A big part of the holidays is the holiday travel as you are going from one place to another to celebrate with friends and family. If you are like most people in the United States, you probably have to travel at least a few hours to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. If this is the case, you may run into the issue of traveling with your dog if you aren’t able to leave them at home or with a loved one.
In this article, we will discuss holiday travel tips with your dog so everybody stays safe and comfortable. Utilizing these tips can reduce the stress on you and your dog, making the entire process of the holidays more enjoyable.
Chart Your Course
If you know you will be traveling for the holidays, you need to start planning this adventure ahead of time. For most people, they are able to drive to their desired destination, so they will need to plan out their route.
When you are bringing your dog with you on this road trip, you need to take this into consideration when planning how you will get there. For instance, you may need to choose a route that allows you to make more pit stops so your dog can get out and go potty or run around.
It is also imperative that you avoid areas where there is road work since this can become very stressful for your dog. Avoiding particularly curvy or rough areas is also a good idea since these can contribute to motion sickness and anxiety.
Make It Comfortable
Vehicles are not necessarily designed with the comfort of pets in mind. Because of this, you will want to make an effort to make your car as comfortable as possible for your dog, especially if it will be a several hour long road trip.
To keep your dog safe, it is recommended to invest in dog travel gear that allows you to secure your dog in the seat or a section of the vehicle. But if this is not possible, you can surround an area of the vehicle with luggage so that your dog cannot wander around as you are driving.
Every dog is different, so you will want to create a bed that you know your dog will enjoy. For most dogs, a blanket and a stuffed animal are all they need to stay comfortable and calm.
Every dog owner has specific routines that they share with their beloved pup that make life a bit easier. Holiday travel can feel very chaotic, especially since it is already such a busy time of the year. Despite this, it is still important to maintain your dog’s routines since these are comforting to them and help them understand what is going on.
For example, if your dog eats at a specific time during the day, trying to maintain this routine when you are on the road is a good idea. You can also maintain other habits such as afternoon exercise, certain potty breaks, and your morning and evening routine with your dog.
Plan For Stops
Speaking of pit stops for your dog when you are traveling for the holidays, this is something you need to plan for. When you travel with pets, this is going to inevitably alter how you are able to travel since you have to stop more frequently. It is very important to factor this into your travel plans since you do not want to feel rushed and pass that stress onto your dog.
You also want to travel on a route that allows you to stop as frequently as you need to. If the route you are looking at is on a heavily traveled highway that is difficult to get off of, you may want to take back roads instead.
Planning for stops also includes ensuring it is easy to get your dog in and out of the vehicle without rearranging everything. Make sure leashes are easily accessible, and you have taught your dog to stay put until they are hooked up so it is safe for them to leave the vehicle.
Pack the Necessities
A big part of holiday traveling is deciding what you need to bring, especially when bringing your dog along. You will need to make sure you pack their necessities so that they are comfortable and there aren’t any surprises along the way.
Here are some examples of the things you need to pack for your dog:
- Food and water bowl
- Dog food
- Dog treats ( like these Soft-Baked Bacon Treats!)
- Leash and collar
- Blankets and toys
- Medication or ointments
- Brush and nail clippers
These are just a few examples of the common items dog owners need to consider when they are packing. Your dog may need additional necessities, so it is a good idea to create a list so nothing is left behind.
Plan For Emergencies
No one wants to consider that emergencies can pop up when you are traveling for the holidays, but it is essential to plan for emergencies. This is especially true when you’re traveling with your dog since they may need vet care without warning.
If you are traveling far, it is a good idea to have your dog checked out by their vet before leaving. This is especially true if you are traveling by plane since you want to make sure your dog is in tip-top condition.
You should also do your research to find out what vets are in the area where you will be staying for the holidays. Try to find urgent care vet facilities specifically where you can take your dog if there is a medical emergency.
The number one thing dog owners need to remember when traveling with their dogs is identification. Every dog should wear a collar with their name tag and contact information on a daily basis. This is important in case they accidentally get out and a stranger finds them.
Nowadays, it is highly recommended to have your dog chipped so that they can easily be located if they get lost. It is crucial that they have some form of identification when they are traveling since there is a higher risk of them running off and getting lost.
Holiday Travel With Your Dog By Plane
While most families only have to travel a few hours to spend the holidays with their loved ones, this isn’t always the case. If you have to travel by plane to celebrate the holidays, this is going to be a little more difficult if you want to bring your dog.
Traveling by plane with a pet can feel very overwhelming and a bit scary, but there are some tips that can help you get through this process.
Crate Train Them
When you fly with your dog, it is very likely that your dog will have to stay in a crate throughout the flight. Because of this, you want to make sure your dog is thoroughly crate trained so that this does not add to their stress.
You can try to simulate how this feels by putting them in their crate or cage and driving around with them in the car. As they get used to their crate, this will become less of a stressful experience, making the flight easier.
Research the Airline
Before planning on traveling by plane with your dog, you need to research the airline you are considering. Make sure the airline you choose allows dogs to travel, and do research about how it takes care of pets. It is also a good idea to research reviews from other pet owners to see what their experience was.
In many instances, it is worthwhile going with a more reputable airline since they will take better care of your dog. This is already a complicated process, so you don’t want to choose the cheapest option.
Before getting on the plane with your dog, you want to make sure they expel as much energy as possible. The more energetic your dog is before the flight, the more likely it is that they will simply sleep through it.
You can try playing and running with your dog before you arrive at the airport to get them tired before starting the process. If at all possible, it is even more beneficial if you can play with them before the flight to help expel any nervous energy.
Keep Them Calm
Like humans, dogs tend to be a bit nervous when it comes to traveling, especially when it comes to flying. This is a very unfamiliar experience for most dogs, and it is not uncommon for them to become nervous before the flight.
Your vet may recommend that you medicate your dog with anti-anxiety medication to help ease their stress and help them sleep. But you need to make sure you have tested this well in advance to make sure they don’t have any adverse side effects.
You could also try a gentler option, like treating them with CBD Peanut Butter, which has a mild calming effect. Not only will this help to ease their stress, but it is also a great way to treat them for being a good dog throughout this process!