Tips for traveling with your dogs

Traveling with your dogs can sometimes be a daunting task. Car rides may make your dogs nervous, you have to stop frequently to let them go to the restroom, and then they get to stay in a new place. All of these aspects can make traveling with your pets on the bottom of your to-do list. Leaving your dogs at a kennel is the easy way out. Over spring break I am planning a trip to California with all of my dogs. While it is stressful for me, my dogs love it. They enjoy being in the car, and staying at my families house with me. To be honest, I prefer it over leaving them at a kennel or with my parents. I just like having my dogs with me.

Photo Credit: Dr. Prem
Photo Credit: Dr. Prem

I travel with my dogs a lot, and they have become pretty accustomed to traveling with me. But I always have to make a list of what to bring with me, so I don’t forget anything. Also, there are a few things that I always do before going out of town. First, it is important to make sure that they are up to date on all of their shots. This is important so they do not get sick in new places. Next, I always take them to get their nails trimmed. My dogs enjoy sitting in the car like a person, and I do not want them to damage my car seats. Another thing that is important to consider is if they need flea/tick preventative medicine. Since I live in Nevada, where fleas/ ticks are not common, I do not give my dogs preventatives, unless we are planning a trip out of town.

Next comes the list of things to pack. I usually bring their entire food container, food dishes, dog kennels, their blankets, as well as a basket of their toys to keep them busy. In my opinion, it is better to over pack for them instead of under pack and end up having to go to the pet store. I probably do not need to take their kennels with me, but going to places that they are not 100% familiar with can be stressful to them. For my dogs, their kennels are not somewhere that they go when they are punished, but their safe places where they feel comfortable, which is why I take them with me.

Photo Credit: Dogtipper
Photo Credit: Dogtipper

Everyone’s dogs are different and it is important to get to know your dogs traveling habits. http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/responsible-dog-ownership/travel-tips/ and https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/road-trips-your-dog both provide very helpful information about traveling with your pets. My dogs have been on several road trips, and even enjoy riding for long distances in the back of the truck (tied down of course). The first few trips may be stressful for your dogs, but they begin to get the hang of it and will come out of their shells. It helps to continue to exercise them like your normally would while on your trip, in order to keep them in a routine.

Does anyone else have any recommendations about traveling with your dogs? If you do, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment!

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