Lifestyle & Grooming

Tips for Traveling with Your Dog This Summer

Dog in back of car ready to travel

Is there any better way to create new memories with your dog than taking him with you on summer vacation? Whether you’re traveling with a dog on a plane or on a road trip, knowing how to travel with a dog safely and comfortably can make it a positive experience for all involved.

Dog Car Travel Tips

Car Training: Familiarize your dog with car travel. Try getting him used to wearing his car safety harness and hopping in and out of a car at first without driving anywhere; reward calm behavior with treats and lots of praise. This will help ease any over-excitement or anxiety that goes with going for a ride. Then, take him for short and then increasingly longer rides.

Strap Him In: When it comes to dog travel essentials, a dog seatbelt is at the top of the list. Most dog seatbelts or dog car harnesses are compatible with the seat belt buckles in your car and allow ample range of motion.

Bring the Basics: Whenever you take your dog for an extended road trip, make sure you bring:

  • Collar or harness
  • Leash
  • Food bowl and spill-proof water bowl
  • Dog food supply
  • Fresh water
  • Any medications your dog is taking or will need
  • A blanket
  • A dog bed
  • A brush and any other regular grooming items
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Your dog’s crate or kennel

Our veterinarian, Dr. Taylor, also recommends that your dog be up to date on their heartworm, flea and tick prevention, especially if you’re going hiking.

Taking these steps will get you and your dog prepared for a fun, low-stress summer adventure.

Remember to never leave your dog in a parked car. Interior temperatures can rise quickly and dramatically, putting your dog in a life-threatening situation.

Tips for Flying with a Dog

Make Sure Your Pet is Fit for Travel: Not all dogs are physically or temperamentally fit for air travel. Make sure he doesn’t have medical conditions that might put him at risk, has a calm temperament and isn’t too young or too elderly to fly safely.

Plan Ahead: Each airline has its own dog travel rules, so familiarize yourself with what types and sizes of carriers are allowed, how to book a reservation for your dog, and if your dog’s specific breed is allowed to fly the airline.

Book Well in Advance: Many airlines limit the number of pets allowed on each flight, so don’t wait to book your flight. Try to fly direct, as switching planes and a potentially long layover may result in added stress for your dog.

Familiarize Your Dog with His Carrier: If you’ve never used the pet carrier you intend to fly with, make sure he’s gotten comfortable with it before your trip. Don’t forget to tag it with your up-to-date contact information.

Be Mindful of Temperatures: If your dog is flying in cargo, be aware of the temperature forecast. Flying in the early mornings or late evenings is preferable in the warmer months, whereas midday flights are better when it’s colder. Traveling with your dog via air travel during extreme temperatures is not advisable.

Dog Travel Day Checklist:

  • Walk your dog before the flight to avoid any in-air accidents
  • Play with your dog to tire him out before the flight
  • Ensure your dog is wearing an i.d. tag
  • Pack a bag that includes food bowls, medication, a leash and a harness
  • Always keep a recent photo of your pet with you
  • Speak with your veterinarian about supplements or medications that may help with any anxious behaviors when flying with your pet

Having enough food when you travel is essential. With Just Right’s personalized feeding plans, it’s easy to grab the perfect amount of food for your trip.