Traveling with your dog

Traveling with your dog can be fun and exciting, or it can be disastrous. Planning ahead is the key to a successful trip and these guidelines can help.

“Buckling Up” is not only for people but for dogs, too. Unrestrained dogs can cause an accident by distracting the driver, and in an accident, will become a projectile. Pets also can bolt from a car and get lost in an unfamiliar area or run out into traffic.

Purchase a dog crate or dog seat belt and include their use in your practice runs.

Planning Ahead

Call the Agriculture Department of the state or embassy of the country to which you are traveling for information on the vaccinations, documentation, fees, or quarantine that may be required to bring your dog into the country. Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations. Check with your veterinarian about additional vaccinations which can protect your dog from disease local to where you are traveling,

Consider applying a flea, tick preventative and repellent to protect your dog from diseases such as heartworm, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. I am not in the habit of recommending a single product, but in this case, I make an exception.

There are many such products found in stores but in my many years experience as a dog groomer, most of these are not effective. The only products that work ALL THE TIME are the veterinary applications such as Frontline and Advantage. For many years these were only available through your Veterinarian. You can now purchase these products without a prescription online saving you valuable time and money. The newest of these products is called Advantix. This is the one we use and highly recommend. It not only kills fleas and ticks but also repels mosquitoes that can carry West Nile Virus.

Make sure your dog’s ID tag is on his collar. Consider adding temporary tags with hotel information and travel phone numbers, a cell phone number or the phone number of a friend who will be home during your trip.

Book dog friendly hotels, motels, and campsites early and make sure to tell them you are traveling with a dog. Find out what restrictions they have (such as crating all dogs, size limits, etc.) before you book your stay.


Here are the basics to pack for your dog: A few of your dog’s favorite toys, food and water bowls, a leash, food, a first aid kit, medication, water, veterinarian’s phone number, dog’s medical records, blanket or king sized flat sheet, towels, poop scoop or plastic bags to clean up mess, garbage bags and paper towels (to clean up bigger messes), brush and comb (to remove stickers and burrs), and shampoo (for those emergency clean ups).

Bring health and rabies vaccine certificates, particularly if you will be crossing the border into Canada, the US, or Mexico. All three countries allow dogs and cats to enter if they meet strict entry requirements.

While Traveling

Keep to your dog’s regular feeding schedule. You can feed small amounts every few hours during the trip and plan his main meal in the evening or when you arrive at your dog friendly hotel or camp ground.

Once at your dog friendly hotel, spend extra time in the room with your dog until he gets used to his new environment. When you leave the motel room, first try to leave for a short time to see how your dog acts in the room. You don’t want your dog barking and disturbing other guests. Leave the room vent/air conditioner and the television on while you are away to create some white noise and keep your dog company.

Use a blanket or sheet from home (it was in your list of things to pack) on the bed to keep hair off the hotel’s blankets.

Enjoy the time you spend traveling with your dog. We know he will.

For Information on Pet Friendly Vacations

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