Tips for Summer Travel With Dogs

Eager for a trip but can’t bear to leave your dog behind? Here are some ways to ensure a dog-friendly vacation.

Posted: July 3, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

With the signs of summer everywhere – steadily rising temperatures and children on the loose – the time for a well-earned vacation is here. For dog owners, however, planning the perfect getaway is a little trickier. If you choose to take your dog with you on your travels, be aware of how it can affect him.

“Dogs and cats are often excited by the prospect of travel in cars and can enjoy a road trip as much as their human companions, but disruptions to their schedule can have a negative impact on pets, leaving them stressed and frightened,” says Kellyann Conway, PetsIncredible animal trainer and 2006 Comfort Zone Dog Trainer of the Year.

Here are some tips to ensure a smoother trip:

  • Acclimate your dog to the vehicle prior to the trip to determine if he has problems with motion sickness or exhibits excessive excitability that may require treatment.
  • Secure your dog in a carrier or a pet seatbelt harness to keep both him and the driver safe.
  • Keep your dog on his normal feeding schedule as much as possible.
  • Pack a leash and make sure your dog is wearing a properly fitted collar and ID tags.
  • Bring your dog’s identification, medication and a current photo in case you are separated. Consider microchipping him for added security.
  • Never ever leave your dog alone in a car. Extreme temperatures (even if a window is left partially open) can be fatal in just a matter of minutes.
  • If you’re staying in a hotel, take your dog’s crate or carrier and consider putting out the “Do Not Disturb” sign when you leave the room to keep out unexpected hotel staff. Leaving the TV or radio on to drown out unfamiliar voices and noises may also put your dog more at ease. 
  • Most hotels will require you to provide proof of vaccinations or a health certificate, so call ahead to find out which vaccines are required.
  • Avoid hotel food and treats – always bring your dog’s regular food on the trip.

For more tips on traveling with dogs, click here.


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Jennifer   Oakland, NJ

6/18/2008 6:42:06 PM

When traveling with a dog, do not bring food unless your trip is more than 5 hours. Also, offer water every 2 hours. If a trip is longer than about half an hour, bring some basic cleaning supplies. (Just in case) ;-)

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