Traveling With Your Pups

Traveling With Your Pups

Traveling With Your Pups

We all get it: that desire to leave our homes for bluer skies, clear beaches, and warmer climates. After long winters, it's only natural to want some relief from the harsh cold. And if you're like us, you want to bring your fur-baby along to enjoy the nicer weather. Here are some of our tips for traveling with your pup.

Brown and Black Chihuahua sitting on boat in lake with trees along the shore.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

There are several things you need to take care of before you leave for your trip. First and foremost: update your pet’s microchip and tag identification. Whether you go on a trip or not, your pup’s identification should always be up to date. You'll want to make sure that your pup is fit for travel and updated on their vaccines, so schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Make sure your pup is up to date on their vaccines. You might want to take photos of your pet’s medical documents so you can have their records on hand in case of a medical emergency on your vacation.

Check online for pet-friendly hotels and restaurants. There are plenty of resources like BringFido.com to help you find dog-friendly places. You may have to pay an extra fee at the hotel. If you can, request a room on the ground floor and/or near an exit door so you can easily take your dog for a walk. You'll also want to lay pee pads on the floor of your room just in case your pup can’t hold their urine before their next potty break.

FLYING WITH PETS

Before booking your flight, consult the government's pet travel guidelines as well as those for your airline, then book your tickets early since airlines have a set number of pets allowed per flight. When flying, you can either have your pet in the passenger cabin or in the cargo hold. Generally, pets that weigh less than 25 pounds can fly in the passenger cabin in a carrier that fits under the seat in front of you, and bigger dogs must fly in a crate in the cargo hold. Veterinarians assure that most pets will be alright in the cargo hold except for those with breathing issues (e.g. bulldogs). Some airlines require that you check in and pay your fees at the airport rather than online. Get to the airport with plenty of time so you can take care of those fees.

Regardless of where pets are situated on a plane, the environment, sounds, and people may give them anxiety. To help pets feel at ease, help your pet get accustomed to their carrier/crate in the days leading up to your flight, make sure they're groomed so they don't overheat or get their nails caught in the carrier, and speak with a vet about anti-anxiety medication. Finally, make sure that you pack updated rabies vaccination records and any other required certification.

We recommend you avoid travel during busy seasons and to use direct flights if possible. This helps keep your dog calm, and if your dog needs to be in the cargo hold this will help decrease any mishandling of the crate. Additionally, while the cargo hold is temperature controlled, the tarmac isn't; you don't want your pup sitting there in extreme hot or cold.

Woman wearing yellow shirt and brown pants cleaning off a small brown dog with Metro Wipes grooming wipes. They stand in front of the open trunk of a black SUV and next to hiking gear.

ROAD TRIPS

Prior to your long trek, do your best to prepare your pup for longer car rides as much as possible. Gradually increase the duration of rides to get your pup comfortable. Invest in a pet car seat, travel crate, or seat belt leash to help keep your dog safe as well as help the driver focus more. Additionally, we don’t recommend letting your pup sit on your lap while you drive. Should you make a sudden stop or get into an accident, your pup could be hurt from the steering wheel.

On the day of your trip, calm your pup down by taking an extra long walk in the morning or playing a game of fetch with your Metro Balls. During the ride, take breaks every two to three hours so your dog can potty. If your dog gets car sick then avoid food right before the ride, keep windows cracked, or try a plastic crate so they can’t look out the windows. If necessary, you may need to speak with your vet for medication.

No matter what type of dog you have, it is possible to take them on your adventures. With plenty of planning and preparation, this can be stress-free and comfortable for both you and your pup. Let us know your tips in the comments.


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