Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Traveling the Dog Way

Traveling with a dog is a bit different from traveling with only humans.  
 When a dog is going on the trip, you have to plan ahead
You need to know which hotels will allow your dog in the room.  How much extra will it cost?  Are there size/breed restrictions?  Is there a designated potty path for dog guests?   There are more hotels that allow small dogs than ones which allow large dogs.   Small is usually defined as any dog under 20 pounds.   
If you are traveling with a large dog, or even a medium one, you will probably need to search harder for an accommodating hotel.  If your dog is one of the breeds that often face discrimination, it may be even harder.  When you travel with a restricted breed, you need to be aware of local laws for every place you travel through.  You don't want your dog confiscated. 
All size dogs require you to pack some basics.
Here is a list my pals at Nutro have created:

 [ ] Food. It’s important not to disrupt or change a dog’s diet while traveling, which can cause intestinal distress or upset. If your dog eats canned food, consider purchasing smaller cans if refrigeration of leftovers will be an issue. Collapsible food and water bowls can also be good for when you have to pack light.
[ ] Carrier. If you’re traveling by air, you’ll likely need to have an airline-approved, specifically sized crate to contain your dog during the flight. Check with the airline beforehand. You have more flexibility when traveling by car as far as choosing a crate size, but remember that crates are not as safe as car harnesses for dogs. Many options for car harnesses are commercially available.
[ ] Collar and leash. Make sure your dog’s collar has ID information on it to ensure that you can be contacted if you and your dog become separated. Don’t forget waste bags to the leash for cleanup during walks as well.
[ ] Documents. Some hotels and airlines require that you provide documentation of your pet’s vaccination and general health. It’s also useful to have a photo of your dog with you so that if you do become separated, anyone who you might enlist for help can make an easy visual identification.
[ ] Any medications your pet takes. Replacing these while traveling can be very difficult.
[ ] A blanket or toy from home. While this isn’t necessarily a requirement, something that has a familiar smell can help comfort your dog during travel. Dogs who are accustomed to a strict routine might find this especially comforting when their routine is disrupted — even if it’s for something fun like a trip to the beach.
[ ] A calming aid. If your dog gets particularly nervous in the car or on other forms of transportation, you might ask your vet for a medication that could help keep your dog calm.

I also recommend packing these items:
  • vehicle restraint - I ride in a car seat with my harness clipped to the seat belt.
  • chew - bully stick, Himalayan Chew, tooble, etc...
  • bottled water - some dogs can have digestive upset from tap water in places away from home.  (different minerals, processing, etc..) 
  • pet first aid kit - Best to be prepared, and then hope you never actually have to use it.
  • harness - Not all dogs have their leash clipped to a collar; some use harnesses instead. 
Traveling with a small dog has its own unique challenges.  They seem to require more luggage.  BOL!!  There is the car seat, purse/crate, piddy pads, clothes (and of course they are even more necessary if they match the human's outfits), stroller, grooming tools if they are fluffy,............
That's just the basic necessities, travel by plane, boat, train, etc  has another whole set of rules you need to research and plan for.  There are even more rules if you are traveling internationally.  Some destinations require up to a year of planning.  

  Then there are destination items:  flotation device, boots, cooling vest, coat, eye protection, backpack, climbing harness/gear,................

 Are you still planning to travel with your dog?  Of course you are!

Disclaimer: "This post was written by a Nutro Knowledge Network member and sponsored by the Nutro Company."


  1. I don't like to travel. I think I'll stay at the DogGone Boarding House!

  2. Good tips sweetie. M had a cat once that had to go from Florida to WIsconsin to Kansas and back to Wisconsin. He actually did quite well - that was the days before carriers tho so he could ride in the back window and survey his kingdon.

  3. Great tips, Pepper! We love to travel, but we only go by car. Most hotels where we can stay do require that we bring a crate to sleep in, so we do. But we prefer the pawrents' bed, so mommy always brings a big sheet to cover the bed with. One place we stay even provides that! She also brings baby wipes to make sure our footsies are clean befure we go in the room! She brings a roll of paper towels and cleaner/deodorizer, too, in case anyfur has an accident.

  4. Pepper whenever mommy took me to Kentucky she had copies of my shots from the vet and a crate along with a plastic cool whip container one held my dog food the other held some of our water that I am used to drinking. She hooked my harness to my car seat. She had poop bags to pick up my doo doo and a nerve pill for my car sickness.

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  6. Great Tips Pepper! :-)
    I remember when (late) DH and I brought Dally #1-Miss CookiesNCream-along on a day trip. He couldn't believe what I packed just for her. Needless to say, those items I packed came in very handy. He never questioned me after that. ;-)

  7. Once your peep's get your traveling kit together...traveling can be a breeze and loads of wagging fun. Being a tad over the 20 lb limit...limits me on how I travel. My peep will not put me in the hold unless she really, really has no other choice. However here in Europe its easy to go via train or car.
    Thanks for the tips!

  8. Wow I will try to follow those really good tips, but im not sure about my dog and flying. im just confused about the security. I know the weight limit is 20 pounds or less but im still confused and worried about the security issue any suggestions?

    1. Arrive an hour earlier than you would if you were going without a dog. You or may not need to remove your dog from the bag. You may or may not need to remove the hardware (leash, harness, collar) for the metal detector/x-ray. You may have to hold your dog for the x-ray. Try to use a collar/harness/leash with as little metal as possible (plastic ID tags if you can find them). They may use a wipe on your dog, so practice with a wipe at home so she won't be scared. I don't exactly know because I am a service dog, so the procedures may be a little different. It may be best to call the airport and ask them what the security process is for a pet, then you will have a better idea of what to expect. Basically, do whatever they ask you to do. It is a good idea to practice with other people holding and inspecting your dog so he/she won't be nervous. If your dog goes to a groomer, it is probably already used to being handled by other people.

      Sherpa makes several great bags that meet airline specifications. They are soft, so they can be made to fit under the seat.
      Walk your dog before you go through security, there usually isn't any grass once you pass security. If your dog is pad trained, pack some with plastic bags to put the used ones in.
      An anxiety wrap is a good idea if your dog is nervous, or has never flown.
      Buy bottled water after security, you can't bring it with you before that point. Don't give your dog too much drink after security though.

      I hope all this helps. BOL!!