I saw a saying once that read: “If my dog isn’t happy, neither am I.” I didn’t know how true that statement was until we started taking our dog Bentley with us on our adventures. When we first got Bentley we knew nothing about how to travel with a pet or what pet-friendly hotels would be like. We started learning quickly that it can be disastrous without proper planning… think muddy paws + energetic dog + carpet… but traveling with your pet definitely has its perks if you have the right accessories!
Here are some tips we have found useful when traveling with our guy, Bentley:
1) Make sure your pet has correct identification. Information should include your pet’s name, your name, phone number (or two), and if you can, your address.
2) Invest in a high quality harness. We have two EzyDog harnesses and really like that they are, in fact, easy to put on (it slips over your dogs head and clips around the belly, rather than having to wrestle with your pup’s legs). However, Bentley is an escape artist and even has been able to get out of this one from time to time when he is in the car… he really hates it when we buckle him in because he can’t stick his head outside.
3) Never question the power of a good grooming wipe. Like all dogs do, Bentley loves to roll, prance, and play in just about anything that’s dirty. Grooming wipes have been amazing for a quick and easy clean up after running through dirt and mud. We usually pick up one that is hypoallergenic or smells nice like this one.
4) A back seat hammock was a must for us. In order to keep your vehicle clean, dog hair from finding its way into every inch of your vehicle, or to just simply keep your leather/cloth seats scratch free, this useful hammock will be a perfect addition to your pet travel checklist. Not to mention, Bentley loves lounging on it like a king! We found an easy to clean one at TJ Maxx but this one is similar.
5) Collapsable travel bowls or convertible containers will save you space. Remember your pet needs to stay hydrated too! You can purchase them here.
7) Keep your pet safe by properly securing them while traveling in a vehicle. We’ll be honest, we don’t use our safety restraint for every car trip nearby, but we do use it when traveling long distances in order to keep Ben safe in emergency situations. This is the one we have been using but have also heard really great reviews about this brand of travel harness/restraint combination.
8) For dogs small enough for air travel, make sure your pet is comfortable in their carrier and that it’s approved for air travel! Bentley is over the weight limit for air travel but we did find two carriers that have good reviews here.
Travel tip: all airlines require proof of vaccinations and and health certifications. Make copies of these before you leave!
9) A collapsable crate would be a worthy investment for those who are always on the go. This crate easily folds down and fits in our trunk with all of our luggage. You could even go a step further by purchasing a crate mat that could double as a travel bed.
10) You may need to purchase a remedy to help your dog feel more calm. Bentley is pretty used to us being on the go so we don’t have much experience in this category but he does have horrible separation anxiety when we go somewhere without him. Here are a few options you could look into if your dog is struggling to survive your trip.
–Anti Anxiety Jacket
-Calming Treats: we have tried a variety of treats that have lavender in them.
Most importantly, before leaving for any vacation or trip, make sure your pet’s vaccinations, identification, and records are up to date and that you have a copy with you.