Summer is the season of travel, and I love to travel with my dog. Vacation just isn’t a vacation without her.
Many hotel chains offer services that cater to pets. Such services include beds and water dishes laid out upon your arrival, dog walking services (usually for an extra fee), free treats and much more. Hotels are also easing up on the size restrictions, so you are seeing many more large breed dogs joining in on the family fun.
When traveling to your fun destination by car, I am a big believer in securing your dog. It is very dangerous to just let your dog roam freely in the car. Not only can they distract you and cause an accident, but they can get very hurt. If there were an accident, an unrestrained pet can be projected out of the car, they can escape through an open window, and much worse. So, the easiest thing to do to ensure that all passengers (both two legged and four legged) arrive safely at the destination, is to secure everyone.
There are a few, very easy ways to do this. If you have a car big enough, I recommend bringing your dogs crate and securing the crate with a seatbelt. This allows your dog room to lay down, stretch out and enjoy the ride. The other easy thing to do is invest in a seat belt harness for your dog. This looks like a regular harness, but has a loop attached to the back that allows the seat belt to slide through. Voila! Dog is safe, humans are safe, let the fun road trip commence!
If you are checking in your pet, you must have their health certificate attached to their crate. I recommend having a second copy that you carry yourself. Your dog must travel in a clean, solid crate with plenty of ventilation. It must be large enough that they can stand, turn around, sit and lie down. You must provide food and water and attach them both to the inside of the crate. I recommend ice cubes since they take longer to melt and won’t splash around during the take off. Before you check in, it is always a good idea to check with the airline and see if there is anything else you need. There might be some temperature restrictions in place as well as breed restrictions.
If you are taking your dog in the cabin as a carry-on, most airlines require you make a reservation. Always carry their health certificate and check size requirements for pet carriers with the individual airline. Most airlines won’t accept anything larger than 19” long x 13” wide x 9” high.Your dog must be able to stand, turn around, sit and lie down comfortably in their carrier. Also, airlines do not allow you to take your dog out during the flight for any reason, so make sure to potty them before getting to the airport.
Airlines do charge for both checked and carry-on pets, so make sure to check with the airline in advance. Try to make the experience as comfortable as possible for your pet. If you are checking them, include a blanket and/or favorite toy for them to cuddle up with. If you are carrying them on, talk to them throughout the ride and if you are like me, sneak a little treat or pat on the head once in a while.
Just remember to have fun and enjoy the extra time with your four legged friend. Happy and safe travels!