How to Travel With Your Dog by Plane, Car and Public Transport

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Are you going for a long trip with your dog but are clouded with all these questions about how to, where to, by what? Worry not. We have created a complete guide to traveling with your dog, for extra fun and ease. 

Traveling with dogs creates another level of excitement. But it also comes with a few challenges. Whether it’s a small road trip or a 24-hour flight, taking your dog with you is like taking your small cute furry friend to adventure with you. However, it is important to understand how to travel with your dogs to ensure safety as well as bliss. 

From transportation to hotels, traveling with dogs requires a lot of planning. This dog travel 101 is a complete guide for you to understand how to travel with your dog more smoothly along with some useful tips. Give it a read and get ready for your adventure. 

Pre-travel Safety Preparations

Pre-travel Safety Preparations

One of the most important tasks when traveling with dogs is to make sure they are physically and mentally healthy before their trip. Booking a visit to your veterinarian is essential to make sure they are ready for the journey. Dogs are more than just pets; they are like your travel buddies, so it is important to focus on their health. Double-check their vaccination cards and other medical records to ensure they are up to date. Have a thorough discussion with your veterinarian about your canine friend’s physical and psychological fitness. Additionally, consider your dog’s breed, as different breeds may have specific health concerns or needs when traveling.

Along with the discussion, ensure that you have researched the route and contacted the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. In case of emergency, their help will be hugely beneficial. Also, don’t forget to save all your veterinarian numbers on your phone for quick questions you might have when you are on the way to your destination. 

Packing Essentials

Packing Essentials

Another pre-travel essential is to pack your dog’s bag with all its favorite things so that it is ready to travel to new places alongside you. These essentials include their food and snacks to keep them well-fed and content even on the road or plane, their most adored toys to keep them engaged when they feel sad or uncomfortable, and lots and lots of water. Keeping your dog and yourself hydrated should be prioritized. Moreover, pack any medicine you think is important for your dog’s health. With its bag packed with all these necessities, you and your dog are all set for your trip.

Choosing the Right Carrier

Choosing the Right Carrier

The next vital component to keep in mind when traveling with dogs is the selection of an ideal dog carrier. Keeping your pet secure and in a pleasant mood is quite important. Consider it as their home for a few hours that keeps them cozy and protected on the trip whether it’s a bumpy boat ride or flying through the skies. A dog carrier is not only necessary for plane rides but also for your pet’s everyday travel. Before going on your way, visit your favorite pet store to choose the pet carrier. Take your dog with you so it can choose their favorite one. Prep the carrier with cushions, their most adored toys, and a bottle of water.

The carrier should be solid, secure, and perfectly comfortable. An ideal carrier should include the following features. Firstly, it should be spacious. Keep in mind the size of your dog and make sure that the carrier is a little bigger than it. It will allow your pet to turn, stand, and stretch easily. Next is handles. Go for something that has secure handles to hold and lift as you will be moving them with you at all times. Look out for any sharp edges as they are a big no, for you and your pet. We don’t want our furry kids to hurt themselves. 

Another must-have is a leakproof bottom cause we don’t want any unpleasant situations. Moreover, check the carrier for a proper ventilation system as it is very important for your pet. Last but not least, stamp on a cute sticker on your carrier to let everyone know that there is a cute canine companion with you.

Identification and Safety 

Identification and Safety 

The next necessary step to understand how to travel with your dog is to ensure that you and your pet stay together at every point of your trip. To prevent the discomfort of losing your dog, keep a leash and collar on your dog with your name and number along with their own as it will help people locate your pet. Along with the name, keep the medical documents, vaccination cards, and accommodation information with you, to keep your trip hassle-free.

Choosing The Traveling Mode

Choosing The Traveling Mode

Choosing the perfect traveling mode for your trip is essential to guarantee a relaxed and carefree journey. There are many different means of transportation and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Whether it’s a car ride, a flight, or a boat ride, it’s crucial to keep in mind the duration, your comfort, and your pet’s well-being. 

Traveling By Car

Traveling By Car

Traveling with your dog should be an exciting and thrilling experience instead of a challenging one. Let’s look at some basic preparations you can do when traveling in a car with your dog. Before your main trip day, take a few errand trips with your dog to make them accustomed to the environment and atmosphere. This will give your furry pet a chance to get familiar with the movement and setting. Make sure that your dog has an empty stomach when traveling to avoid any messy situations. However, keep them hydrated as much as possible. 

A properly ventilated car is another important thing to look for when traveling with dogs, particularly if they are in their crate. In addition to the crate, use dog seats or a belt when they are on the seats to avoid any injuries or accidents. Letting your dog feel the air in their ears with their head out the window can be great but it can also be quite risky. Only allow it when you are on a smooth road with a stable speed. Moreover, always put your dog inside the vehicle instead of the open back seat to avoid any danger. 

Don’t forget to take breaks and stops while driving and give your dog and yourself a good stretch. These stretches are important to avoid getting cranky and tired. Keep the car and stop places clear by cleaning up after your dog. But make sure you never leave your dog alone, in the car or outside. They can feel nervous and alone and can do something impulsively. Also, on hot days the car can heat up quickly and can affect your dog’s health. For safety, keep someone with your dog at all times as a precaution. Furthermore, if you are traveling with kids, make sure they treat the dog patiently with love and respect even if they are tired.

Flying with Dogs

Flying with Dogs

When traveling via plane with your dog, it is better to plan ahead for everything. Multiple airlines require vaccination cards and other important documents of pets 10-12 days prior to the flights. To steer clear of long waiting lines and interviews, book an appointment with your veterinarian and ensure that your dog has all the required shots including the rabies shot. With these vaccinations, airlines create health certificates for your dog so that it can fly with ease. Some dogs also feel a little pressure when in airplanes which can make the flight difficult for you and other passengers. Before the flight, discuss the possibility of tranquilizers for your dog’s comfort, as well as yours. 

Let’s move on to flights. Different flights have their guidelines and policies concerning pets. Before hitting that confirm button on your flights, read their policies thoroughly. These policies include what type and size of dogs can board that airline. Few airlines allow dogs in the cabin if they are small and their carrier can fit under the seat. Moreover, airlines have a specific number of dogs allowed per flight, to avoid crowded cabins or the cargo area. To keep clear of any last-minute chaos, make reservations for your dog immediately when booking flights.

Along with reading the policies about pet travel, familiarize yourself with their legal guidelines. These include crate sizes, specifications along with other health and safety requirements. You don’t want to just take your loved furry friend without reviewing their rules and regulations. Dogs are extremely sensitive to different temperature conditions. Make sure you check the temperatures of both your departure and arrival locations.

Traveling By Public Transport or Ship

Traveling By Public Transport or Ship

Traveling on public transport or a ship has its benefits and challenges. It requires careful preparations before the trip. Many public transport such as trains and buses do not allow dogs to travel. They only allow service or small dogs. Check every bus or train policy before booking your final seat to have a smooth journey. For ships and ferries, factors and policies differ. Some cruise companies prohibit the travel of dogs completely. However, some pet-friendly companies offer great services for people with pet dogs with extra accommodations. It is absolutely necessary to check every cruise guide to know about the cost, rules, facilities, and policies they offer. You don’t want anything to be in the way of your and your dog’s perfect travel day. 

Ever since Covid, traveling with pets has become a little more difficult. But there is nothing to be worried about. Manage all the necessary policies and services beforehand to avoid any confusion. Your pet is your priority when traveling. Their safety, comfort, and well-being should always be at the top of the list. With all the right paperwork, health certificates, and vaccinations, you will have a smooth sailing.

Accommodation and lodging tips

Finding the perfect hotel that is dog-friendly is super crucial when traveling with your dog. Do your research about the accommodations and hotels before setting out for your trip. Each hotel will have different rules so make sure you go through everything before choosing the one. Choose the one that is most suitable for your pet to keep them content during the trip. After choosing the hotel, there are a few things you need to follow when staying there:

  • First of all, we are mindful of other people staying at the hotel along with the staff members. You don’t want your dog to disturb anyone. Keep your dog content and relaxed the whole trip to avoid any disturbance at the hotel. Never leave your dog unattended as they can start barking unexpectedly due to the change of the setting. 
  • Keeping the hotel rooms and lobby is your responsibility too. Ask the staff about places where the dog can take walks and always clean up after your dog. Keep your dog and the staff happy with over-the-top excitement as it may affect the future policies of that hotel regarding pets.
  • Before letting your dog out of the carries or off the leash, make sure there are no electric wires or potential hazards that can come in between the dog’s fun time. Create a space for your dog with its favorite toys and let it play and have some joyous playtime.

Some Additional Pointers

  • Along with its favorite toys, add in a few new, interesting toys to keep it engaged and stimulated. 
  • Try our different new dishes and bowls to make your dog familiar with new stuff
  • Let your dog try different bathroom surfaces such as gravel or concrete to make them step out of their comfort zone for happy pooping.
  • Keep extra poop bags and leash on hand for rapid cleanups.


Traveling with your dog can multiply the fun with new experiences and memories. You just need good planning and preparations to say all the travel troubles goodbye. Open up your browser and start planning.


Q: What are the basic requirements when traveling with your dog?

Make sure you have all the health certificates and vaccinations verified by your veterinarian in advance of your trip. Moreover, check the rules and regulations of the destination country. 

Q: How to organize a dog’s food routine when traveling, to avoid sickness?

Continue your dog’s diet as it was with regular food and snacks. Keep them hydrated and introduce water in every meal to avoid sickness. 

Q: What to do when your dog is feeling stressed or hyperactive when traveling?

Play and exercise with your dog before and during the trip to avoid stress. Veterinarians also suggest relaxing music, wrapping and cuddling, and calming medicines to keep them calm and relaxed. 

Q: How to get my dog ready for different temperatures in different locations?

Gradually warm up your dog with different temperatures. Make sure you always have water and shade in hot weather along with cooling pads and vests. In cold weather, go for insulated vests and coats. 

Q: What are the basic necessary first aid kits for dogs when traveling?

Prepare a bag with all the necessary first aid kit supplies such as tweezers, antiseptics, thermometers, bandages, etc. Research and watch a few videos or tutorials on how to treat injuries and other medical emergencies before the trip.

Christina Smith

Meet Christina Smith, the creative force behind With a profound love for animals, Alicia shares valuable insights and advice on pet care, training, and health. She's dedicated to helping fellow pet enthusiasts create meaningful bonds with their furry companions.