Ways to Get There
4/27/2018 - By Certified Professional Trainer and Guest Blogger, Nicole Ellis, CPDT-KA
Last week, we talked about the importance of planning all the aspects of your trip before you even set a paw out the door. This week, we’ll talk about the ins and outs of different modes of travel.
Planes - Every airline is different. The rules are constantly changing. The fees vary wildly. Even so, it's not too hard to fly with your dog. Some things to note:
- Call ahead and book your dog on your flight as early as possible, because each airline has a maximum number of pets they will allow on a flight. Typically, smaller pets can ride in carriers on board, while larger dogs mush travel in crates in the cargo hold. Make sure you know where your dog will ride.
- Check your carrier/crate dimensions on the airline's website. Dimensions and regulations vary from airline to airline.
- Make sure your carrier/crate has your contact information for both your home and your destination. Plan for the worst-case scenario; you can never have too much information attached to the crate.
- Practice getting your dog used to the carrier/crate at home before venturing to the airport.
- Avoid giving your dog calming medication, especially if they’re flying in cargo. These drugs can interfere with your pup’s critical ability to regulate their body temperature.
- Withhold water and food for several hours prior to traveling, so your dog can fly with an empty bladder.
- Before you leave for the airport, take a nice long walk together. This gives your dog an opportunity to go potty and calms everyone’s nerves.
Trains - The Pets on Trains Act provides for pet travel in crates on passenger trains. Small dogs in carriers can now travel on Amtrak passenger trains. Contact Amtrak for details.
Automobiles - Before you set off on your trip, take your dog for a long walk. When driving, take frequent breaks - every 3-4 hours is ideal. Let everyone stretch their legs, take a potty break, drink some water, and burn off some energy. If your schedule allows, spend some time running and/or playing, so your dog will be more inclined to sleep in the car.
Buckle up! We protect ourselves, so protect your pup in a crash-tested crate or harness, too. It’s a great idea to keep an extra towel handy, in case of spills, muddy paws, sandy fur, etc. The possibilities for fun (and dirt) are endless when on a road trip together!
Next Friday, I’ll share my packing list tips for traveling with your dog!