Summertime calls for a time of traveling with friends and family. Sometimes, you might be put in a situation where you have to bring your pet along with you on your travels. Despite your love for your furry friend, doing so may be risky or quite a hassle. Here are some tips and insight for you if you decide let your dog tag along:
Traveling With Your Dog By Car
Traveling by car may be the best option due to the fact that your pet can be right next to you at all times. Here are somethings to remember:
- Don’t let your dog sit in the front seat. If anything was to happen and an airbag deploys, it may severely injure them.
- Don’t leave your pet alone in a car. When you stop for pit stops, bring your furry friend out with you! Dogs should never sit in a car alone, especially in the heat. To read our previous post on the dangers of leaving your dog in the heat, click here.
- Don’t let your dog roam around a moving car. The safest way to travel in the car with your pet is to have her in a crate that is carefully secured with a seatbelt. If your pet is not secured in one place, it may be a distraction to the driver and it may lead to an accident.
- Rest stops. For longer trips, it is important to stop and rest for both you and your dog to get out of the car and stretch your legs.
- Keep your dog’s heads inside. We all know how much your dog may love hanging their heads out the window during long drives. No matter how happy they may seem doing so, allowing this can injure them due to particles of debris or due to the cold hair being forced into their lungs. It’s always safe to just make sure all their body parts are kept inside the car at all times.
Traveling With Your Dog By Airplane
Traveling by plane with your dog should be your last resort if there are no other options. If it happens to be the only option you can consider at the time, then it's important to be cautious and decide if the benefits of flying outweigh the risks.
The Risks of Air Travel
If you decide to travel by an airplane, there may be some precautions you should consider first.
Air travel with your pet can sometimes be risky. There have been numerous cases where animals have been killed, injured, or lost on commercial airlines. This usually occurs in the cargo hold due to excessively hot or cold temperatures, poor ventilation, rough handling, and lack of care.
If it is the only option, first find out if the airline will allow you to bring your pup with you in the cabin. Smaller animals may be allowed to come along in the cabin for an additional fee depending on the airline. Make sure you call the airline in advance and speak to a representative that will be able to answer all your questions about size requirements, regulations, etc.
Tips For Pet Air Travel
- Check to see if your airline requires any special pet health and immunization.
- Book a nonstop flight if possible. Using direct flights will help you avoid the mistakes that may occur during airline transfers and possible delays in reuniting with your pet.
- Try to travel on the same flight as your pet if possible. You may ask the airline if you can watch your dog being loaded into the cargo hold and unloaded to ensure safety.
- Consider pet travel insurance from the airline or third-party provider just in case anything were to happen.
- Invest in a quality travel kennel for your pet that is International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved.
- Make sure your dog's nails are clipped. This will help to protect them against getting hooked in the carrier's door, holes, and other crevices.
Other Cage-Free Alternatives
It’s understood that many times we want to travel with our dogs. However, there are times when the option to bring your furry friend along for the ride is simply not available or cost prohibitive. Don't fret, there are other safe options that do not involve putting your dog in a cage for days in a traditional kennel environment while you are out of town. Popular options include using an in-home dog walker, an in-home overnight sitter or a cage-free boarding facility
with 24/7 human supervision.