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Travelling domestically with your dog for the first time?

Saying goodbye to your dog when you go on holiday is always hard. Some pet owners even refuse to go on holiday if it means leaving their beloved pets at home. If you’re overdue a break but want to bring your dog along be sure to do your research (or even easier: read this blog post) and take into account all the pros and cons of taking your dog for a vacay.

Travelling by car?

Before you decide to travel anywhere with your dog, whether it be via plane or car you must first make sure they are fit enough to do so. Consider their age and health and if you are undecided, contact a vet for advice.

Travel is stressful for everyone (you and I both know that), so imagine how your dog must feel. Spending extended periods of time travelling can cause your pet to become distressed. Ensure they have plenty of access to food and water throughout their journey.

Prepare your pet as best you can before you set off on your travels. Encourage them to stretch their legs before you set off, a long walk or run preferably. This will make them tired and encourage them to relax on the journey.

Bring your dog some treats and a favourite toy so they won’t get bored during the journey. Something to chew on will wear them out and keep them entertained for hours. Consider also buying your dog a new toy, one they’ve never seen before, and make sure to give it to them once they’re in the car and in a calm state.

Getting your pet used to travelling by car before the big trip can also be beneficial if they’ve never travelled long distance before. Start small, for example a quick trip to the shops, and work your way up. This can help them to get used to the environment and ease them in.

Bring a bed or blanket to ensure maximum comfort and think about the safest way to travel in the vehicle. It’s against the law to drive with your pet on your lap and you could face a hefty fine if your dog distracts you, affecting your control over your car. Think about a doggy seat belt or a harness to restrain your pet and ensure everyone in the car is safe.

Lastly, don’t let your dog drive with their head out of the window for long periods of time as it can cause eye irritations and they may jump out the window. Leave the window slightly open so just enough air is coming in or if it’s a sweltering hot day then have the air con on. Placing windscreen sun blockers on your car before you start the journey is also important if it’s a hot day.

Travelling by plane?

Remember if you’re taking your pet on a plane, airlines will only accept IATA approved containers for your dog to travel in which must have enough room for them to stand up, sit down and turn around. Be advised that some breeds have special conditions you also need to take into account. Airlines will not usually accept animals below 8 weeks or over the age of 12 and your pet has to be fit for flying. The best thing to do is call your airline directly and find out the terms and conditions.

Also consider the fact that some breeds are prohibited from flying. Pit Bull Terriers, American Pit Bulls, Dogo Argentino and Japanese Tosa are just some examples.

Happy flying!

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