Traveling can be stressful but bringing along your dog doesn’t have to be. Try these tips to help ease the stress for you and your dog.


If traveling by plane you’ll want to check with your airline to see what their requirements are. Don’t wait until it’s time to travel to introduce your dog to their carrier or crate. Start introducing your dog to their accommodations as soon as possible. Use their food and/or treats to lure them into the space and reward them once they’ve entered. Try doing lots of short sessions with lots of praise to ensure it’s smooth sailing for both you and your dog.

When traveling by car, we prefer crating our dogs to ensure their safety. We use Ruff Land Kennels when transporting any dogs. Travel crates should be just big enough that they can turn around and lie down. Your dog should be touching three sides when laying down. A tighter fit when traveling ensures their safety in the event of an accident. No room for a crate? Try using a seatbelt or a zip line. This will help confine your dog to the backseat and keep them from jumping out when you stop.

You’ll want to make frequent stops when traveling by car to allow your pup to stretch their legs and do their business. Don’t forget to allow them to get some of that pent-up energy out before hitting the road again. A game of fetch, with a long line, or a flirt pole session are quick exercises that are easy to pack for too. If traveling by air be sure to check the departing and arriving airport maps for their pet spots. We suggest checking ahead of time to help avoid any surprises. Most airports will have several designated spots outside the airport and once you pass TSA. These spots are often small and distracting to a lot of dogs. Work on a “go potty” command before traveling to help in situations such as these.

A cute beagle dog in a Santa Claus hat in a open suitcase with winter clothes. Travel for the Christmas holidays.

Ensuring Fido has all the comforts of home will ensure the trip is less stressful for them, and in turn, for you. Top on our list of essentials is a properly fitted collar, with an ID tag, and a leash. New places and sounds can startle dogs, so keeping them secure is important. You may also want to consider a permanent form of identification such as a microchip. You’ll also need their food and bowls. Now is not the time to switch up your dog’s diet. Stick to what you know works for your dog to help avoid any stomach upsets while traveling. Collapsible bowls are great while traveling and take up less space. Consider packing a blanket from home to comfort your pup and a few toys to keep them entertained. Natural chews are also a great way to keep them occupied. Traveling somewhere cold? Be sure you have the appropriate gear, if needed, and that you’ve acclimated your dog to it beforehand. Nothing like wrestling your dog to wear a sweater in super cold weather!

Verify your hotel accommodation’s pet rules beforehand to avoid any surprises upon arrival. Some hotels may have restrictions as to the number of pets, their sizes, and/or breeds. Upon arrival, ask management about any rules, such as if dogs are allowed to be left alone, and where you should walk them. Be sure to pick up any messes and properly dispose of the waste. If leaving your dog unattended, place them in their kennel to avoid any accidents or damage to the room.

If you have any concerns about traveling with your dog let your trainer and/or vet know. Your trainer can help introduce your dog to any equipment needed during travel or help address any behavioral concerns; if your dog has issues with travel talk to your vet if medications would be beneficial depending on your situation. With a little preparation, you and your pup will have a wonderful time!

We hope these tips ease your travel experience, wherever your travels may take you! 

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