Dog Travel Safety Tips

Posted by Nitin Bhat on

Dog Travel Safety Tips

            Most families cannot travel long distances without their dogs. Many dogs love to travel but traveling can be stressful for you and your dog if you are not well prepared. You need to get necessities for you and your dog to ensure your pup is safe and comfortable during the whole trip.

So, whether you are traveling for pleasure or necessity, you need to get yourself prepared for the whole journey. Here are some safety tips when traveling with your dog.

Safety tips during car travel


During car travel, you cannot assume that you will get everything you need for your dog on the way. Before you set out, you should get the necessary items to make your dog comfortable, especially during long trips.

Make use of a carrier or kennels.

Having your dog sit beside you during travel may look cool, but it is unsafe for you and your dog. You need to be focused when driving and having your dog hop around the car when they get excited or anxious will make you distracted. For safe travel, you should have your dog restrained in the backseat. You can either use a carrier that has been strapped with a seatbelt or a kennel for bigger dogs. This will make them calmer and make you focus more on the road.

Get them accustomed to car rides.

Getting an adult dog into a car for the first time may be a hassle. So, getting them accustomed to shorter car rides is important before taking them on longer car rides.

Pack a travel kit for your pet.

Just like we all have our own travel, when going on a long car trip, you should pack your pup’s travel kit. You will need:

  • A valid means of identification is needed in case he gets lost. The pet tag should have a microchip with details like your name, address, and phone number. You should never leave your home with your dog without a pet tag.
  • Vet/immunization records: Campground managers and hotels may want to see these records, so it is ideal if you have them handy.
  • Leash or Harness: In a new environment, you should let your dog roam freely.
  • Feeding bowls: You should bring your dog’s regular food, a food bowl, a water bowl, or a water dispenser. Make sure to bring water from home, as unfamiliar water may affect your dog’s stomach.
  • Poop bags: You will need poop bags and a scoop to collect the poop and a couple of garbage bags.
  • Pet wipes: You will need pet wipes to clean off their paws.
  • First aid kit: What is a travel kit without first aid?
  • To keep your dog occupied and excited throughout the trip, you should pack some of their favorite toys.

Always stop during travel to feed your dog.

To avoid pet sickness, you should never feed your dog in a moving vehicle. It is advisable that you feed your pup every two to three hours after you leave. Remember to hydrate and make sure your dog takes regular water breaks.

Don’t keep your dog alone in the car.

You should never, ever leave your dog alone in the car. Leaving your dog unattended in a car is very dangerous, as on a hot day, even with an open window, the vehicle can be as hot as a furnace. On a cold day, it can be as cold as a refrigerator in no time.

Make sure your dog is in a good health before traveling.

If you are planning on going on a long trip, you should take your pup to the vet for a check to ensure everything is good. Nothing is as stressful as travelling with a sick dog, and this can be handled if you are aware beforehand.

Keep your dog's head in the car.

Although if you are using a carrier or crate, you don’t need to worry about this, it is worth repeating. Having your dog head outside may look cute and exciting, but it is dangerous, especially on long trips, as he can get debris stuck in his eye or end up falling out of the car. So, it is advisable to keep them restricted in a moving vehicle.

Prepare your car for travel.

You will need to get blankets and floor covers to keep your dog comfortable throughout the whole trip.

Safety tip during plane travel


           Traveling with your dog on a plane can be hectic, especially at the last minute. You should check if things are in place for you to travel by air with your dog, and if it is not possible, I suggest you look for other options.

Visit your pet’s veterinarian before traveling.

Some dogs may have difficulty travelling by air. For example, dogs with short nasal passages like pugs, bulldogs, and other breeds will likely have problems with oxygen. For smaller and special breeds like this, you should check if they can travel in the cabin with you. You should check with your pet’s vet to know if you can travel with your pet and how you can keep him relaxed throughout the trip. You should also have your pup’s up-to-date vaccination information on hand within ten days of your departure.

You should purchase a USDA-approved crate.

This crate is usually spacious for your dog to move around and helps curb accidents. You can also tape small food and water outside the crate so the airline personnel can easily feed your dog when he gets hungry and thirsty. Keep the crate securely closed but not locked to provide access in case of emergencies.

Put a proper means of identification on your dog’s crate.

You should mark your pet’s crate with a means of identification, i.e., your name, destination, phone number, and a photo in case your dog escapes.

Safety tip during train travel

Some trains only allow dogs who weigh under twenty-five pounds, so train travel with your pup may not be an option. But if you decide to travel with your dog, you should make sure you have the necessary documentation.

Irrespective of the means of travel, you should make your pet's safety paramount and try to enjoy every bit of the journey.