Dog Care

How to Prepare Your Dog for a Family Trip?

Dogs are important family members, and it’s normal that we’d want to take our loved furry friends along for a holiday. Vacationing with a dog can be great fun, and so much nicer than leaving them behind, but it can also bring lots of stress if you don’t prepare carefully.

There are more and more pet-friendly options for travelers, but if taking your dog on a trip, make sure you prepare for any possible scenario on the road and make your vacation smooth and enjoyable.

Is Your Dog Ready to Travel?

One of the first things you must determine is whether your dog is ready for the trip. You wouldn’t want to bring your dog along if that would be a bad experience for it. To get to know the signs and understand how traveling can affect your dog in particular, talk with your vet and get professional advice.

The vet will also examine your dog’s health and confirm if it’s in good mental and physical condition for an extended trip. Besides that, you should learn how to provide balanced and healthy nutrition for your dog during the trip and be ready for an upset stomach emergency. Search for best probiotic Australia, and spare your dog the risk of these troubles.

Choose the Right Location

When traveling with a dog, do thorough research on dog-friendly locations and accommodations. Look for places with parks or beaches where your dog could run freely and get enough exercise during your stay, as well as accommodation that is welcoming to dogs and won’t bring you troubles and extra costs or fees.

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Taking Dog On A Trip

Besides the location, it’s important to choose the best route for your dog, too. Think about what is the most comfortable way for your dog to travel. There are a few ways to transport your dog, and whichever you choose, plan it carefully to meet your dog’s specific needs and make it as comfy as possible. 

Health and Safety First

After a veterinary checkup and the approval that your dog can travel, make sure to prepare for any emergency on the way. Check the emergency hospital numbers in the area you are traveling to, as well as the emergency contact for your regular vet. If anything unpredicted happens, you may need medical advice at hand.

Check if all vaccination shots your dog had are up-to-date and take its medical documentation with you. If your dog requires a special diet or medication, make sure you pack enough of it for the road, and don’t leave your pet’s condition to chance.

When it comes to safe traveling in cars, you should consider getting a crate for your dog, while for planes they are mandatory. A crate will keep your dog safe while on the road, and out of trouble when arriving at a new environment or a hotel.

When choosing the right crate for your dog, look for the one that:

  • is big enough for your pup to stand, sit, lie, and turn around
  • has a bottom covered with absorbent material
  • has good ventilation and airflow
  • has strong handles and grips

After you’ve found the right one, prepare your dog’s spot by making it as cozy as it can be. Stuff it with the dog’s blankets, its favorite toys, and a bottle of water. Finally, if you’re traveling by plane, don’t forget the label with your name and contact on it.

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By Plane

Airline companies usually have many requirements for traveling with pets. Check all the details before you bring your dog to the airport, like if you need to provide a health certificate for your pet, and get a crate.

Small dogs are sometimes allowed to travel in the cabin, but most commonly, pets are placed in the cargo area. Flying can be stressful even for humans, so some dogs may not take it well. Observe your dog carefully and understand how this experience will affect them.

By Car

Family road trips are the best and the most memorable holidays, and very convenient to bring your dog along. If you are planning this kind of family adventure, start getting your dog used to driving in a car by making short day trips before you take off for the long one.

Some dogs love driving in cars, while some can get upset, anxious, or even carsick. If your dog is one of those, make sure it travels with an empty stomach, or try Petz Park probiotics to prevent upset stomach issues for your pup when traveling.

When traveling by car, it’s important to make frequent toilet breaks every hour or two, depending on your dog’s needs. Otherwise, keep the windows always slightly open but don’t let the dog ride with its head out, as you risk eye injuries.

Long rides can sometimes get boring and annoying, so be well-prepared when traveling with children, and don’t let them tease the dog. Common breaks are good for refreshing everyone’s mood, and a smooth ride.

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Never Leave the Dog Unattended

Remember that your dog is probably the most sensitive member of your group when traveling and that you should take good care of it every step of the way. Whatever place you are visiting, would be completely new for your pet, which can scare, upset, or excite them that much to run off or react in a way you wouldn’t expect, so don’t leave them unattended. When on the road, you must never leave the dog alone in the car. Even if the weather doesn’t seem to be very hot, cars can become heat traps and expose your dog to serious risks like heat stroke or dehydration

Martha Jacobson

Associate veterinarian with 7+ years of experience. Specialist in companion animal emergency and critical care. Seeking to leverage my skills to contribute to high quality animal medical care because of my commitment to animal welfare and support, I aim to reduce animal suffering, strengthen the bond between people and their pets, and make the world a better place.

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