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Traveling With A Dog: Everything You Need to Know

Traveling With A Dog: Everything You Need to Know

Traveling with a dog can make family holidays more enjoyable for everyone, but it can also be stressful for you and your pet if you are not prepared. By planning, you can make the trip safe and comfortable for you and your dog.

These days, airlines are not only transporting more and more people on their flights but also more and more dogs.

Many people find it very difficult, if not impossible, to travel with a dog. Therefore, most people feel that they have to spend a lot of money to cover the costs of caring for a dog left behind while traveling.

If you are planning to travel with your pet, whether for pleasure or out of necessity, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your dog’s needs are met while traveling. Traveling with dogs in the car, especially on longer journeys, requires some thought. You shouldn’t assume that you can get everything you need for your pet during the trip.

But with a little research and planning, you can take your furry friends on most travel adventures and it’s not as difficult as you might think.

A 2017-18 National Pet Ownership Survey reports that 68% of American households own a pet. That’s 89 million dogs, a 56% increase since 1988.

Of those, about 37% of households travel with their pet each year, up from 19% a decade ago. According to International Pet Transport Association (IPTA), more than four million live animals are transported by air worldwide.

The travel industry has had to adapt to this growing demand and today it is easier than ever to travel with a dog.

When you decide to travel, choose what is safest and most comfortable for your pet.

Traveling with a dog (s) is easier if everything is planned: accommodation, travel arrangements, and formalities are organized months before departure, which means less stress and more fun for both of you.

If you enjoy traveling with your dogs,

Here are tips to make traveling with a dog fun and enjoyable.

Traveling With A Dog By Flight

Health And Safety

Health check: Is your dog fit enough to travel? Is your dog fit enough to travel? Is your dog healthy enough to travel? Make sure that all vaccinations are up to date and bring vaccination certificates with you. A health certificate is required for air travel. Check with your vet that your dog is physically and mentally fit to travel. Remember that not all dogs like to travel.

Consult your vet before confirming your travel plans and if your dog needs a check-up, make an appointment before you leave.
To keep your dog healthy while traveling, take his regular food with you. Do not forget to pack bottled water and any medication your dog may need.

Be prepared for emergencies. Look up the number of the nearest 24-hour emergency hospital and program it into your mobile phone, together with the number of your usual veterinary practice and the emergency number (if vets need to talk). This way you will be prepared and have the necessary information at hand if your dog needs medical assistance.

Make sure that your pet is healthy enough to travel and meets the requirements of the destination country. These requirements may include

– Blood tests
– Vaccinations
– Electronic identification chip
– Licences
– Health certificates

Airlines and countries often have different requirements, so it is advisable to enquire about specific requirements.


  • If your dog gets lost while traveling, you can increase your chances of finding him or her by ensuring that he or she is properly identified:
  • Make sure your dog has a strong collar and leash. Make sure your dog has a strong collar and leash. The dog’s name, your name, your telephone number, and proof of rabies vaccination must be affixed to the collar. If you plan to be away for several days, you should obtain an additional tag with the location and your telephone number.
  • Consider permanent identification, such as a microchip.
  • Bring a recent photo of your dog and a copy of the dog’s health booklet with all current vaccinations.

Good Practices When Travelling With A Dog

Plan your potty breaks: Before leaving home, teach your dog to run his errands on different surfaces, not just grass. If he can walk on a variety of surfaces, such as concrete, hay, and gravel, he will not feel uncomfortable and will have fewer accidents on the road or elsewhere. Carry a bag and leash.

Bring toys and games: Give your dog new toys and some of his old favorites so he doesn’t get bored. You can add puzzles to keep him busy.

Traveling With A Dog Everything You Need to Know 1

Bring food and water: Ask the vet to give your dog bottled water only when you are not present to avoid an upset stomach. Instead of bringing a regular large bowl, buy a collapsible bowl and let him get used to it for a week before you leave. Dogs need water on any journey and lack of water can lead to dehydration.

Pack his favorite things: Travelling to a new place can be exciting for dogs, but also a little stressful. Familiar items from home can calm your baby down, so pack a few favorite toys, a special bed, or a blanket.


  • Find out in advance which hotels or motels at your destination or along the route allow dogs. Many do not have size restrictions.
  • If your dog is allowed in the hotel, be mindful of other guests, staff, and property.
  • Keep your dog as calm as possible.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy objects if left alone in an unfamiliar place.
  • Ask the hotel management where you can walk your dog and where you can pick him up. Don’t leave any mess behind.
  • Remember that a bad experience with a guest’s dog may lead to the hotel management banning the dog from the hotel. Be respectful of others and leave rooms and spaces in an orderly manner.
  • Protect the house (or room) from dogs. Make sure the area is dog-safe before letting the dog run free outside. Make sure electrical cords are out of reach and that previous tenants have not left anything on the floor or under furniture that could harm your dog.

Remember, this is a holiday. Travelling can be stressful, but calm owners usually have calm pets. Animals sense our stress, so if you are nervous and anxious, your dog may show stress and anxiety too. Remember that some dogs don’t travel and your dog may prefer to stay at home with company.

Flying With A Dog

  • If you are traveling by plane, make an appointment before your journey to visit the vet. The health certificate must be presented to the airline at least 10 days before the trip. A vaccination and rabies certificate is also required. The dog must be at least 8 weeks old and weaned.
  • Airlines emphasizes that it is the owner’s responsibility to check the health and condition of their dog. Ask the vet if the dog needs to rest during the trip. Also, check the temperature when the plane departs and arrives; it may be too hot or too cold for your dog.
  • Federal regulations prohibit the transport of live animals as baggage or excess cargo if the animal’s temperature is below 45 degrees Celsius or above 85 degrees Celsius for more than four hours during take-off, arrival, or onward travel.
  • Please note that each airline has its own rules and service variations. For example, if your toy does not meet the requirements, the airline will not let you fly. However, you can bring your dog into the cabin if the dog crate or plane fits under the seat in front of you.
  • When you make a reservation, you must also make a reservation for your dog. The number of pets allowed on each flight is limited. They will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Your pet can also travel as cargo on another aircraft. If this is your preference, or if the size of the dog or the regulations of the destination country requires it, you should get your pet used to the cabin beforehand.

Make sure the door closes properly to avoid discomfort during transport. Ask your veterinarian when it is necessary to give food and water. If the pet is being transported by air, arrange for the pet to be picked up at its final destination.

Some U.S. airlines do not allow pets to be transported between May and September, which are the hottest months for transporting pets in the northern hemisphere.

Regardless of the time of year, safety is always an issue when pets travel by air. If a dog or cat must travel on a commercial aircraft, it should be placed in a sturdy container with enough room for the dog or cat to stand up and sit down, turn around normally and lie down in a natural position.

While waiting for a connecting flight, you may need to look after a pet traveling with you in the cabin while the airline or ground staff look after a pet traveling in a cargo aircraft. Check first with your airline what the requirements are.

Think About Your Pet’s Comfort

Loading and unloading can be the most stressful part of pet travel. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Get your pet checked in with an airline before the flight.
  • Train your pet to walk before boarding the carrier.
  • Choose departure and arrival times that avoid extreme heat or cold. For example, if you plan to spend the night in a warm destination, it may be more suitable for your pet.
  • Contact your veterinarian. The International Air Transport Association recommends against the use of sedatives or narcotics, which can be harmful to animals during flight.
  • Release your pet before you leave home and again before you check-in.
  • If your pet can enter the cabin, check in as late as possible to reduce stress.
  • If your pet is being transported as cargo, check in advance so that it can roam the quiet, dimly lit cabin.
  • Make sure your pet’s nails are trimmed so they don’t get stuck indoors, holes, and other crevices in the carrier.
  • Do not give your pets sedatives unless prescribed by a veterinarian. Make sure your vet knows that the prescription is for air travel.
  • Do not feed your pet for four to six hours before travel. However, you can give your pet small amounts of water. If possible, place ice cubes in a tray of water in the pet’s cage or kennel (a tray full of water will only drip and cause discomfort).
  • Try not to fly with your pet during peak periods, such as holidays and summer. During peak periods, your pet is likely to receive more severe treatment.
  • When you arrive at your destination, open the carrier once you are in a safe place and check your pet. If something is wrong, take the pet to the vet immediately. Write down the test results and the date and time.
    Let me know if you see anything

Don’t be afraid to complain if you see your pet or someone else’s pet being mistreated at the airport. Ask to speak to the person in charge of the department where the incident occurred and report the abuse in person and writing.

Video: How to Travel with Your Dog Internationally 

The Cost Of Traveling  With A Dog

According to the US Department of Transportation, more than two million pets and other live animals travel by air in the US each year.

Each airline has its guidelines for transporting pets, which are consistent with the standards of the federal Animal Welfare Act. These regulations have recently become more restrictive and may affect your travel budget.

Cost of transporting your dog. The cost depends on the destination of the animal. There are two categories of air travel for dogs and other pets, primarily based on size: cabin and cargo. The cost of animals flying as cargo is higher.

Cabin: If the dog/small animal fits in a crate under the seat, it can usually fly in the cabin. The weight limit is usually 6kg, but check the airline’s policy on the weight and dimensions of pet luggage. Airlines usually charge a flat fee to carry dogs and other pets in the cabin, ranging from $100 to $300 for a single trip.

In Cargo: Large animals must be transported in the cargo, where they are placed in a pressure- and a temperature-controlled compartment under the aircraft. This is similar to the passenger cabin, but the insulation is often uncomfortable for pet owners. The price is usually based on the weight and size of the pet and its crate.

For domestic flights in the United States, the price can run into hundreds of dollars per trip (averaging $300 to $500 for a 75-pound dog).

Additional fees may apply for stopovers and flight changes. Check with your airline for pricing information on specific flights.

But wait! The costs are even higher. In addition to the cost of flying with your dog or other pet, there are other costs. For example:

Baggage fees. Bringing a pet into the cabin is generally considered carry-on luggage, which can lead to additional baggage fees.

Containers for in-cabin transport. Don’t forget the cost of a carry-on baggage box: the price starts at around $30 but can be much higher.

Baggage rack. This is needed for transporting pets and usually costs between $50 and $150, depending on the size and material (metal or plastic).

Higher fees for tickets. If your pet travels in the cabin or cargo hold, you may have to pay more for your ticket – your choice of airline and/or flight may be limited due to pet restrictions and such.

Remember that pet requirement on international flights can be even more complicated and therefore more expensive. Also, it is not possible to buy a seat for your pet, even if you wanted to.

Dog Crates

What are dog crates?

Dog crates, also known as cages or kennels, are designed to provide dogs with a safe place to stay for short periods. A dog crate usually consists of a metal frame with a removable compartment at the bottom for the dog’s bedding but can be purchased in different sizes, designs, and materials.

There are five main uses of a kennel:

  • Open ‘kennel’: Some dogs seem to benefit from having an accessible “den” where they can go when they need to feel protected.
  • Training aid: e.g. to help puppies learn to be on their own or to help them do their business.
  • Temporary isolation: e.g. when you are not present keep an eye on them.
  • Veterinary recommendation: In some cases, the vet may recommend the use of a crate, e.g. to help the dog recover from an operation.
  • Travel: A dog crate can help keep the dog safe and comfortable when traveling, e.g. in the back seat of a car.

The crate should be large enough for the dog to stand, turn around, lie down and lie down. If you have a puppy, you should buy a crate large enough to allow the dog to grow. However, do not travel with your puppy in an adult crate: it will be better protected in a smaller space.

A dog crate is a good way to protect your dog in the car and is also essential if you are traveling by plane. You can also keep your pet safe in a hotel or boarding house. Cages are available in most pet shops. Look for these features when purchasing:

  • Large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down.
  • Stable, with handles and sleeves and no bumps on the inside.
  • Smooth bottom covered with absorbent material.
  • Ventilation on opposite sides with outer edges or handles so as not to obstruct airflow.
  • Label with “live animal”, arrows indicating standing position, and owner’s name, address, and telephone number.
  • Place a comfortable mat, the dog’s favorite toy and a bottle of water in the crate and the dog is ready to go.

Traveling With A Dog By Car

Don’t let the dog roam  in the car

The safest way to travel with a dog in a car is in a cage attached to the car by seatbelts or other means. Dog cages or seatbelts are useful to prevent dogs from running into the car and distracting the driver but have not been proven to protect dogs in the event of an accident.
Leave space in front of people

Keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If the airbag deploys when your pet is in the passenger seat (even if it is in a crate), it could be injured.

  • Get your dog used to the car by letting him sit in the car with you without deviating from the road, and then taking him for short walks.
  • To avoid motion sickness, travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure you always have plenty of water on hand.
  • Keep the vehicle well ventilated. If your dog stays in kennels, make sure he can breathe fresh air.
  • Consider wearing a seatbelt or car seat to protect your dog.
  • Do not allow your dog to travel with his head out of an open window. This can cause injury from cold air entering the lungs or eye problems.

Traveling With A Dog Everything You Need to Know 2

  • Never allow your dog to travel in the back seat of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death.
  • Stop frequently to exercise and relieve tension. Remember to clean up after your dog. Never let your pet out of the truck without a collar, tag, or leash.
  • A car journey is boring for everyone, so ask your children not to disturb your dog in the car.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, especially in summer. If you must leave the vehicle, designate a family member to stay with the dog.

Traveling With A Dog By Ship

Except for pet dogs, pets are only allowed on some cruise ships, and usually only on ocean liners. Some lines allow pets in private cabins but must keep them in kennels. Contact the cruise line in advance to find out their rules and which ships have kennels. If you must use a kennel on board, make sure it is weatherproof and that you check your pets regularly.

Traveling With A Dog By Train

Amtrak now allows some pets on some trains, and pets are allowed on all routes. Because dogs weigh less than 20 pounds (also a $25 surcharge), it is not always possible to travel with a dog.

The HSUS supports the “Pets on Trains” bill (H.R. 674), pending in Congress, which would allow Amtrak to allow passengers to bring their beloved pets on certain trains. Some smaller US rail companies allow pets on trains. Many European countries allow pets on trains. Passengers are generally responsible for feeding and walking their pets at the stop.

Greyhound and other long-distance bus companies do not allow dogs on board (local train and bus companies have their own rules).
This may be better for cruises. However, before you consider taking your dog on a cruise, check the rules of the ship or cruise line you are traveling with.

Traveling With A Dog Everything You Need to Know

Read: 11 Best Dog Insurance For Older Dogs

Other Things You Should Know When Traveling With A Dog

1. Make copies of your pet’s papers.

If you plan to cross borders or travel abroad, you’ll need your dog’s health documents (just as we humans need our passports). This is proof that your dog is healthy and vaccinated. Depending on who you are dealing with, they will either keep the original documents or make copies. If you need to see a new vet abroad, you can also give them your four-legged friend’s medical records.

2. Use apps suitable for dogs.

There are many apps you can use to travel with your dog. It’s much easier now than when I was traveling the world without an iPhone. My favorite apps are as follows:

  • All Trails – This app has the largest collection of trail maps (over 50,000). See photos and reviews and filter your search by dog-friendly trails to find trails you can do with your dog.
  • Bring Fido: Dog World on Yelp. Bring Fido helps you find pet-friendly hotels, attractions, and restaurants near you.
  • Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross – This app helps you find the nearest first aid station and provides step-by-step instructions for common pet emergencies.

3. Go with a pet carrier

There are several pet baby carriers on the market. One of my favorites is the k9 Sport Sack, a backpack for dogs up to 40 pounds (psst – use coupon code BOOGIE for a 10% discount).

The bag is available in a variety of colors and can be personalized with stickers. A pet hoodie that is suitable for dogs weighing up to 10 pounds.

4. Treat the people you meet with respect.

Wherever you go with your dog, be honest and considerate of the people around you. Some people love animals, while others may be afraid of puppies, no matter how small. Be polite and know your dog’s limits.

Remember that the relationship between humans and dogs is very different in different cultures. Try to be aware of these cultural differences and remember the boundaries between humans and dogs that people are used to.

5. Different countries

If you need to cross a border, each country has different rules for bringing a puppy into its territory. Some only require a rabies vaccination and veterinary papers, while others require quarantine and hefty fees. There is also a list of breeds that can only be imported with certain restrictions, and some countries openly prohibit entry.

The most difficult countries to enter are island nations such as Australia, Japan, Fiji, and Iceland. The easiest countries to enter are EU countries (if your puppy has an EU passport!). Check the regulations of your destination country in advance to make sure you can meet all the requirements.

6. Making Friends with Other Dogs

Dogs are social animals. If you go for a walk or spend time in a local park, you can make friends with other dogs and their owners. They will tell you where they like to go, where the best dog restaurants are nearby and which vets they trust. Dog owners know best and are a valuable resource.

7 Pack essential Things.

If you’re planning on taking your dog on a trip, there are a few things you should have with you. Poop bags, harnesses, leashes, and tags are just a few examples. Take the things you need for your dog with you if you can’t find them on the street (not all cities have good pet shops!).

8 Teach your dog to behave properly.

Your dog should already know a few things before you leave. Basic commands like “sit” and “down” will make it easier for your dog to deal with you when you’re outside. A well-trained dog can settle into a hotel room or rented flat for a few hours when you go out to eat or visit a museum.

You are also more likely to get a positive reaction if people can see that your dog is well behaved. No one wants a dog that barks or is afraid.

Dog Insurance To The Rescue.

If your dog needs medical attention while you are traveling abroad, look for policies that cover emergencies. Some insurance plans may even cover the expense of missed vacation days or kennel costs if you need to stay in the hospital. Check out our comprehensive guide on the best pet travel insurance

Read: Can I Get Pet Insurance Before Surgery?

Video: Best Way To Traveling With A Dog

Traveling With A Dog Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cruel to travel with a dog?

Its cruel to travel with a dog, even when flying with a pet-friendly airline, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) advises against flying with large dogs that would need to be transported in cargo. It’s better to stay away from plane travel with your dogs, they say unless they are small enough to fit beneath your seat.

The below video from Nerdwallet explains it better.

Can my dog sit on my lap during a flight?

Oh No, your dog cannot sit on your lap during a flight, pets must remain in their carriers, which must be stored under the seat in front of you, for the duration of your domestic flight.

Are dogs safe in cargo?

Oh Yes, dogs are safe in cargo, but for pet traveling in cargo is the riskier alternative. Any animal can travel safely in the cabin as carry-on luggage if not a large animal. However, only creatures that can fit under the seat are permitted: A Maltese, a cat, or a rabbit are acceptable pets; a fully grown Labrador is not.

Read: Not Having Pet Insurance? 3 Worst Things Know

Traveling With A Dog
Traveling With A Dog

Parting Words

Plan! Plan!! Plan!!!, Planning is the key

Traveling with a dog or dogs is more memorable and fun, but can also be stressful if not well planned. A dog can help you meet more people, see more places, experience and enjoy the present. There is no better way to explore a new place than with a dog!

Make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel with you. If in doubt, leave your pet with a trusted friend, relative or pet care service during your trip, or choose an alternative mode of transportation for your dog.

If you plan and consult with your veterinarian, your pet will arrive at your destination and a safe return from your destination will be trouble-free.

Thanks for reading “Traveling With A Dog: Everything You Need to Know” Please help share with your friends.

Itohowo Williams has always been an animal enthusiast and has spent more than ten years working in the pet insurance industry in particular as well as other pet-related sectors. An OnePageSEO Expert. The Pet Insurance Nice Guy. Lover of Pet, Crazy for French Bulldog . Currently Working as a Pet Insurance writer at The goal is to provide valuable insights and tips for pet owners seeking guidance in choosing the right pet insurance plan, with a deep understanding of the factors that impact the cost of pet insurance policies in the Pet Insurance World. With a focus on E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness), Williams is a reliable source for pet owners seeking high-quality pet insurance advice to make informed decisions about their furry friend's health and wellbeing. Follow Williams on twitter @

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