There’s no place like home for the holidays, but if this year’s festivities are taking you on a journey – whether over the hill to Grandma’s or across the world – chances are you’ve got some pet planning to do. Travel can be hard on dogs, whether they’re coming with you or staying behind with a trusted professional. Here’s how you can make travel a little easier on both of you.
Car Travel with Pets
If you’re road-tripping this holiday season and your favorite furry pal is joining in on the fun, you’ll want to make sure you keep him safe. Traveling with a dog safely is a little more complicated than opening up the back hatch and loading him up in the cargo area. To keep everyone safe, you’ll need to prepare a bit – both the car and your dog.
- Do the prep-work: If your dog isn’t accustomed to spending a lot of time in the car, take some time to get her used to it. Take her on trips around town so she can get used to the way the car feels. This will help curb any anxiety she might have about being strapped into a large moving object.
- Keep him secure: Speaking of being strapped in, if you don’t already have a large, well-ventilated crate or carrier, now is the time to invest in one. Secure the crate so it cannot slide around in the car. If you’d rather tote your pup without a crate, invest in a dog restraint system and ensure it’s properly installed before your trip.
- Be safe: Dogs should always ride in the backseat of the car. Bring along items with which your dog is familiar, like her bowl, leash and favorite toy. Be sure you’re stocked with food, water, waste bags and medication if necessary. Never, ever leave your dog alone in a parked vehicle. Even in the winter, this can be deadly for an animal, as he can freeze in the car.
Air Travel with Pets
Flying with a dog for the first time can be intimidating, but if you’re prepared, you and your furry friend will both survive – and even enjoy – the flight. Keep in mind that air travel is best with small dogs who are able to ride underneath your seat.
- Go direct: The less time you spend in the air, the better. Unfamiliar places and holiday crowds can stress your dog out, so try to limit the time spend both on the plane and in the airport. Booking a direct flight can help ensure the journey is as short as possible.
- Get a checkup: If it’s been a while since you’ve seen your vet, make sure you stop by to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. Your vet can give you a health certificate to show anyone who might ask, as well as advice on how to keep your dog calm during the journey.
- Get a solid crate: If your dog is traveling in the cargo area of the plane, make sure you purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your dog to stand and move around a bit. Line the crate with bedding or paper towels and be sure it’s properly identified. Make sure the airline personnel know you’ve got a pet in the cargo area so they’ll know to alert you if anything comes up.
If you’re leaving your pet for the holidays, it’s important you leave her in the care of responsible professionals. You wouldn’t trust your children to any babysitter, so be sure you know your dog boarder’s qualifications well before you travel. At Doggie District, we pride ourselves in giving your dog the best care possible. If you’ll be out of town for the holidays, there’s no place like Doggie District for your furry friend!