Much has been written about traveling with a dog. Sometimes it is necessary when you are relocating or going on an extended trip and you don't want to leave your dog in a kennel. Other times you are going on vacation and you want your dog to travel with you. Then there are visits to friends who have dogs who enjoy the socialization with your dog.
Over the years, the airlines have been far more accommodating when it comes to dog travel. It was not until the 1980's that pets were allowed in the cabin of aircraft under the seat. Today, it is a huge business for the airlines and many of them have programs tailored for traveling dogs, cats and all sorts of other animals.
The car industry is seeing the popularity of SUVs that will accommodate the crates of larger animals and RV owners are enjoying taking their dogs with them on their travels.
Whether your dog travel is by car or by air, there are important things to know:
- Prepare in advance - get your carrier or crate as far in advance of your trip as possible and get your pet accustomed to it.
- Visit your veterinarian - make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel and has no fleas or ticks
- Get your pet out of its environment - try a dog park or a friend's house. Short trips to somewhere fun (not the vet).
- Pack wisely - don't forget a sturdy leash, health and rabies certificates, medications and pet food
- Groom your pet - a clean pet is more comfortable and happier
- Ease up on dinner - on the day of travel, do not feed your pet within 2-3 hours of travel. The last meal prior to travel should be half normal ration. Be sure and hydrate, however.
- Lots of exercise - just prior to leaving, give your pet a nice walk with plenty of time to do its business and stretch its legs.