Tails of travel: a guide to dog-friendly adventure

by Kris Rollo

Traveling with your dog can be a rewarding experience and allows you to experience new places and adventures with your pup. But it requires some planning to ensure your pet's safety and comfort.

Here are some tips for traveling with your pup, so you can take everything into account before you set off…


Check with the vet

Before embarking on any journey with your dog, schedule a visit to the vets. Ensure your dog is in good health and up to date on vaccinations, particularly if you are travelling abroad. Discuss any specific health concerns or conditions that might be relevant to the trip. Some destinations might have specific requirements or risks, and your vet can provide guidance on how to address them.



Accidents can happen, and in unfamiliar surroundings, it's crucial to have proper identification for your dog. Ensure your dog has a collar with an ID tag containing up-to-date contact information. Most dogs are already microchipped for added security, so remember to take any details relating to this with you.


Brush up on training

Before traveling, ensure that your dog is well-trained and responsive to basic commands. This is essential for their safety and the comfort of others, especially in new and potentially stimulating environments. If your dog is not used to being around crowds or other animals, consider gradual exposure to help them adjust.


Gear up

Use a sturdy and well-ventilated carrier or crate that is appropriate for your dog's size. Or use a pet seatbelt or a secured crate in the car to ensure your dog's safety. A carrier is particularly useful if you are going to be driving longer distances. It’s always safer to keep your dog in a carrier where you can. Bring your dog's favourite blanket, toys, and familiar items to provide comfort on the journey. If you might stop at a motorway services, keep your dog’s harness to hand. Services can be busy, with a lot of traffic moving around the car park. It might be wise to take short practice drives to help your dog get used to the car before a longer journey.


Ensure the essentials

Pack your dog's food, treats, and any medications in sufficient quantities. Don’t forget your grooming supplies, waste bags, and a first aid kit, especially if you are going to be away for a while. Plan regular breaks during road trips to allow your dog to stretch, exercise, and relieve itself. Bring collapsible bowls and fresh water to keep your dog hydrated. Regardless of your mode of transportation, plan regular breaks to allow your dog to stretch, exercise, and relieve itself. This helps to keep your dog hydrated and comfortable throughout the journey.


Better safe than sorry

Be aware of local hazards, such as poisonous plants or wildlife, that could pose a threat to your dog. Keep a watchful eye on your pet to ensure they don't ingest anything harmful. If your dog has any specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, plan accordingly to address their needs during the trip.


Consider the climate

Be mindful of the weather at your destination. Pack accordingly, considering your dog's comfort. Never leave your dog alone in a car, especially in hot or cold weather.


Days out with the dog

Research dog-friendly activities and attractions at your destination. Many places offer pet-friendly parks, trails, and even restaurants. Check how dog-friendly each activity is and find out about nearby dog-friendly areas in case you need to change plans. Planning activities that include your dog ensures they are an integral part of your travel experience.


Let’s fly away

While travelling with your dog on an aircraft is much more complicated, the first step is to check with the airline for specific pet travel policies. Use an IATA-approved travel crate and make sure it's well-ventilated, labelled with your contact information, and has a secure lock. Familiarize your dog with the crate before the trip to reduce stress.


Remember, every dog is unique, so pay attention to your dog's behaviour and adjust your plans accordingly. Additionally, it's always a good idea to check for any updated travel regulations or guidelines, especially when traveling across borders. With proper planning and consideration, traveling with your dog can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend.


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