by some hotels and that they can accommodate him prior to reserving a room.

If You’re Flying, Notify the Airline that You’re Traveling with a Pet

Before you fly, you’ll need to inform the airline that you’ll be traveling with a dog. You’ll also want to make sure that the dog carrier you plan to use meets with airline rules and regulations. Check to make sure you have the pertinent documents and certificates as well. As your dog will be traveling in the cargo area of the plane, it may be best to book a flight that is non-stop. Travel at cooler times of the day in the summer and plan on flying during the warmer hours of the day in the winter.

Don’t Feed Your Dog Before You Leave to Go on Your Trip

Whether you’re traveling by plane or car, don’t feed your dog right before you leave. Give him his food about 3 to 4 hours before you decide to embark on your journey and walk him about an hour beforehand.

Make Sure You Have All of Your Pet’s Things Packed

Make it easy to access your pet’s things by packing them all in one piece of luggage. Include such items as:

  • pet food
  • treats
  • toys
  • pet brush
  • shampoo
  • water dish
  • bottles of water
  • name tag
  • collar
  • leash

If you’re traveling by car, you should install a pet safety restraint.

Take Rest Breaks Every One or Two Hours When You’re on the Road

Give your pet a chance to stretch and exercise by taking 15-minute rest breaks every one or two hours when traveling by car. Don’t leave your dog in the car alone as the heat, even with the window partially down, can make him ill or give him heat stroke. Make sure you leash him when he’s not in the car to maintain better control of him around strangers. This also includes the times you check into your hotel.

Keep the above information in mind as you plan your trip. By doing so, you’ll benefit more from having traveled with your pet.

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