Bringing your dog along on family vacations can mean a lot more fun for everyone. However,it’sessential to create a travel plan if you want to make the most of your trip and minimizestress.

Health & Safety

Your top priorities when traveling with a dog should be health and safety. Bring your dog to a veterinarian for a routine checkup before starting your trip.

Ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date, and you have a copy of their shot records on hand.Some airlines ask to see health certifications before allowing your dog to board.

To keep your pet healthy during the trip, make sure you bring their usual food, medications, and bottled water.

Always be prepared for an emergency by finding the number of a 24-hour emergency vet hospital near your destination. That way, you won’t be scrambling to find help if your dog needs medical attention during the trip.

Is Your Dog a Registered Service Animal?

Service dogs are trained to respond to seizures, navigate spaces for blind owners, remind their owners to take medications and provide emotional support.

If your dog is a service animal, bringing them along on your trip may be the only way for you to travel. Service Dog Registration of America offers hassle-free service dog registration, information, and resources that you may need to make travel easier. The correct paperwork is essential when traveling, so check your airline, train service, or transport requirements to know exactly what you need.

Bring a Crate

Crates are the ideal way to protect your dog in cars and on airplanes. It can also help you avoidgetting into trouble at hotels or in a host’s home. You can pick up a crate at your local petsupply store. Make sure you choose a model with these features:

  • Big enough so your dog can stand, lie down, and turn comfortably
  • Leak-proof bottom lined with absorbent material
  • Sturdy grips and handles with no protrusions that could poke your dog inside the crateWell-ventilated with features to prevent blocked airflow
  • A “live animal” label in a legible font that also lists the owner’s name, address, and phone number


If your dog were to get lost on your trip, their identification tags would help you locate them.Without proper identification, your chances of finding them are much slimmer, especially in a place you’re not familiar with.Always keep your dog on a sturdy leash and collar. Make sure the collar has identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, a telephone number, and proof of a rabies shot.If you are a frequent traveler, you may want to consider a permanent identification microchip, so you don’t have to worry about losing any identification materials.

In addition to the identification tags, have a picture of your pet and copy of their health records handy. If you’re worried they may have runaway but not gotten very far, you can show the picture to locals who know the area better than you.

Car Travel

If your dog isn’t used to traveling in a vehicle, let them sit in your car while it’s sitting in the driveway. Once they get comfortable with that, take them for short rides.

You can prevent carsickness by feeding them only a small amount before traveling, but make sure they’re extra hydrated.

Make sure the car is well-ventilated. If you put them in a crate, make sure air is flowing in and out of the crate. It’s best not to let them stick their head out the window because that can cause eye injuries.

If you’re on a long road trip, frequently stop so your pet can get adequate exercise and go to the bathroom.

Most importantly, never leave your dog alone in your car, especially when it’s extremely hot outside.