f you ever need to travel with your dog, it is important to be prepared and know how to do it safely. If you have decided to spend the holidays with your pet, then it is good to plan everything well in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises during the journey or at your final destination. Also, if you are moving, BRING YOUR DOG WITH YOU Do not send your dog to a dog pound. Why not you say? Read my post about dog pounds.
What method of transportation will you use?
Depending on your mode of transportation, you should be aware of certain guidelines that you might encounter. If you are planning to go by plane, bus, boat, or train, then I suggest that you read the rules for transporting animals on the means of transport that you choose. Depending on the airline or transportation company there may be many laws that impose many constraints, limitations, or restrictions on your travel. This might make it more difficult than you think.
Dog travel by car
Depending on the state that you live in, there might be different rules and laws for transporting animals. In the case of a dog, in general, you can have your dog with you in your car without too many problems. Besides the obvious documentation that should be provided already on his collar tags, it might be a good idea to have his vet records too on hand, just in case. This is very helpful in case something happens on the trip and you need to make an emergency visit to the local vet. They (the vets) will appreciate the paperwork and documentation! Here are some general guidelines for traveling with your dog by car:
• For safety reasons, your dog should remain in a separate space away from the driver so that the driver will not be distracted while driving, nor will the dog be able to climb into the driver seat. That being said, NEVER put your dog in the trunk of your car!
• Relating to the first point, for the safety of you and your dog, it is recommended that the dog be placed in a travel kennel. This is so the dog does not hurt himself and he is less of a distraction for the driver as well. As this may be a problem for people with little space in their car or if their dog is too large to be put in a kennel in a car. If you do not want to use/can’t use the kennel, then I recommend using either of the options below.
–For larger dogs, I recommend the dog hammock. This is the one I use for when I travel with both my dogs. It prevents the dogs from falling off the seat if you stop quickly and it also protects your seats from dog hair. It is extremely easy to use and is easy to clean. (Which saves me time, because if I didn’t have this, then it would take a lot longer to clean my car seats!)
–For smaller dogs, I recommend the safety harness. I would recommend this for dogs weighing 10-25 pounds.
• Your dog must always be protected from the sun and have a sufficient exchange of air.
• Never leave your dog in your car without you. This is for several reasons.
#1: Even if you roll the window down a little bit, on a hot summer day, that car will heat up quicker than you think. Your dog can die from sitting in that heat! The same goes for winter. The cold wintertime temperatures can kill your dog!
#2: Some people are just crazy. Some people might steal your dog. Don’t believe me? Are you willing to take the risk?
• Yes, dogs love to stick their heads out the window and have their tongue flailing about in the breeze. However, this can be harmful to his health. Not to mention, if the window is open wide enough for them to jump out, they just might if they see something furry and fun to chase.
• Don’t forget that during long journeys, it is necessary to make periodic stops to allow your dog to go potty and drink some fresh water. (Which, you should always bring his water bowl with you, so that if you stop somewhere, you can put the water in his bowl. This saves you the awkwardness of having to use a water bottle to keep him hydrated.