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9 Tips for Traveling with Pets to Make Your Trip Easier

If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to take your pet on vacation with you, here are our favorite travel tips to help make the experience as stress-free as possible for both you and your furry friend.

What would a family road trip be without your pets? Don’t leave them behind in the care of a stranger, take them with you to enjoy all the fun that traveling can offer.

While taking your pets on a road trip with you may seem daunting, if you follow our tips for traveling with pets you will find it may be easier than traveling with your kids!

This article will provide travelers with tips to help them travel with their pets more efficiently and stress-free. For example, one tip is to make sure that your pet is properly vaccinated and licensed in case they need to be boarded or taken to a vet while you’re traveling.

Travel Tips to Happily Travel with Pets

By following these tips, you can ensure that both you and your pet have an enjoyable and stress-free vacation.

Prep your dog or pet beforehand

pet beforehand

Before you take your furry friend on their first airplane ride, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian about preparing them for the journey. Travel can be stressful for animals, and sedation is not always the answer. Some airlines have policies prohibiting sedated animals, and sedation comes with its own risks.

Instead, focus on preparing your pet well in advance of the trip. Get them used to being in their carrier, and make sure they have plenty of toys and comforts from home. Feed them a light meal before traveling, as a full stomach can exacerbate motion sickness.

And finally, make sure they have all the necessary documentation – including a health certificate and proof of vaccinations. By following these simple tips, you can help make travel less stressful for your pet – and for yourself.

For Road Trips: Practice with your pet before you go

pet with head in the car windows

If your dog always associates car rides with going to the vet or gets unnecessarily anxious or nauseated while riding in the car, take him for a few practice rides.

Let him get used to the feeling of being in the car, all the sounds and vibrations, the feeling of the breeze on his face, and the way he is able to get comfortable in the seat.

If you are planning a long road trip, allow your practice drives to get longer and longer, and have a reward at the end, such as a trip to the dog park or the pet store for some yummy treats. You want the car to be a fun place, not a scary place.

See Related: World’s Top 10 Roller Coasters

Get a crate or pet carrier

pet in the crate

It doesn’t matter what size your dog is, if you are traveling with pets you want them to be safe and sound in your backseat. If anything were to happen, you want to know that your dog is as safe and secure as it can possibly be without attempting to wear a traditional seat belt, so a travel crate is the most efficient way to ensure a safe trip.

If you have an extra-large dog, you may need to put down the last row of seats in an SUV to ensure there is plenty of space for the crate. You want your dog to be able to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in his crate. Be sure to secure it carefully so it isn’t sliding around!

If your pet is not used to being in a pet carrier, it can be a stressful experience for them. To make things go more smoothly, get your pet accustomed to its carrier before the trip. Put them in the carrier with their favorite toys and treats and let them get comfortable.

You can easily buy small water bottles to attach to the side of the crate so your pup doesn’t get dehydrated on the drive or flight. If you aren’t a fan of crates (which many people aren’t) be sure to secure your dog to the seat in some way.

There are plenty of travel harnesses available for pets, but the Sleepypod Clickit harness is currently the only one that has been field-tested to be the safest for your pet. The harness or the crate also helps to keep your pet from getting into the front seat when they get bored or hungry.

Take your dog for a health check

Pet health

When your dog’s ticket arrives, go to a veterinarian approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for a vaccination report that demonstrates that it is a safe flyer and that it is immunized regularly. A valid 30-day certificate can be used for the same purpose.

Most airlines require that your dog’s clean medical records be inspected every 1-2 years. When you have longer trips than what you have on your license, the vet may visit you during the vacation to ensure you meet the requirements to return.

Make sure your pet is properly vaccinated and licensed.

Pet vaccine

It is important for travelers to ensure that their pet is vaccinated and licensed because it can help keep both the pet and other people safe. Pets that are not vaccinated or licensed may be more likely to spread disease, which can be dangerous for other people.

If your pet is vaccinated, make sure their vaccines are completely up-to-date, especially for international flights.

Additionally, unlicensed pets may be subject to seizure or other penalties. In order to avoid these potential problems, it is advisable for pet owners to ensure that their animal is properly vaccinated and licensed before taking it on any trip.

Pack a pet travel kit.

Pet travel kit

If you are taking your pet or dog on a longer trip, make sure you bring everything he will need for the duration. This includes food, medication, and his favorite treats.

You will also want to bring a copy of his pet license, rabies vaccine, and any other pertinent medical information in case of emergency. Make sure you bring a hairbrush, as the stress of travel can often cause dogs to shed.

If you have a naturally shedding breed, like a husky, use a seat cover to keep the majority of hair and dirt off of your car seats (if you are going on a road trip). Bring along your furry friend’s favorite toy or blanket to help them feel at home in the car.

Don’t forget to pack your pet’s favorite toys and treats.

Pet with toys

When you’re packing for a trip, don’t forget to pack your pet’s favorite toys and treats. Your pet will be more comfortable and relaxed if they have some of their familiar items with them. This can help make the trip less stressful for both of you.

Plus, it’s always good to have a few extra things on hand in case your pet gets bored or restless during the journey. So pack a few of their favorite toys and treats, and enjoy a hassle-free trip with your furry friend.

Allow for plenty of exercise time.

Exercise with pet

Before you even think about getting into the car in the morning, make sure your pooch has plenty of exercise. You don’t want him bouncing off the walls while you are trying to drive across the state or across the country.

If you burn off all of his excess energy, he will be more than happy to succumb to the vibrations of the car and take a nice long nap.

If you take a pit stop for lunch or gas, make sure you let your dog out of the car to take a potty break and stretch his legs. If you can find a dog park nearby, it is worthwhile to take a little bit of extra time to let your dog socialize and exercise.

When you reach your destination, take some time to explore with your pet and let them get used to their new surroundings. With a little planning, you can make sure both you and your pet have a fun and safe trip

Make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly.

pet-friendly accommodation

If you aren’t staying with friends and family or in a vacation rental like VRBO, there are thousands of hotels that happily accept pets. Most of these are chain hotels, like Super 8 and La Quinta Inn, and they usually have reserved pet rooms that are only rented out to guests with pets.

There is usually a small fee involved in bringing your pooches, but it is worthwhile for a good night’s sleep. Make sure you bring in your dog’s favorite blanket or toys so they feel comfortable in the hotel for the duration of your stay, especially if you are going on a long trip. 

How to Travel with Pets on a Plane

If you are looking for more step-by-step instructions on how to travel with pets on a plane, here are some things to consider:

First, weigh the pros and cons of flying

Pro and cons

Traveling with your pet can be a great way to bond with your animal and make sure they’re always by your side, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of flying before making any decisions.

Flying, in particular, can be stressful for animals, as the loud noises and bright lights of the airport and airplanes can be overwhelming. Pets traveling for international travel compared to domestic flights can be a big difference in your requirements and the overall safety experience.

In addition, the change in air pressure and cabin temperature can be difficult for pets to adjust to. For these reasons, it’s important to speak with your veterinarian before booking a flight, to ensure that your animal is comfortable and healthy enough to travel.

Review all of the rules

know the rules

When planning to travel with your pet, be sure to review all of the airline rules and regulations regarding flying with animals. Each airline has its own specific requirements, so it is important to consult the airline you will be using for pet travel.

In general, dogs who have short nasal passages or that have difficulty breathing properly are not allowed to fly in the cargo hold. The International Air Transport Association holds airlines to a list of carrier requirements on ventilation, handling, and more, so it is important to make sure your pet’s carrier meets these guidelines.

This is usually due to the fact that these types of dogs can have a harder time regulating their body temperature and may suffer from heat stroke more easily. As a result, it is important to review the restrictions for your specific airline and plan accordingly.

Carry on or transport via cargo

Trasport Cargo

Wondering if you can take your furry friend with you on your next flight? American Airlines has a few guidelines to help make travel as smooth as possible. Small dogs and cats that meet size, age, and location requirements can be carried on for a fee.

Larger pets must be transported via cargo – fees will vary depending on the size of your animal. Service dogs must have a full training certificate and meet the requirements in their flight schedule in order to be allowed in the aircraft at no cost.

So before you arrive at the airport with your dog or pet in tow, make sure to call reservations ahead of time to notify them of your travel plans and to check for any travel restrictions or requirements.

Choose your flight wisely

choose flight wisely

When you’re planning a trip that includes your furry friend, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make the travel process as smooth as possible.

First, choose your flight wisely. Look for flights without transfers, and avoid flying on holidays when airlines and airports are busier than normal. This will help to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

Depending on the weather in your destination, your animal should have a plan. When you travel in ‘the warmer weather,’ find early morning or late night flights when the temperatures are less extreme.

In cold climates, earmark flights during the day when the temperatures are the highest. Keep in mind that airlines will not allow pets to fly to destinations where the temperatures are high or cold during the flight process. In such a scenario, it is best to make other travel arrangements for your animal.

See Related: Best Pet Travel Insurance

What are the requirements for dogs arriving in the United States?

If you’re planning on traveling with your dog to the United States, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First of all, depending on the state you’re entering, there may be certain vaccinations or certifications required. Make sure to check for the requirements before you travel. Overall, you must apply for a Center of Disease Control (CDC) Dog Import Permit, if eligible.

Secondly, dogs originating from high-risk countries where dog rabies is considered a serious threat are temporarily suspended from entering the US and so you will not be able to acquire a CDC Dog Import Permit. So if you’re coming from such a high-risk country, keep that in mind.

Lastly, sometimes airlines or cities limit certain breeds of dogs from traveling. Again, it’s important to check for such requirements before you travel. Following these simple guidelines will help make your trip go smoothly.


What is the best airline when traveling with pets?

There is no one “best” airline when traveling with pets. Different airlines have different policies and restrictions, so it’s important to do your research before booking a flight. Some airlines may allow pet travel in the cabin, while others may require that your pet travels as cargo.

What are the requirements for traveling with a pet?

This depends on the airline you are flying, where you are traveling to, and what kind of pet you are traveling with. Some airlines have strict requirements, such as a health certificate from a US Licensed veterinarian, while others may be more relaxed. Be sure to check with the airline you are flying with to find out their specific requirements.

What are some animal travel safety tips to consider?

When you’re traveling with your pet, it’s important to keep them safe and comfortable. So, plan ahead and make sure your pet is up to date on all their vaccinations, choose a pet-friendly destination, and consider traveling during off-peak hours.

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