Travel with dogs, whether on vacation, moving to a new location, or just as a part of life, can be quite a challenge at times. Planning ahead can help make your journeys with your dog much easier on both of you.
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Travel with dogs by car or plane?
Most dogs will adjust to riding in a car or in a plane, though each type of travel requires a little preparation. If you plan to travel by plane, will you carry your small dog under your seat or will he need to be checked into the carrier section? Check with your airline for complete requirements.
When you have a choice between car travel or plane, consider which might suit your dog better. For some, staying with you in your car is easy. Other dogs do better with a shortened trip by plane and settle in well in their crates for the trip.
To prepare your dog to travel by plane,
it’s important that he is comfortable being closed in his crate. For travel under your seat, you have many good options for an under seat carrier. Dogs too large for under your seat need an airline approved crate. With your crate, you also need a travel kit to meet airline standards.It’s best to give him time to adjust to staying in his airline style crate as far ahead of travel as possible. A good way to help him learn to be comfortable is to feed him his meals in his crate. Make sure he has plenty of water, too. A soft crate cushion will help your dog feel more comfortable and avoid those little bumps he might not be used to in movement.
Travel with dogs by car requires different preparations.
Dogs are safest when confined by some means in a car, much like a child in a car seat. A seat harness works well for many dogs. It holds them in, much like a child’s youth seat, allowing a little movement, but keeping them in their seat. For many dogs, this keeps them happy during rides and allows you to interact with him.
Small dogs are often happiest riding in their own little booster seat. These seats keep your dog in his seat with a harness or lead and boost him up so that he can see around him.
Some dogs do best riding in an actual crate, such as those used for airlines or a wire crate that allows for full vision and ventilation. These crates allow the dogs to stand, sit, or lie down, turn around and even stretch a bit. They do take a bit more room than the other two options, but they offer security, too. As a bonus, they can be used at your destination for confining your dog when needed.
Other items to pack when you travel with your dog include
bowls for water and food, a food he is accustomed to, treats and chews to occupy him, and his favorite toy or stuffie. You also need to remember bags and a scoop to pick up after those relief walks. It’s also handy to have a few extra garbage bags, in case you find an area that does not have them.
When you travel with dogs during the warmer months,
a dog cooling pad can be a great addition to your packing supplies. These cool your dog when pressure is applied, such as when he lies on it. The gel is also comforting to them.
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