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Dog Care Central, Issue #001 -- Traveling With Fido!
June 07, 2012

Traveling With Fido!

Summer’s here, school’s out and many families are thinking about their annual vacation. Frequently, this is also the time when Fido is signed up for boarding kennels, pet sitters or some other arrangement that separates him from the family.

But, good news, that doesn’t have to be the case!

There are more and more options for taking your dog with you on vacation. Many hotels, villas, and of course campsites now accept dogs. There are also a ton of books and websites that offer guides on where to stay with your pet. A great website for information is

Before You Travel

Check that your dog is up-to-date on all his vaccinations. Research the local area and find the location of the nearest vet and make a note of the emergency phone number. In fact, it will be a good idea to pack your vaccination card in case your lodgings or other place requires proof.

Ensure the hotel or other accommodation you plan to stay in along the way, accept dogs, and, whether they have any size or breed restrictions that may affect your dog.

Invest in a dog crate large enough for your dog’s comfort but ensure that it also fits in your car. If you haven’t done so already, train your dog to be comfortable in his crate. See

Mode Of Transport

By far, the easiest mode of transport is to take your dog by car. Having said that, there are still some considerations when travelling by car. These include; stop frequently for potty breaks, avoid travel sickness in your dog by not feeding him before travelling, bring drinking water, don’t leave your dog unattended in the car and keep the car well-ventilated, without letting your dog hang his head out the window! I’ve found the best option is a Breeze Guard. See here for more details:

Airline travel is also possible with your pet both domestically and internationally. Bare in mind, many regulations apply for air travel, so check with the airline before you book. I’ve personally found Virgin Atlantic to be an excellent service for Transatlantic travel with dogs. I took my German Shepherd Dog from NY to London and then brought him back again. Admittedly with a three-year gap in the middle, I don’t think I’d do that trip with him just for a week’s vacation!

But if you did want to take your dog across to Europe, without going on a plane, you can take your dog on a cruise to the UK on the QE2. This is a good way to hop over to Europe with the whole mode of transport being a vacation. Dogs on the QE2 are looked after very well and although they are kenneled for safety during the night, they have a large exercise and play area that you can go and visit them during the day. There is also a dedicated kennel master on-board that stays with the dogs.

Whichever option you choose, plan out your route and if your journey requires you to take a train, bus, boat or plane, make sure you check with the transportation provider to see if dogs are allowed. If they are, you may need to follow additional requirements but be warned, many trains and buses won’t accept dogs. Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses do not accept dogs other than service dogs. Traveling by car with your dog is probably the easiest option.

Don't Lose Fido!

If your dog gets off his leash, he will be in unknown territory and likely to get lost easily if he wanders off.

Therefore, check your dog’s collar and leash to ensure its not fraying or ready to break. In fact, make sure he has a good quality, study collar and leash. Double-check that he’s has identification tags on his collar, and that the contact number is current and is a cell number that you will have with you on the trip. He’ll also need to have his rabies tag on his collar. If you do have your dog micro-chipped make sure that you have the correct details on file and that your account is up-to-date. If you don’t have your dog micro-chipped it is a good time to consider having this done. It increases the chances of you getting your dog back if he does go missing. Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you. In the unlikely event that Fido does go missing, you can use this to show around to help locate him quicker.

What To Pack

  • Crate
  • Bedding
  • Food/water bowls
  • Adequate supply of his regular food
  • Treats
  • Favorite toy
  • Regular leash
  • Long leash
  • Collar (ID tags)
  • Poop bags
  • Medication (as needed)
  • Water for use in car
  • Towel
  • Canine first aid kit
  • Vaccination record
  • Tick removal tool
  • Motion sickness medication (if needed)
Finally, if you dog suffers from motion sickness here are some over-the-counter options you can try:
  • Dramamine - Dosage: 2 to 4mg per pound of body weight taken every 8 hours.
  • Ginger Trips by Soloray* - Dosage: 1 or two wafers
  • Cocculus Indicus* (for nausea) – Dosage: use 3-4 pellets
  • Rescue Remedy* – Dosage: a few drops
*Natural remedies found in good health food stores.
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