Tips On Traveling With Your Dog

While dogs are said to be a man’s best friend, traveling with them is not always easy. With some careful planning, however, traveling with your pet can lead to an enriching holiday for all. Save yourself some time and stress with these valuable travel tips:

1) Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper Identification
Heaven forbid that your pet should get away while you’re in transit! In the event of this occurring, however, it will be easier for authorities to identify your dog if his/ her collar has the appropriate ID tags with his/ her name and your contact details. Even better, have your pet microchipped. For extra identification purposes, have a recent photo of your dog in your possession. 

2) Know The Customs Laws 
If you are traveling overseas with your dog, then it is vital to know the customs laws of the country that you are traveling to. Customs laws vary greatly from country to country, with some places (like Australia) requiring a quarantine process of up to several months. You may also be asked to provide proof that your dog has been given, and is current with, their rabies vaccination. If you are traveling with more than one family pet, then check on the limit of pets that you can bring in with you. Other countries may not allow dogs to enter at all. 

3) Be Aware Of Airline & Airport Rules
Certain airlines do not accept animals at all, or during the summer months. The reason for this is that they don’t want to risk carrying pet cargo in high temperatures. Do your research before booking your air fare.

Check the requirements of the airport where you will arrive. Airport officials may need to be notified in advance that you are arriving with an animal.

Find out what sort of animal crates are required by the airline for your pet to travel in. Look for these features when purchasing from your pet supply store:

* Make sure the crate is large enough to allow the dog to stand, turn and lie down.
*Make sure it has strong handles and grips, and free of interior protrusions.
* The crate must have leak-proof bottom covered with an absorbent material.
* Ensure your pet’s crate has ventilation on opposing sides, with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked airflow.
* Your pet’s crate must have a "Live Animal" label, with upright arrows, owner's name, address and phone number.
* Stock your dog’s crate with water and their favorite toy.

4) Have Your Dog’s Health Checked Before Trip 
Take your dog to the vet for a check up before going on your trip. Bring all the appropriate records and health certification for airline travel with you on your trip, including a letter from your vet stating that your dog is in good health.

For the journey, don’t forget to bring a supply of your pet’s regular food, bottled water to drink and some of their favorite treat. Be sure to bring any medication that they may need.

5) Tips For Traveling By Car 
Several hours in a car can be a traumatic experience for your family pet. It pays to prepare your pet, and yourself, for the long journey ahead. If you dog isn’t used to traveling in a car, let him sit in it with you without leaving the driveway first. Then go for shorter rides, gradually lengthening the time. Make sure that you give him/ her a treat afterwards. That way, he/ she will associate a car journey with receiving a treat at the end of it. Here are more tips:

* Letting your dog travel on an empty stomach is a good way to avoid car sickness, although make sure they have plenty of water at all times.
* Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
* Letting your dog stick their head out of an open window while the car is in motion can lead to eye injuries. Similarly, letting your dog ride in the back of an open truck can lead to serious injuries or death.
* Remember to stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog.
* Never leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer.

6) Tips For Traveling By Train, Bus or Boat
Remember that dogs are not permitted on Amtrak trains or on buses operated by Greyhound and other US interstate bus companies. (Service dogs are permitted.) Local rail and bus companies have their own policies.

However, you may fare better on a cruise. The QE2 luxury cruiser, which sails from New York to England/France, provides special lodging and free meals for dogs. To be on the safe side, do check the policies of the cruise line or ship you will be traveling on before making plans to take your dog with you.

7) Book Pet Friendly Accommodation
Find out in advance which hotels or motels allow dogs at your destination and en route. Make sure that you let the hotel, hostel, or apartment management know that you will have your dog with you. Many may have size or breed restrictions. If your dog is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect the other guests, staff and hotel property. Here are more tips:

* Keep your dog as calm and quiet as possible.
* Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place as they may get anxious.
* Ask the management where you should walk your dog. Make sure to pick up after him/ her. 
* Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.

Aching to discover the world but are nervous about being a novice traveler? yearning to spread your wings but don't know how to start your travel planning? Click here for the answers to your questions!