Tips of Traveling With Your Dog (By Car, Plane and Train All in One )

Are you planning a vacation with your family? Well, I think that you would not leave your dog alone at home.

Traveling with dog is much more fun for everyone and is sure a cool way to alleviate the worry while away.

However, it may be a daunting task to carry him with you if you’re not well prepared. It’s the reason we have prepared an article on dog transport because planes, trains, and cars are not designed with dogs in mind. An organized planning ahead of time will make your vacation truly relaxing for you and your dog.

There are some trip tips of traveling with your dog whether by car, train or plane all in the following article.

Health Preparation

When you want to travel with your dog, health prep is a must.

The first thing is to understand the destination. Know more about check-in and pickup procedures and the exact location of the area. This will help you know where to drop off and pick up your pet. Remember to arrive early.

Additionally, before the extended trip, take your dog to the vet for a checkup and ensure that all his vaccinations are up to date. Be sure to get at least 3 copies of the records once your vet tests and confirms that the dog is ready for travel. You may need them during the trip.

You don’t want to face a shortage of your dog’s vital supplies like food and water. Therefore, bring along enough food and water with you to avoid hectic circumstances in your trip.

Make sure that you carry any medications that your pet may need.

Dog Crate

Some people think bad about crating their dog, but your dog may not feel the same though. In fact, with the right orientation to the crate, your dog will feel safer there.

Dogs still retain some of the characteristics of their ancestors. Wild dogs would hide in shallow holes (dens), to hide from predators. Therefore, the crate is today’s version of a den and your pet may feel safer inside the private space.

However, when choosing a dog crate for your friend, there are some essential considerations that you should keep in mind such as material and size.


Plastic dog crates: these are made of a durable poly-blend with a well-crafted chrome plated steel bar door. The crate has ventilated side panels as well as a leak-proof bottom. They offer enough privacy and are approved for dog travel.

Travel dog crates: These have a sturdy and durable built and with excellent ventilation. These suit well for both airline and driving travels and boast great visibility.

Wire fog crates: These are secure with maximum ventilation and offer excellent portability. They are easy to clean because they provide a maximized open space.


With different dog sizes available, dog crates have different sizes. The ideal crate for your dog based on size should be bigger enough to allow your dog to stand without ducking his head below his shoulders. It should offer enough space for him to lie down and stretch to his full length without a struggle.

The crate should be a bit restrictive, however, as dogs will be naturally clean in a restrictive place. If the crate is too big, he may relieve himself in one corner and go the other to sleep.

A good dog crate should be: 

  1.  Large enough
  2.  Strong with handles and grips
  3.  Having leak free bottom with an absorbent material
  4.  With maximum ventilation
  5.  Dog tags, owner’s name, address and phone number available
  6.  Having a comfy mat and water bottle.

 After choosing the best dog crate for your dog, it’s important to consider these tips for smooth dog training:

– It’s vital that you exercise your dog enough before he goes into the crate. This way, he will burn off his excess energy and will be more inclined to rest.

– The crate needs to be safe with nothing that can hurt your dog. While most people use leashes and collars, these may pose a strangling hazard to your dog.

– Keep in mind that the crate is not a prison but a safe space for your dog. Therefore, you need to start by showing the dog the crate and open the door. Let him sniff the crate and don’t push him inside. When he goes inside, you can close the door in a friendly manner and walk away with a friendly body language. Be happy and say something sweet as you leave.

– You may come back after 10 or 15 minutes to easy the separation anxiety. Don’t take him out yet, let him spend some more time inside and keep paying him visit until you think he’s ready to let him out.

Note: You may opt for crash bags inside the crate to make your dog transport safer in case of emergency breaking. 

Pack all your dog’s necessities

Your dog is going to need a few things during the travel such as food, treats, toys and much more. Therefore, ensure that you prepare well for him to avoid added costs. For instance, you may need a non-spill water carrier and a bone to keep your furry friend when on a long distance travel. Carry as many things that your dog can familiarize with to comfort and relax him.

Prepare for miscellaneous costs

Traveling with your dog us not definitely cheap. This may, however, be determined by the form and level of transport including by plane, train or car. You need to budget your trip to ensure that there’s enough for you and your dog. If there isn’t enough, he should stay back for a special week with Grandma and Grandpa.

Traveling By Car

Most dogs enjoy car rides and taking them with you is one of the best fun activities you can offer them. However, traveling with your dog is more than just loading the pet in the back seat of the car, However, you need to keep your dog safe yet more pleasurable using these tips:

Crate your dog

It’s vital to keep your pet safety first by ensuring that you keep him in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. The reason why crating is a good idea is because you’ll be less distracted which will be safer for both of you.

It will also ensure that your dog don’t become a projectile if you have to stop fast; this reduces chances of injury for both of you.

Since you are going to use the crate for the whole trip with your feline friend, it’s important to remember to select the right crate size. It needs to be aluminum or plastic because these two are sturdy and durable.

Your best friend has to be comfortable in the crate for all the seasons which is why you need a crate that has been produced with strict guidelines: look for crates from reputable brands. There’s need for crash bags inside the crate in case of emergency braking.

Never leave your dog in the car alone

While you may think leaving your pooch inside the car is safe, it may be a bad idea. The temperature inside a car may rise to uncomfortable levels in seconds especially on warm summer days.

If the ambient temperature is 25℃, the temperature inside your car may reach up to 70℃. This may lead to heatstroke or death in no time. Never cook your dog.

Opening your window a few inches may not make a huge difference with the right thing to do being to walk with them on their leash outside.

Make sure all your dog’s tags are on

Your dog needs a microchip for identification with tags on his collar.

Imprinted tags with your home address, your cell phone number, destination phone number and any other information you find relevant. This will sure help you if your pet gets lost.

Don’t feed them two hours before trip

It goes without saying that this is not a cruel idea but dogs feel better without being full on trips. Giving your dog too much food before the trip may make him uncomfortable and sick.

In fact, you need to exercise them for several hours before you depart as that will keep them tired and sleepy for the ride. As said earlier, a dog will rarely mess up in the crate with the only option being to hold it for hours until the ride is over. Therefore, there’s no need to keep him full during the ride.

Flying with your dog

The first thing you have to check with the airline is the rules regarding pet travel. Most of them will require a health certificate from a certified vet but there are many other requirements, some of which you haven’t thought of.

One thing you are sure, however, is that your dog needs to be in a crate as it will probably make everyone’s’ lives easier

Book Early

Most airlines will allow just one or two dogs for a flight and so it’s important to book your dog’s seat as early as possible. It’s a wise idea that you confirm the availability of your dog’s seat before paying for it.

Book a direct flight

A direct, non-stop flight is less hectic. It’s therefore important to fly on a weekday when airports are less busy and if your pet is traveling in a cargo hold, it’s best to start the flight in the morning or evening in summer and midday during winter to avoid extreme weather conditions.

There are three ways to transport your dog on a plane depending on their body size: in cabin, checked baggage or by manifest cargo.

In-cabin for small dogs

First, make sure that your pooch fits under the seat comfortably. It’s important to note that airlines have very strict regulations when it comes to dog sizes and carriers. They must confirm that your pet fits under the seat comfortably. If your dog is 15 pounds or less, the airplane will manage it to sit underneath the seat.

The need not to feed your pet 3 hours before the flight cannot be emphasized enough. This prevents sickness and discomfort that may come when your dog is too full for the flight.

Cargo Hold for large breeds

Most people don’t like flying with their dog on cargo hold, thanks to the serious incidences that have happened to some pets before. However, you can maximize your pet’s safety in the airplanes cargo hold with these tips.

Travel during spring and fall – You should avoid booking airline cargo travel with your dog during days with extreme temperatures. The danger to your pet is minimal when they are in the air, it’s before or during storing, loading and taxing. This is to keep your dog safe. You should also fly midweek when airline employees are less busy.

Choose good equipment

This is much about the crate you choose for your dog. The crate needs to have adequate ventilation, spring locked door, waterproof bottom, disabled wheels and no handles (for small crates)

This is important for your pet’s comfort which should never be compromised. Use a metal hardware instead of plastic fasteners to secure both halves of the dog’s crate. Remember to cable tie the door and crate corners to add extra protection to your pet. Your dog needs hydration during the flight and adding a bowl of water is vital.

Tranquilizing your pet

Tranquilizing your pet can be extremely dangerous. Most airlines will disallow such pets because tranquilized pets are prone to breathing problems during flights. If you feel that your pet needs to be tranquilized, you need to talk to your vet.


By Train (in Europe and UK)

It can be too pricey and difficult to transport dogs and other pets by air but a commonly asked question is, Can you travel with your dog between the UK and Europe?

Yes. While most trains will not allow dogs to use this comfortable overland option, there are still many options for civilized enjoyable train travel between Europe and UK with your best friend.

Get pet passport and vaccinations

Before the flight, you need to ensure that your dog complies with the necessary rules and regulations of the train travel scheme. There is the need for a microchip, a passport and all the necessary vaccinations from a certified vet.

You need to be confident that you can control your pet’s behavior in a train. Train carriages are extremely busy and crowded with a lot of people moving quickly which is why you need to think how your pet will behave.

As usual, avoid feeding your pet 3 hours prior to the journey to avoid travel sickness.

When you reach your destination, observe caution when stepping off the train and remember to lift them over the gap between the train and platform because they may be nervous or hesitant.

Find a dog-friendly hotel

Good dogs make fantastic hotel guests. However, you need to know what a dog-friendly hotel is, for you doggy companion. Here are a few tips to help you find a dog-friendly hotel in your next travel.

– Know whether the hotel accepts pets by checking on the hotel’s webpage.

– Know the fee to avoid surprises when the bill comes

– Be honest about your pet size as most hotels will allow pets to a certain size.

– Know whether the pets can be left alone as most hotels will be left unattended or might want the dog to be crated. Others will allow pets to be left alone.

– Know the type of rooms that are required. Most hotels will require guests with pets to reside only in smoking rooms or rooms on lower grounds. Be sure to check all these requirements.

Inside the hotel:

– Avoid leaving your dog alone in your room as that will invite serious troubles. Nervous dogs will tear apart carpets and drapes or even injure themselves. They may also be noisy sometimes.

– Carry a blanket from home for the night to keep your dog comfortable. Most dogs will be hesitant to jump on the hotel bed.

– Avoid washing your dog in the hotel tub as this can be overly yucky.

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16 Nov 2017

By Dana