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For some dog owners, a vacation isn't considered a family vacation if the dog isn't coming too. Traveling with your dog can be a lot of fun but definitely requires some planning beforehand for a successful trip.

Traveling With Your Dog by Car

Whether you're traveling by car or by air, making sure your dog is safe is critical. Along with making sure your dog has ID with your current contact information in case he or she gets lost, proper containment equipment is a must.

  • If you're driving, this can be a seatbelt restraint for your dog to keep him in place in case there's an accident.
  • An even safer way for your dog to travel by car is inside of a crate. Not only will it keep your dog from getting jostled around, it will also keep him from trying to sit in your lap or get under your feet while you're driving.
  • Using a crate in the car also means once you arrive at your destination you'll have a crate to keep your dog in outside of the car. This can be very handy if you're staying at a hotel or with extended family and need to keep your dog confined and safe for short periods of time.

Traveling With Your Dog by Air

Taking your dog on board an airplane can seem intimidating and every airline has complicated rules to follow regarding the procedures for crating your dog, sizes allowed in cabin and even breed restrictions. Some steps you'll need to follow include:

  • Checking your airline for their specific policies and determining whether your specific dog can travel with you or must go in the cargo area.
  • Discussing with your veterinarian whether your dog is a good candidate for air travel, as a health certificate is required. This means young puppies without all their shots may not be able to fly, as well as brachycephalic breeds such as French Bulldogs and Pugs that can have difficulty breathing on planes.
  • Acclimating your dog to using a crate as they will need to be in it for some time if they're not traveling in the cabin with you. This may include talking to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication to make the trip easier for your dog.

Boarding Your Dog During Travel

Even if you bring your dog along with you, there may be times where you'll need to board him for a few hours while you enjoy a non-dog-friendly activity. For example, many major hotel properties and entertainment facilities are taking advantage of the trend towards dog-friendly vacations. You can actually board your dog at a kennel located in Disneyland, although the Disney hotel properties are not yet dog friendly.

Enjoy Traveling With Your Dog

Anyone who's traveled with their dog can tell you, it isn't always easy, but having your best friend along on vacation is definitely worth the extra preparation and work. Your dog is part of your family and seeing the sights around the country or having a family reunion wouldn't be half as much fun without everyone present, two-legged or four-legged!

Dogs and Travel Guide