Have you always wanted to travel, but hate the idea if leaving your dog with a pet sitter or in a kennel? If you can't stand the thought of leaving your pooch behind, why not take it along? Travelling with a dog may require a little more planning than journeying solo, but it's certainly doable.
Here are some things to consider before you go:
- Make sure you understand all local rules and restrictions. Different countries regulate the transportation of animals through their borders in the interest of controlling the spread of disease. Before you go, contact your embassy in that country to learn about the paperwork you may need to file and any other requirements you will need to consider.
- Seek out pet-friendly accommodations. Don't assume that anywhere you choose to stay will accept your dog. Luckily, most travel websites make it easy to search for rooms with this option. Also, call ahead, just in case the establishment has specific guidelines for size and weight.
- Bring a pet ID. If your dog gets lost in your neighborhood, its collar tags will help rescuers find its home. Proper ID is even more important when you travel with your dog, especially abroad. Make sure the collar tags include your name and phone number. You may even want to consider a microchip implant. This technology is an increasingly popular option that is quick and painless and doesn't cause your dog undue stress. No matter where your dog goes, the important information will go with it.
- Do a health check before you go. Just because your dog seems fine doesn't mean that there are no underlying health problems that you should be aware of. Just like you, your dog needs its vaccinations to be up-to-date and to have a general check up. If your pet needs any medication, it's important to get a prescription filled. Finally, get a health certificate if your airline requires one for your pet.
- Get a crate. Dogs need to be in crates when they fly. Don't worry - your fuzzy friend will fly in a pressure- and temperature-controlled cabin, so they should be as comfortable as you are. The most important thing is to make sure that you get the right type of crate for its size. The vessel should be large enough so your dog can easily stand, lie down and turn around. It should also have ventilation that allows for consistent air flow. A leak-proof bottom is also important, just in case. Remember, while crates are vital for airplane travel, they can also be useful during a long car trip. Dogs like to stick their heads out the window in moving cars, but this isn't necessarily safe for long periods of time. A crate will keep your pet happily in one place so you can focus on the road.
Travelling with your dog should be fun! Plan ahead so you aren't stressed out during the trip.