Tips for traveling with your dog

Dogs are more than our pets; they’re part of the family too, so why not take them along on your next family vacation? Most people leave their furry friends behind, perhaps stressed out in a kennel or with a dog sitter, but there are plenty of fun adventures around the world that make traveling with your dog easier. Some dogs may not be used to traveling for long periods of time, so it’s best to prepare them for their trip. Speaking with your local veterinarian will give you the best information for your dog and the most comfortable method of travel.

Traveling by car

If possible, traveling by car is the most common form of transportation for your dog. Many dogs are already comfortable in the car, so they won’t be as stressed during the ride. If your dog becomes anxious in the car, talk to your veterinarian about options to help keep your dog calm during the trip. While driving, be sure to stop every three hours and let your dog use the bathroom, drink water, and stretch his paws. They can vent some of their stored energy while you’re refueling.

The Great American Road Trip is no longer just for humans. (Photo via Getty Images/mixetto)

It is recommended that you only feed your dog once a day during a car trip to avoid stomach upset and motion sickness.

Travel by plane

If your destination is too far to drive or you prefer to travel by plane, you can also arrange to bring your dog on a flight.

There are additional steps when booking your flight, such as booking your flight early, reviewing the airline’s pet policy, and knowing age and breed restrictions. When packing your doggy bag, be sure to carry copies of recent vet appointments and vaccinations.

Most airlines require a recent veterinary check before flying to ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel by plane. To reduce your dog’s stress, book a direct flight to your destination, if possible, to reduce travel time and avoid layovers. One of the main differences between flying with your dog and driving is that it is not recommended to sedate your dog for flying due to the change in air pressure.

Depending on their size, you may be able to bring your dog in a soft carrier in the cabin with you. This carrier should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you during takeoff and landing.

pet travel
PHOTO Fido is sure to have fun in one of these pet-friendly carriers. (photo courtesy (photo courtesy humonia/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

You won’t be able to get your dog out of the crate but putting your hand in the crate throughout the flight will help keep your dog calm. For large dogs, you must have an airport-approved hard-sided crate that will be placed in the loading area. Putting your dog’s favorite bed, blanket and/or toy in the crate will help him relax and hopefully sleep during the flight.


There are several options where you and your dog can stay once you have reached your destination. If you like camping, dogs are welcome at almost all campgrounds and it’s very affordable. Some vacation rentals on Airbnb or VRBO will also allow pets to join you for a reasonable fee.

For a more luxurious stay, there are many resorts that allow dogs and sometimes encourage you to bring your dog with you on the trip. Two popular dog-friendly resorts are Las Ventanas al Paraiso located in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and Mandarin Oriental in Miami, Florida.

Some dog-friendly resorts even have special amenities just for furry friends, such as grooming services, dog play areas, and pet spa services.

There are also hotels around the world that allow dogs, including the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Seattle and the Eden Roc Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic. While you’re away, dogs can get restless, so the best thing to do is to make the environment a safe place for them. Bring toys, blankets, and possibly their bed – anything that has their home scent will make them more comfortable.


What are the best activities to do with your four-legged friend?

A hike in a national park or natural area will release all the energy your dog has built up from your travels, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while your dog enjoys the sniffles. The nature-filled trip could be completed with an evening campfire or an outdoor picnic.

Elderly man with a dog on the beach
Take your dog to the beach. (Photo via IvonneW/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

If hiking isn’t for you (or your furry friend), head to one of the many dog-friendly beaches. There are several around the world, but be sure to do your research ahead of time to see which beaches are dog-friendly, whether dogs must be off-leash, and whether they must have a recent vet appointment before heading out. to visit. It’s a great trip for everyone; you can enjoy the sun and sand while your dog can dig and swim as much as he wants.

If you (or your dog) prefer to visit an urban area, many cities around the world have great parks and trails for you and your dog. Some restaurants have outdoor seating that allows you to bring your dog for the meal. You can visit the city’s local farmers’ markets, dog-friendly breweries where you can try the local beer, and even stores that allow dogs to shop too.

No matter where you travel with your best friend, be sure to protect your travel investment with a iTravelAssured Travel Protection Plan from IMG. IMG’s iTravelInsured Travel SE plan is a great option for dog owners, providing trip cancellation and interruption benefits if a pet or service animal becomes ill, injured or dies. Equipped with these tips and travel insurance from IMG, you and your furry friend are sure to have a great time.

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