Tips For Traveling With Your Dog

Published Date: December 12th, 2006
Category: Dogs

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by: Terry Hanson

Taking your dog with you when you travel, whether you go by land, air or sea, can present real problems. I know – I do 100k miles a year, and most of them I get to take Beck with me. It’s worth the extra hassle, no question. But what tips can I offer you?

Air travel with your dog

It takes most dogs a long time to get used to traveling by plane. It took Beck about 6 flights before he stopped getting stressed about it. The big thing is to make sure your dog knows that it’s just a temporary thing – to a woofer, a flight can seem to last forever! Each airline has their own set of rules – you need to check these before the flight. No good turning up and finding you are denied access to the plane because you didn’t bone up on the regs!

Number one tip is – get a vet to sign a health certificate for your dog certifying that he has no diseases. Also make sure the dog is up to scratch on his anti-flea programme, and bring documentary evidence with you if you can. No airline wants a flea infested plane! Check his dog tags. Make sure YOUR contact details are there and easy to read. If you do get separated, this ensures you’ll be re-united fast. For the same reason, you carry a photo of your dog in your wallet.

Number 2 tip – no food for Fido for 6 hours before the flight, and no water for 2 hours before. We wouldn’t want any nasty ‘accidents’ now, would we???!!! Also put a note on his crate saying what his eating and drinking needs are – if the flight gets delayed, the ground staff will have a duty to live up to these.

Number 3 tip – buy a crate big enough for your dog to stand up in. Only buy custom made crates from your pet shop. Buy one that is designed for the rigors of air transport. NEVER try to ‘get by’ with any old crate. Trust me – your dog will thank you for the gift! Also remember that the airline you are using may have specific requirements for cases that go in the hold. Check the livestock regs.

Car Travel with your Dog

Tip 1 – Just like air travel, make sure your dog has all his ID with him, and you carry a photo. Even in the car, keep him leashed. Dogs have been known to get excited and leap out the window. Bad things happen on the freeway!

Tip 2 – Always book your hotel or motel ahead of time. If they don’t allow dogs, you will be turned away whether or not you have a booking. I learned this the hard way with Beck – sleeping in a car ain’t fun!

Tip 3 – acclimatization. Get your dog used to trips – start out with short trips, and gradually extend them. Let him experience the aircon, and maybe even stick his head out the window (dogs love this – make sure he’s on the leash first, and that there is no contra traffic!)

These tips have enabled Beck and I to enjoy many great trips together, and believe me, it’s nice to have some company on those long empty miles! If you like Beck, please vote for him on the petmillions.com contest at Vote for Beck in the petmillions contest!

About The Author

Terry Hanson is in sales, but doesn’t like to be separated from his pooch Beck, who is entered in the http://www.petmillions.com/ pet contest.

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