Dog sitting beside a big luggage bag

Complete Guide to Traveling with Your Dogs

Traveling with your dog is something that's often looked at as a chore but should be treated as an opportunity. Just because you're bringing Fido along for the ride doesn't mean that you have to leave his comforts behind. A little planning and preparation can go a long way to helping you travel with your dog comfortably! 

The tips and tricks below will help ensure you give your pet a special trip and keep yourself sane.

Create a Routine for Your Dog While Traveling

When it comes to traveling with your dog, the most important thing you can do is keep your pet's routine as consistent as possible. This will help them feel more comfortable and get through the experience quickly. If possible, try to break up the trip into manageable segments by going on short car rides during off-peak times (at night or early in the morning) if feasible.

Also, be sure to set aside some time for either rest stops at gas stations or parking lots so that both you and your dog can stretch their legs or get food and water within each travel segment.

Get a Checkup

Before you head out, make sure your dog is in good health. A checkup is the best way to do this. The vet will examine the dog, conduct blood tests, and advise on vaccinations and parasite control. You should also ensure that your pet has a microchip and that all information associated with it (name, contact details) is up-to-date. 

If your dog has not been vaccinated against common diseases such as distemper or parvovirus recently, get them a booster shot before you leave home.

If you're traveling to countries where rabies is prevalent (as well as certain parts of Central America), talk with your vet about getting vaccinations for rabies. These vaccines usually require multiple injections over time; make sure there's enough time between each shot for all doses to be effective!

Finally: Make sure you have copies of all the relevant health records—including any certificate from the vet confirming that they have seen and examined your pet within six months before the departure date—with you during your travel abroad.

Prepare the Car 

If you are traveling by car, before you go, take a few minutes to clean it and ensure that everything is in working order. If the vehicle has been used for long trips in the past, you may want to consider having it serviced by a mechanic. You should also check the tires and make sure they are correctly inflated.

If you're flying with your pet, they must have plenty of water available during the flight and plenty of time outside on breaks from being inside on the plane so that they can get some exercise after being cooped up for hours at a time. This can help prevent motion sickness or other travel-related health issues from occurring.

Shop Online for Supplies

If you're traveling with your dog and want to ensure they have everything they need, start shopping online before the trip. This way, when it comes time to pack up, all you have to do is grab their stuff and go!

If your dog has special dietary or grooming needs that require special supplies, order them in advance. For example: If your dog gets stressed out by car rides and needs calming medication while on vacation—order a prescription from a vet before leaving home.

If there's any gear that only works for medium-to-large dogs (such as collars), check for options at pet supply stores like Pet Supplies Plus or The Dog Outlet. They also offer various brands in-store, so you can see what works best for your pup before purchasing online.

Pack Properly for Your Dog

It's always a good idea to do your research before planning a trip with your pet. If you plan to stay in hotels or other rented accommodations, check out the place's pet policy before booking anything. Ensure that they accept dogs and whether there is an extra fee for doing so.

If you are staying in a hotel with a pool, be sure that your dog can swim well enough that he won't drown if he accidentally falls into it (although this is rare). Also, make sure that the water is clean and safe for him to swim in! 

If there aren't any pools available at night, go for a walk instead of staying inside all day long: fresh air does wonders for both of you!

Keep all of your dog's supplies together in a travel kit. This includes water, food, and medication. Water should be kept in its leak-proof container, while dry food can be stored in a plastic bag with clearly marked expiration.

Bring Some Comfort Items Along

You might be tempted to bring your dog's bed, but if you do, keep it lightweight and small enough to easily carry it around or store it in your luggage.

Toys are also a must-have for your pup while traveling. Keep them small enough that they won't take up too much space in your suitcase but also big enough to give your dog something to chew on when they need a distraction from the excitement of going on vacation with you.

Bringing food with familiar tastes and smells will help reduce anxiety for pups displaced by travel, mainly if their diet is usually restricted due to allergies or health issues (such as diabetes). Just make sure this food is safe for consumption once you're out of the country!

Bringing bowls isn't necessary unless you're planning on feeding your dog at restaurants or taking them out on walks or hikes during your trip; otherwise, stick with water bottles as needed while making sure there's plenty at home before leaving!

Pay Attention to Signs of Stress in Dogs

When traveling with your dog, you need to recognize the signs of stress in dogs. Dogs will react differently when stressed, but some general signs can indicate your pup is experiencing anxiety or fear.

  • Dogs may start licking their paws and face more than usual.
  • They may chew on objects or their fur.
  • They might go into hiding (under/behind furniture) instead of being comfortable in their usual places around the house or yard.

If you notice any of these behaviours from your dog, take note and try not to take it personally! We say this because your dog's reaction may be due entirely (or partially) to something else that has happened previously, which caused them distress, which led them to hypervigilance where everything seems like a threat, including you! 

If this happens, try talking kindly but firmly at first so as not to be too alarming for them before attempting other strategies such as offering comforting treats like peanut butter or cookies after figuring out what specific things trigger such behaviour while traveling.

Get Up and Move During Long Trips

When traveling for long periods, it's essential to get up and move around at least every couple of hours. Staying seated for too long can cause back pain or stiffness, so it's good to stretch your legs now and then. While you're at it, check on your dog! 

If you've got an older pup or one that isn't used to car rides very often (if ever), stop somewhere safe where you can let them play off-leash. This is especially important if they have any energy issues like separation anxiety or noise sensitivity.

Check that your hotel room is dog-friendly

Make sure your hotel is dog-friendly. It's essential to double-check that the hotel you're staying at is pet friendly, especially if you aren't traveling alone with your dog. Some hotels have restrictions on the number of dogs allowed per room, and others don't allow pets (usually for safety reasons). 

If you have more than one dog, it's good to reserve a suite or two rooms so that each pup can have its own space without infringing on anyone else's comfort.

Stick with smaller breed dogs when possible. Smaller breed dogs are less likely to disturb other guests and tend not to bark as much as larger breeds like Labradors or Newfoundland's do—but even then, make sure you're respectful of other guests' needs before bringing them along!

Ensure there are no restrictions against noise complaints from neighbours who may be impacted by barking during peak hours (usually 10:00 pm - 8:00 am) every night during your stay. If there is any question about this beforehand, then call up management and ask them directly before making any bookings so they can help set expectations ahead of time instead of disrupting everyone else around them when they arrive at the hotel room door later on down the road after driving through several states together in search of cheaper deals elsewhere while still enjoying amenities like air conditioning.


So there you have it: a complete guide to traveling with your dog. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but the proper preparation can make all the difference. With patience and flexibility, you'll be on your way to fun-filled vacations that everyone can enjoy! There's also no limit to where you can travel with your fur baby. As long as you are prepared and know the laws of whichever states you plan on traveling to, it's easy to see why traveling with pets has become so popular today. 

Have a safe trip! 

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