Many dog owners love bringing their dog along when they take short trips. Whether you are taking a quick trip to the grocery store or a fun outing to the dog park, it’s easy to bring your dog along. As long as the car windows are opened, dogs usually love accompanying their owners.
However, what happens when you want to take a trip around the world with your dog? Traveling long distance with an animal can get complicated. Whether you are driving across the country, flying to see the seven wonders, or going boating, it takes a lot of preparation to bring your dog along.
While traveling long-distance with your dog won’t be as easy as taking him to the dog park, it’s not impossible. Keep in mind you don’t want your dog to disrupt another traveler’s experience either. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make traveling less stressful for you, your dog, and the people around you.
Traveling By Boat
Depending on what type of boat you are traveling on and where you are traveling to, bringing your dog will either be really easy or really difficult. For example, most cruise ships only allow service animals on board. The few cruise ships that do allow dogs, require them to be kenneled on the ship, where there are scheduled visiting hours and the crew takes care of the dogs.
Traveling on your own boat is the only way to have complete control over your dog. However, if you’re traveling to other countries, or even other states, traveling with a pet gets more complicated. For example, some countries won’t allow you to dock if you have a dog on board. They will only allow you to refuel before sending you on your way.
Unfortunately, it would take too much time to cover every country’s regulations regarding dogs and boats. However, contacting vets in the area you are traveling to is an excellent way to find out what paperwork and vaccinations your dog needs to have before entering the country.
However, no matter where you are going there are ways to make traveling by boat safer for you dog:
- · Invest in a life jacket. Even if your dog is a great swimmer, a life jacket could save his life if he goes overboard. Also have an overboard plan that everyone on the ship will follow.
- · Bring a first-aid kit specifically for your dog. Put pet supplies, such as antibiotic cream or your dog’s medication, in it. Be prepared for all possibilities, as you won’t have immediate access to a vet if he gets hurt.
- · Purchase a binocular harness for yourself. You’re going to be busy sailing the boat and making sure your dog doesn’t go overboard. Therefore, choosing a binocular harness will allow you to keep binoculars close at all time. This way you won’t miss seeing spectacular sights from your boat.
Traveling By Plane
The key to traveling by plane is staying organized. While it’s the easiest way to bring your dog to another country, it requires a lot of paperwork. Both the airlines and the country you will be traveling to will have rules that you need to be aware of.
- · Call the airline company ahead of time. Find out what type of paperwork you need to have for your dog. Ask if your dog can travel on the seat next to you or if he will have to be stored with cargo. Be aware of any fees you may be charged.
- · Visit the vet. Airlines in most countries will require health certifications and vaccination records. Your vet should supply you with a dog passport and identification tags. Consider micro-chipping you dog even if it isn’t a requirement.
- · Do not tranquilize your dog, unless your vet tells you otherwise. Sedatives can cause respiratory or cardiovascular issues when your dog is exposed to different altitude pressures. They also make it harder for you dog to adapt to his surroundings. If your vet does recommend sedating your dog, make sure the drug name and the dosage amount is attached on the carrier.
- · Feed your dog a few hours before the flight. Play with him and take him to bathroom right before checking in. A full stomach or bladder will make flying uncomfortable for your pet.
- · If your dog will be traveling next to you on the plane, purchase a dog travel bag. This way you can easily carry your dog. It will also make sure your dog doesn’t disturb any other flyers.
Traveling By Car
This is probably the easiest way to travel with your dog. Not only are you able to keep an eye on your dog, but you control when to stop for bathroom breaks and playtime. Plus, your dog will be familiar with your car and the car’s smells.
Even if you travel by car often, here are a few tips to make the next trip more comfortable:
- · Consider purchasing a harness or seatbelt leash. They click directly into the seatbelt buckle, making sure your dog is securely attached in his seat. This can help prevent injuries and keep you from getting distracted.
- · Plan your route ahead of time. Be aware of areas with construction and heavy traffic. Stop for a bathroom break before you drive into these areas.
- · Bring toys, snacks, water, and ice cubes. Toys and snacks will keep your dog entertained during the long drive. Ice cubes can help prevent car or motion sickness. They are also a fantastic way to keep your dog hydrated in between stops.
- · Research dog-friendly restaurants and hotels. Don’t take a road trip and force your dog to stay in the car while you enjoy tasty food and a comfortable bed.
Traveling with your pet can be overwhelming. You have to research what type of vaccinations to give your dog and what countries will even let you travel with a dog. There’s a lot of preparation and work to be done before traveling with your furry friend.
However, these tips and tricks should make it easier for you to prepare. Not only will being prepared make you feel better, but it will allow your dog to enjoy the trip as well. Find out more and enjoy your time bonding with your furry member!