Traveling, whether by long car ride, airplanes or trains, can obviously be a stressful experience. But throw a dog in the mix and you may be asking for more stress. Fear not – there are actually some really great ways to train your pets to travel. Reducing your dog’s stress and training them to have proper travel behavior will go a long way in making sure your trip goes smoothly and you don’t lose your sanity. Here are some great tips if you are planning on traveling with your dog soon.

Make sure your pet is healthy

It goes without saying, but if your pup isn’t healthy, trips can be even more difficult than they’re worth. Before you attempt to embark on your travels with your furry sidekick, consider getting a full checkup at the vet to make sure that your dog is healthy enough to hit the road. Veterinarians will also have some great tips and advice for you if you mention that you’re taking your pet on the road.

Pick the right vehicle for your dog

One of the most important things you can do when you are traveling with your dog is to keep them as safe as possible. While harnesses and good leashes are a start, you really need to make sure you have a vehicle that is both big enough for your pet and has a good crash rating. A cramped dog is going to be an angry dog, so make sure your pooch has plenty of room.

Plan out your breaks ahead of time

You know better than anyone how often your dog needs to go outside to exercise and use the bathroom, so consider planning out your stops ahead of time to ensure that your pet is getting the breaks that it needs. Look at your route and plan out some pet friendly parks to stop at along the way.

Update collar with tags

Having an updated collar and tags is important for your dog in general, but when you take them on the road, it is essential. If you have the means, consider getting your dog equipped with a chip locator in the off-chance that you lose sight of them. At the very least, make sure that your dog has a tag with their nickname and your cell phone number on it.

Make sure accommodations are pet friendly

It might seem obvious, but it is incredibly important to check ahead of time if your hotel or rental house is open to having dogs stay. Some hotels are designed with dogs and other pets in mind and feature areas for them to use the restroom. If you have a bigger dog that needs exercise, consider staying at a place with a yard for them to run around in.

Research the nearest vet/animal hospital where you’ll be traveling to ahead of time and WRITE THAT DOWN WHERE YOU WON’T LOSE IT.

Expect the best but prepare for the worst. If there’s a situation where your pup needs some medical attention, but it’s better to be prepared for all eventualities. So if a crisis does happen, you won’t be scrambling for necessary info. I recommend a local vet and a local emergency per hospital.

Exercise them before you go

An exercised dog means a tired pup. A tired pup means a sleeping pup. A sleeping pup means a nice, peaceful flight and/or ride for you. On that note, if you are driving, be sure to bring a few toys along. So when you stop, you have something to play with them and tire them out!

Let them look out the window

It actually tends to help motion-sickness, if they’re prone to it. Plus, it keeps them occupied and engaged. If you’re in a plane, get the cabin crew’s permission first before bringing them out of their carrier. If you’re in a car, open the window a crack (just a crack) so they can smell the scents on the air rushing by, which also combats motion sickness. (Just make sure they can’t jump out). Plus, dogs love it.

Bonus Tip For Taking Your Dog With You On Vacation: Baking Soda

Seriously, either pack some or know where it’s kept at your destination. If your dog has an accident (which can happen to even well trained dogs in a new environment), this is an easy, cheap way to get that pee stain out of the carpet. Incidentally, if your 4 legged friend gets stung by a bee while traveling, baking soda paste helps bring the swelling down (and eases the pain).

Flying With Your Dog?Here is a helpful article on some important tips and regulations. READ MORE.

Keeping your dog happy and safe is essential for any travels you’re doing. Making sure they have the proper tags and that they are healthy is extremely important because a sick or lost dog is sure to ruin any trip. And who wants that?

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