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5 Plan Ahead Tips for Stress Free Travel with your Dog

There is nothing better than having your furry sidekick join you on your adventure away from home, whether it’s a short road trip to a neighbouring town or flying to a new destination to explore. With a little bit of prep work and some pre trip planning you can lower travel stress for you and your dog by following these 5 simple tips.

#1 Paperwork, Documents and Research

Have all your paperwork and requirements in order before packing your bags and heading out the door. By leaving lots of time to schedule vaccines, health certificates and microchipping before your departure, you won’t be racing around at the last minute or even worse, miss important timelines for getting documents cleared for international travel. Triple check all specific requirements for entering foreign countries as each one has their own set of rules for traveling with your pet.

#2 Booking your Dog Friendly Accommodations

Finding a place to stay with your pet can take some research but you can save some time by using the built in filters on many websites. Travel sites such as Expedia and Tripadvisor as well as AirBnB and VRBO have filters to block out non pet-friendly accommodations, so that your choices are already culled for you. Also find out if your destination has dog friendly restaurants and patios by sending an inquiry to the hotel before you leave so that you can enjoy more time with your travel companion when you are out of your hotel.

#3 Essentials To Pack for your Dog

As well as packing a copy of your dog’s required paperwork, there are some essentials to gather and bring along to create a comfortable journey for your dog.

  • Collar and ID tags with your cell number – A number that is a land line won't be helpful if you aren’t at home to answer!

  • Water bowl – Regular or collapsible bowl if space is tight.

  • Water – Have a filled bottle in the car and remember when traveling through an airport you may have to buy water once you are through the security check.

  • Food and treats – Check regulations for bringing food onto airplanes, especially international travel. For example, raw food would not be allowed flying between North America and Europe.

  • Poop Bags – Don’t be caught without a couple poop bags when taking your dog outside. The rolls of bags are small and compact, so bring enough to never be without one.

  • Thin blanket – Having something to cover a hotel chair if your dog loves to be higher than the floor will keep hair to a minimum. It can also be folded as extra padding for the bottom of a carrier or crate.

  • Favourite Toy - Your dog can have their own travel buddy by bringing along their treasured toy for comfort. Respect fellow travelers and reserve the squeaky balls when you are off the plane…

  • Bed – Bringing the biggest, fluffiest bed may not be practical depending on your travel mode and can add to your packing frustrations. Pick up a lighter, packable mat so that you dog is still comfortable but you are less stressed from unnecessary wrangling.

#4 Dog Friendly Parks and Urban walks

Research local dog parks at your destination when you are organizing everything you want to see and do on your trip. By having parks mapped out before you leave your home, you can enjoy your time on vacation without frantically trying to find a place to throw a ball to bring down your dog’s energy level. On a road trip with your dog? Check out any amazing parks that you will be passing before you settle into your final stop for the day. Also, urban walks are some of the best ways to see a new city and your dog will enjoy ‘sightseeing’ all the new smells.

#5 Crates and Carriers – A Home Away from Home

Whether you are traveling by car or plane, having a dog that enjoys being in their crate or carrier is invaluable. Not only is this necessary for airline travel, crating in your hotel room when you are not there is often mandatory. This temporary home will become a safe spot for your dog to relax in when they need a break, especially if they have had positive training experiences before your trip. Start your crate training well ahead of your departure for ultimate success in creating a safe zone for your dog to relax during transit and at your destination.

Following these tips will free up valuable time doing what you set out to do, having a relaxing vacation with your dog and both of you coming back home refreshed and looking forward to the next adventure together!

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