Traveling with your dog – American Kennel Club

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ADVICE FROM THE CHIEF VETERINARY OF THE AKC, DR. JERRY KLEIN

After more than a year of staying at home, we all want a change of scenery. When the country reopens, the possibility of traveling too. Some of us may want to take our dogs with us. Before you and your dog jump in the car or on the plane for your next destination, here are some things to consider when deciding to travel with your dog.

Plan ahead
When traveling with your dog, good planning makes all the difference. Bringing your dog with you is going to affect the type of vacation you have; where you are going, how to get there, where you can stay, and the weather and types of activities you can do while away from your hotel room. It’s crucial to have the best possible time for you, your family, and your dog.

Medical issues
Travel can be stressful for some animals, especially if they are not used to it. Signs of stress can range from an interruption in feeding, excessive barking or chewing, and even diarrhea and vomiting. If a dog is used to traveling, no medication is usually required or recommended. If your dog has a history of motion sickness, your vet may prescribe medication to relieve nausea and vomiting. Anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed by your vet if he feels the dog could benefit from them. To minimize and prevent gastrointestinal issues, try to pack some of the same food and keep everything as close to schedule as possible. Some dogs may have medical issues that should be considered before travel. This can include dogs that have serious underlying medical conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, or an elderly dog.

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Vaccination
All dogs that travel must be in good health and free from communicable diseases. Prior to travel, all dogs should be seen and examined by your veterinarian to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and flea and tick prevention. In the event of an accident or possible escape while traveling, your dog should have specific identification such as a microchip in place with up-to-date information. For road travel, no paperwork is required for interstate travel, but owners are strongly recommended to have proof of rabies vaccination in case it is requested. If your dog flies in the same compartment as you, no paperwork is required but it is recommended that the owner has proof of current rabies vaccination. If your dog is traveling by cargo, documentation of a current rabies vaccination as well as a current health certificate are required.

Equipment for your dog
A pet travel kit should include:

  • dog collar and leash
  • food and water bowl
  • bags of shit
  • a case or a carrier for the trip and / or the hotel,
  • enough food to feed your dog until you can purchase this brand at your travel location
  • baby wipes
  • paper napkins
  • your dog’s medication as well as a photo of his vaccination record and a list of your dog’s medications in case you need to purchase more

Pet-friendly policies
Travelers with pets should always remember to confirm pet policies before booking. Make sure your hosting policies are up to date, as they can change for a number of reasons. Typically, accommodations with pet-friendly policies will accept small dogs. If you are traveling with medium, large, or multi-sized dogs, it may be more difficult to find pet-friendly policies that can accommodate these dogs, among other restrictions. Travelers should be aware that some pet-friendly accommodations often charge a fee. Be sure to ask for details on pet policies so you won’t be surprised when the bill arrives.

Know your dog
It is important to keep the type of trip you take in mind when deciding to travel with your dog, as not all activities are suitable for all dog breeds. For example, a Pekingese isn’t the kind of dog to hike and a German Shorthaired Pointer wouldn’t just hang out in the hotel room. This is the reason why it is important to choose a breed that matches your lifestyle so that you can share the moments of your life with your dog. Therefore, choose the vacation that works best for you and your dog. Some dog breeds are more sensitive to hot temperatures, such as older dogs or brachycephalic type dogs, and some dogs are sensitive to cold, such as hairless breeds and those with osteoarthritis. Temperature changes should always be taken into account when traveling, especially when traveling by plane if dogs need to travel by cargo.

Car safety
Many dogs love car rides and are eager to join their families on trips. Before you pack the car on the road, stop for a second and think about the impact this trip has on you and your dog. Traveling by car requires full concentration on the part of the driver. Dogs kept in their cages or held in a harness allow the driver to concentrate on the road. Additionally, in a major car accident, dogs in crates are generally known to be safer in a crash and prevent them from jumping into traffic and getting lost. Before traveling, take the time to make your dog comfortable with his crate. No dog should be left alone in a car on any occasion, especially if the weather is above 65 degrees. The risks of heat stroke after leaving your dog in a hot car are real. If you are traveling by car, take exercise and stretch breaks every 4 to 6 hours.

Consider leaving your pet at home
Finally, if you think your dog won’t be safe and comfortable for most of the trip, you need to consider whether bringing your dog with you is a good idea and whether it would be better to stay home with you. a qualified caretaker.

Remember that you and your dogs are ambassadors for all pets traveling in the future. Being a responsible pet owner today will benefit pet owners and their dogs in the future when they travel. Travel in a courteous and responsible manner, and pet-friendly accommodations when we travel will continue to accommodate our pets.


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