Taking your dog with you when you travel can be a wonderful experience, or it can be a complete disaster! Here are five quick things that you should consider before planning your actual trip. It may sound silly but write out your answers. Writing it out will help you organize your thoughts and revisit them before you dive into the planning stage. This will help to simplify your trip and help it be more successful.

  • What do you hope your trip will be like, and what do you hope to accomplish? Is this a fun trip for your dog and you? Is this a training trip for your dog? Is this a business trip?
  • Are you willing to adapt and make changes when needed on this trip for the comfort of your dog? If there are specific places that you want to go to and they are not dog friendly, you may want to plan two different trips , so that you don’t feel frustrated that you are missing out on something that you want to do. Leaving your dog in a hotel room or tied up is often not safe for your dog and it may be illegal in some instances as well.
  • Is your dog friendly with other dogs and/or people? If your dog is not, you will need to think of how you will keep the situation safe for everyone that comes in contact with your dog. You will also need to think of how to keep your dog safe. In addition, remember that even though you love your dog and think that he/she could do no harm, your dog could behave very differently in new, different, and stressful environments and situations. A side note to also remember is that not all people like dogs. I know that is hard to believe, as we love our dogs, but it is true.
  • Do you have the money and means to purchase the items that your dog will need to go on this trip? You need to consider the environment, the weather (including temperature), dog friendly lodging, items your dog will need to use as you travel, and any other necessities.
  • Is your dog healthy enough to make the trip? Is your dog up-to-date on his/her vaccinations? You don’t want your dog to become ill from something that they come in contact with as you travel. Are you doing a lot of physical activities? If so, is your dog in shape to do those activities with you? Remember that besides their muscles and cardio vascular health, you need to consider their whole body including their paws and making sure they won’t overheat. Be aware if the area you are going to has any current health hazards. For example, some outdoor parks are experiencing problems with the bubonic plague. Lastly, remember to contact your veterinarian for professional advice about your dog before taking them on a trip.