Traveling with your dog is a very rewarding and a lovely experience for both you and your dog but preparations should be well thought about and lots can go wrong!
First Get Together a Basic Checklist
This may include obtaining a list of the local vets that are in the area that you are traveling to, any medications that you may require, food, leash, shampoo, blanket, poo bags, toys, travel crate if used and current vaccination documents.
Traveling by Plane Across the USA
Make sure that you feed your dog approximately four hours prior to the flight and ensure that you let him go to the toilet just before the flight and make sure that your dog’s medical records are all up to date. Check with the airline to confirm your pets travel information.
Arrive in good time for your flight, approximately two hours prior to takeoff.
The USDA rules:
- Airlines can refuse dogs onto the plane if they are stressed, sick or aggressive.
- Minors cannot accompany pets alone
- Crates should be appropriately sized for your dog
- Wire crates are not allowed
- Crates must be lined with blanket or towel
- Crates must be ventilated
- Crates must have handles
- The owner must have signed a waiver saying that they have fed their dog no less than four hours ago
- No leashes or muzzles to be worn whilst in the crate
- There must be a sign on the crate saying “Live Animal”
- Dogs must be no younger than 8 weeks old and fully weaned from their mothers
- You will need to have a health certificate from your vet and your dog must have had a rabies jab in advance when crossing a border
Safe Tips for Flying with Your Dog
- To save your dog getting hurt by his nails getting caught in the crate or anywhere is it always a good idea to make sure your dog’s nails are clipped.
- On arrival at your destination check your pet over to ensure that there is nothing wrong with him and contact your veterinarian immediately if you feel he is not himself.
- Try and book direct flights without having any transfer as this will reduce the stress level of your dog.
- Do not think that giving your dog a sedative is a good thing as this can affect their natural balance and therefore could make them feel very ill.
Traveling in Europe with Your Dog
Europe is not only beautiful but one of the most dog-friendly parts of the world. It is easy to travel through all the many different countries.
Europe has a very low rate for cases of rabies compared to about thirty years ago.
To do any traveling through Europe your dog will need a pet passport.
There are four steps to obtaining a pet passport.
Step 1: – Microchip
Your dog will need to have been micro-chipped in order to be identified if required. Once your dog is at least 3 months old they will require a rabies vaccination. Once done your vet will be able to issue you a brand new EU pet passport.
Step 2: – Validity
Your pet passport will not, however, be valid for travel until at least 21 days after the rabies vaccination has been given.
Step 3: – Vet Check
In order to come back to the UK, your dog will need to be treated for Tapeworm 1-5 days before you come back and then have a vet check before they will be allowed to return to the UK.
Step 4: – Blood Sample
If you are returning from an unlisted country then it is a little more difficult to bring your dog back. you will have to supply a blood sample for testing against rabies. This must be taken at least 30 days after the vaccines and then it will take 3 months to wait until the blood sample is tested. If this is not adhered to then your dog could go into quarantine for up to 4 months. There are some rabies vaccines that last for 3 years
There is a very definite order of how to correctly get your pet a passport for entry into Europe and then back again into the UK and you have to adhere to it.
Traveling by Car with Your Dog
The first stage is to prep your car ready for your journey making sure that there is enough room to put the crate safely. That there is at least a deep water bowl for your dog in the crate and one of his blankets. It may also be worth putting a waterproof lining under the crate just in case for any spilled water or accidents.
Key points to remember when traveling with your dog in your car:
- NEVER leave your dog in the car when it is very hot
- IF your dog gets car sick then ask your vet for anti-nausea medication
- Start with small journeys if he gets motion sickness and build up to longer ones
- Make frequent stops for your dog to stretch his legs and go to the toilet
- Feed your dog at his normal feeding times
- Secure your dog safely in your car
- If possible, always have the air conditioning on
Dogs love to be outdoors and having fun with their family so plan to take him on your next trip!
Camping with Your Dog
The following tips will help you prepare and make the most of your summer camping trip with your four-legged best friend!
Knowing your dog’s personality and his traits are good to know prior to heading out into the wilderness. He may be a big, relaxed pooch that would be perfect for the well-organized camping site or an energetic and outdoors kinda dog that would be great to run alongside you in a trekking holiday. Really see how your pet’s personality is as this is important to how you plan your trip.
Ensure that the campsite is dog-friendly – do your research!
Ensure that you call ahead to the site that you have chosen and confirm that they are 100% dog-friendly. There will be laws and rules about when your dog has to be on his leash as some campsites will only allow dogs on the premises if they are on a leash. This is something to be aware of because if your dog is not used to this then this would not be the site for you to go to.
Prepare for any form of emergency
Ensure that you have all your dogs medical records, ensuring that he is current in all his vaccinations and has been microchipped. It is good practice to have all this information on a laminated piece of card along with all your details too.
There is a list of recommended items to carry with you as dog-specific first aid items:
- Tweezers for tick removal along with a small container of mineral oil
- A bandana in case of having to make a makeshift muzzle
- Dog booties for protecting an injured paw or baby socks can do the job just as well
- A travel tool that has needle-nose pliers in case of the need to extract large thorns and the like
- All the details of the nearby veterinarian or pet emergency clinic
- A fold up blanket for warmth when needed
Campsite doggy etiquette
Always think of your fellow campers when you have your dogs with you. Always keep them under your command and not so they can be left to wander into other peoples camping areas.
Always be sure to pick up properly after your dog and dispose of correctly
Your dog should never be left unsupervised on the campsite or in a vehicle. They should be close by to you at all times as wildlife can suddenly appear and weather can take a turn for the worse.
Make sure that the one command that he must know is the recall command so that it primarily can keep him out of danger and if there are any campers that are not too comfortable with having dogs around them. The other command that is good for your dog to know is the “leave it” command, for when there may be an encounter with the wildlife in the form of a snake or other critters along the way.
What to take with you
It is best to try and be prepared for anything but not to overpack too much otherwise they may not be enough room to take your dog!
The essentials would be:
- Sleeping pad or bed for your dog
- First Aid kit as mentioned above
- Reflective leash and collar
- Water bowl and food bowl preferably the lightweight or collapsible ones