December 12, 2022 3 min read
Adventures are always better with a best friend by your side. Bringing the pooch along on vacation sounds like a no brainer but anyone who’s ever traveled with dogs can attest: it can also get ruff… Here are our 11 tips for traveling with a dog to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for everyone (both humans & hounds):
The saying is true- can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Get them acquainted with travel in their earlier years so they know what to expect. To get your canine companion acclimated to travel and sitting in a moving car, take them on some test runs first to get them used to time in the car
.“My dogs become accustomed to travel at an early age. I use crates at home, in my car, and at competitions to not only keep them safe, but as a space they know they can turn off and relax in.” -Darcy Ernat, Dog Trainer & Agility Coach
Keeping your dog relaxed is key to smooth travel. Whether it’s a familiar kennel, a comfort blanket or special toy– bringing something along that reminds them of home can help sooth anxiety. Plus having a comfy travel dog bed will help them to feel comfortable even when away from home. You don’t need to compromise on comfort for packability anymore!
“Every year I find that I become more and more in tune with my body and I’m more sensitive to things like getting adequate rest and proper nutrition and exercise. If I don’t have those things, I don’t feel great! Why would my dog be any different?” -Darcy Ernat, Dog Trainer & Agility Coach
If your pup is prone to anxiety on the road, getting some decent drugs to calm them down can really help.
If your dog is getting super stressed out in transit (panting, pacing, crying), stop and take a listen. Dogs are good at communicating when they need help, all you need to do is listen.
Treats are an absolute must. Rewarding good behavior during their experience traveling will keep them loving their time on the road.
Let your dog periodically stretch their legs and relieve themselves. If in an airport, check for pet relief areas and plan ahead.
Give your dog plenty of calm downtime to balance out the activity and excitement of a new place. Training your dog to associate a bed or kennel they associate with chill/relaxation time will help them to calm down even in a new environment.
Don’t leave your dog in the car in too extreme of temperatures - cold or hot.
For the classic wind in the face doggo look- they love it!
Dogs process a lot of information through their noses, so let your dog smell their hearts out! So many new places & smells… allowing them to thoroughly sniff the scene will help them to settle in and feel relaxed in a new space. It also provides a lot of mental stimulation, which is an added bonus to help tire them out on long travel days.
Fun fact: a 20 minute sniff session is equivalent to an hour long walk in terms of enrichment for your dog!
Destination: dog park! While your dog probably doesn’t mind tagging along to human oriented activities, they deserve some scheduling on the itinerary too. Incorporating dog-centric destinations into the trip will reinforce that traveling is fun & exciting for everyone!