TRAVELING WITH YOUR DOG

Taking the family dog along on your vacation can be fun for everyone if you plan carefully. Here are some tips to make traveling with your dog enjoyable and worthwhile.  The following tips are for all dogs, not just mi-kis.

Health and Safety

  • Health Check-up. Bring your dog to the vet for a check up before going on an extended trip. Make sure all vaccinations are up to date and remember to bring these records with you. Health certifications are required for airline travel.
  • Bring along a supply of their regular food and some local, or bottled, water. Be sure to bring any medications your pet is currently taking.
  • Make sure your pet is protected against fleas and ticks.  Remember, you may be taking potty breaks in areas that might be infested with them.

Crates and Kennels

A crate or airline approved carrier is an excellent way to keep your dog safe in the car.  It can also keep your little one from getting into trouble in a hotel or at your host’s home.  Remember to:

  • Stock the crate with a comfortable mat, your dog’s favorite toy, and a water bottle.
  • Proper identification on the crate or kennel, just in case.
  • Note: Mi-Kis should never, ever travel in cargo area of a plane.  Always take them on board with you and stow under the seat in front of you.

Identification

In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he/she can be properly identified:

  • Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots.
  • I cannot stress enough how important it is to microchip your pet.
  • Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.

Traveling by Car

  • Get your dog used to the car by letting him/her sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides.
  • Avoid car-sickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach.  Make sure to have plenty of water available at all times.
  • Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
  • Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. Not only can this lead to potential eye injury from flying debris but also possible injury from a passing vehicle.
  • Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death.
  • Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog.
  • Car rides are boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or annoy the dog in the car.
  • Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. If you must leave the car, designate a member of the family to stay with the dog.

By Plane

  • Each airline has its own set of rules for canine air travel. Every airline posts their rules for bringing your pet on board so please read that information before you book your trip.  Also remember that even if an airline permits pets on board, not all planes are equipped for them to travel under the seat.  Check with the airline prior to booking to save yourself undue stress.
  • All airlines require health certifications and proof of vaccinations.
  • Some airlines will not transport animals in cargo when it is extremely hot or cold.
  • Dogs must be in an airline-approved crate when transported as cargo. Small dogs may ride under the seat in an airline approved crate or carrier.

By Train, Bus and Boat

If you plan to travel by train or bus, you may be disappointed. Dogs are not permitted on Amtrak trains or on buses operated by Greyhound and other interstate bus companies. (Service dogs are permitted.) Local rail and bus companies have their own policies.

You may fare better if you’re taking a cruise. The QE2 luxury cruiser, which sails from New York to England/France, provides special lodging and free meals for your dog. However, you should check the policies of the cruise line or ship you will be traveling on before making plans to take your dog on a cruise with you.

Lodging

  • Find out in advance which hotels or motels at your destination or on your route allow dogs. Many do not, or have size or breed restrictions and make charge a pet fee.
  • If your dog is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect other guests, staff and the property.
  • Keep your dog as quiet as possible.
  • Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.  Keep your dog safe by putting them in the carrier or kennel while you are out of the room.
  • Ask the management where you should walk your dog, and pick up after him/her. Do not leave any mess behind.

Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.

HAPPY TRAVELS!