//How To Travel With A Pet Dog

How To Travel With A Pet Dog

There are many difficult decisions in life. Deciding between vanilla or chocolate ice cream and knowing whether you should take the stairs or the escalator. Deciding between taking your pet dog on holiday or leaving them at home shouldn’t cause any hesitation.

Of course, you need to take them with you!

Young dog , maltese puppy looking out the car window

Taking your beloved four-legged friend on holiday does raise a few concerns. No need to worry, I got you covered with a complete guideline on how to travel with your pet dog.

Traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be a stressful event. Unlike humans, dogs have special requirements. It’s not as easy as booking a ticket and going. When a doggy wants to go on a plane or visit a holiday resort they need special preparations.

Think of it like traveling with a baby, you can’t leave the house without diapers and milk bottles. You need to be prepared for the long ride and their special meal requirements.

Whether you are traveling by airplane, driving across the border or just visiting a resort nearby. Here follows a complete guideline of steps you can follow to secure a safe journey with your pet.

Traveling Across the Border

Dog Driving A Car Across The Border

Traveling to a neighboring country you’ve never been to, can be extremely exciting. Taking your best furry friend with you is extra special. If you want to take your dog along you need to make sure that you know what the country’s specific protocols for pets are.

Doing some research on the country’s government page will give you insight into their protocols. Most countries have strict rules when it comes to letting animals in. Mainly because animals are bearers of diseases that could be passed on to other animals within a foreign country.

Most countries don’t have any problems with letting your pet go through the border, as long as you have all of the necessary paperwork on hand.

Different countries have different requirements but for the United States the following requirements are needed:

  • Vaccinations for rabies
  • Certificate proving that your dog has had their rabies vaccination. This certificate must include the date of the rabies vaccination, the expiration date of vaccination certificate, your dog’s full description, and the signature of a licensed veterinarian
  • Puppies younger than 4 months old can’t enter
  • General health check certificate from an accredited and licensed veterinarian

Immigrating with Your Dog

Scottish Terrier Going on a Private Jet

The same rules as above apply apart from a few differences. If you are planning on bringing your dog into another country with the intention of keeping them there. Then there are a few different steps that need to be followed.

Additional information and documents may include:

  • Import permit and/or pet passport
  • Reservations to be held in quarantine
  • Microchip implantation
  • Proof of new address
  • Deworming, anti-tick and flea treatments

Some countries like China requires pets to be quarantined for a short amount of time before letting them into the ground. Remember that a long flight and quarantine time can be quite a traumatic experience for your dog. It will take a few weeks after traveling before they become their old self.

Immigrating can be a difficult process for humans. In the same way, it will take some time and patience for your dog to completely adapt to the new atmosphere and environment. Treat them with a warm and friendly bath and some grooming after the flight.

Flying With A Pet

Dog in Airplane

Good news, if your pet is small enough to fit in a carrier that can be stored under the seat in front of you, then you can fly it along in the cabin. Under strict airline regulations, the carrier should be big enough for the dog to move around in freely and stand up comfortably.

The size of this carrier is usually 10x12x19 inches. Unfortunately for your pooch, if they are bigger than the required size then they should travel in the cargo hold.

The IATA (International Air Transport Association) has strict guidelines for dogs when they travel in the cargo to ensure their safety. The carrier should; be durable, have powerful handles, have good ventilation, should be clearly marked with dog and dog’s owner’s information, and should be leak-proof.

Handicapped passengers can they there guide dogs with them into the cabin. But an extra seat should be booked for the dog.

Making the Flight More Comfortable

Dog in Airplane

It is important that you prepare your pooch for the flight ahead.

Your first thought might be to get a light sedative to help your dog relax and be calm during the flight. According to Vet, Kurt Venator, sedatives aren’t a good idea when flying with a pet. They can cause respiratory issues and increase the risk of heart ailments. It can also interfere with your dog’s balancing skills.

Explore its crate – Give your dog enough time, starting at home, to explore their kennel. They will be in it for the whole duration of the flight and they need to feel comfortable and secure in the crate.

Food and Water- Your pet will be very uncomfortable during the flight if you feed him too much beforehand. Leaving a water dispenser in his carrier is enough to keep him comfortable for the duration of the flight.

Security – Your dog will have to go through security just like you. Take your dog out of their carrier and carry them through security. Once you are through the scanner put them back into their carrier and gather your belongings.

Make sure that you have all of the dog’s documentation at hand. This will include vet and health certificates along with his passport.

On the Other Side – When you reach your destination you should prioritize picking up your pet first. Make sure you have a photo of your dog on your phone to help security identify him, in case there are many other pets too.

After you picked up traveling pooch you can go to the luggage belt to claim your personal baggage.

Driving with a Dog

Dog In Car

The most fun any dog will ever have is going for a drive. Letting down the window and giving your dog the freedom to put their head in the oncoming wind is dog’s heaven on earth.

Having a pooch in the car is much different from letting them fly along with you. It’s your car, your rules.

There are a few must do’s when letting your dog come along for the ride.

Make Regular Stops – It’s important that you stop in doggy friendly places every hour or so. Give your dog some time to visit the doggy loo and run around. Having to sit quietly in the car can be very boring and they need to let go of their energy.

Food and Water – As you most probably know, cars can get very hot inside. Unless you have a car with a good enough air conditioner, you need to carry enough cool water that can be freely available to your pet.

Give food only at pitstops along the road.

Window Shades – Make the ride more comfortable by giving your car windows shades to block out the sun.

Harness – Find a good quality harness that you can use when you let your dog out for a run.

Sleeping Arrangements – When your dog is a free roamer then you don’t have to keep them in a doggy crate. Give them a space in the car where you put their regular bed and favorite blanket or toy.

If your dog feels comfortable in a crate then you can make their crate as comfortable as possible. Give them a view of the road.


Motion Sickness – Motion sickness can occur during the ride. Be prepared for it by getting medicine from your vet for doggy nausea.

Professional Assistance

Dog Drinking Water From Assistants

Luckily for anyone who doesn’t like admin, there are companies available that specialize in pet transport. Ask your local vet for recommendations and look online for reviews. You can trust a pet transport company to get all of the paperwork done and give you advice on different country’s specific requirements.

Regardless of the fact that hiring a professional and experienced pet transport company can become costly. You can’t put a price on the safe travel of your pet.

Traveling with a pet can be so much fun. See how they run and enjoy the scenery, just as much as you do.

Who knows maybe you’ll start traveling the whole world together – Enjoy and happy travels!

2019-08-31T10:26:29+00:00By |Daily Scoop|0 Comments

About the Author:

Melanie du Toit is a South African Freelance content writer and Artist. She loves painting on big walls and writing about things she experienced through world travels. With a Bachelor's degree in Dramatic Arts, and 10 years experience within the education system and entertainment industry - she is continually developing her skills to bring unique and interesting content to readers.

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