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Making Travel Easier On Your Dog

Making Travel Easier On Your Dog

Lessons Learned from Eight Years of Hitting the Road with My Furry Companion

As a seasoned traveler and proud dog mom, I’ve encountered my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to taking my canine companion on the road. From forgotten essentials to unexpected border crossing challenges, I’ve learned a thing or two about making travel easier for our four-legged friends.

Pacing Yourself: Frequent Stops and Accommodating Eating Habits

One of the first things I realized when hitting the road with my dog is that we need to plan for more frequent stops. Dogs tend to have smaller bladders and require more frequent bathroom breaks, so factor in an extra 30 minutes to an hour between driving sessions. Additionally, don’t expect your pup to chow down in the car – most dogs, including my own Victoria, prefer to wait until we’ve reached our destination before indulging in their meals.

Charming the Masses: Embracing the Attention

Another aspect I’ve learned to adapt to is the inevitable attention our furry companions attract. Whether it’s walking through a hotel lobby or stopping at a rest area, people can’t resist the urge to stop and chat about your dog. While this can be endearing, it also means you’ll need to allot more time for your travels. Rather than getting frustrated, I’ve found it’s best to embrace the opportunity to be a good canine ambassador and share the joys of dog ownership.

Preparing for Emergencies: Keeping Vaccination Records Handy

One valuable lesson I learned the hard way is the importance of always having up-to-date vaccination records on hand. I once made the mistake of keeping these documents in my glove compartment, only to realize they had expired by the time I reached the border. Thankfully, I was able to get them electronically sent to me, but it was a stressful situation that could have been easily avoided. Now, I keep both digital and physical copies of my dog’s vaccination records, ensuring I’m always prepared for any unexpected requests.

Crossing Borders: Navigating Food Restrictions

Speaking of border crossings, I’ve also encountered some surprising challenges when it comes to the food I bring for my dog. On one particular trip from Canada to the United States, I was asked about the ingredients in my dog’s food, as certain lamb products were not permitted to be brought across the border. Since then, I’ve made it a habit to pack an unopened bag of kibble, as it’s less likely to raise any red flags with customs officials.

Creating a Sense of Home: Familiar Comforts and New Discoveries

To help make our hotel stays more comfortable, I always make sure to bring along my dog’s bed and a few familiar toys. The dog bed, in particular, provides a comforting scent and texture that can help ease the transition into an unfamiliar environment. However, I also like to throw in a brand-new toy to keep my pup entertained and stimulated during our downtime.

Training for the Road: Mastering Essential Commands

As I reflect on my experiences, I realize there’s one area where I’ve fallen short: training. While my dog, Victoria, is a loving companion, she hasn’t quite mastered the essential commands that could make our travels smoother, such as “stay” or “come.” This is something I’m actively working on, as I’ve learned from Go Pet Friendly that these skills can be invaluable when navigating new environments and potentially stressful situations.

Packing Essentials: A Comprehensive Checklist

Of course, no article about making travel easier for your dog would be complete without a packing list. The team at has graciously provided a comprehensive guide, covering everything from food and water bowls to first-aid kits and grooming supplies.

Embracing the Adventure

At the end of the day, taking your dog on the road is an adventure – one that can be both rewarding and challenging. By learning from my own experiences and the insights shared by fellow dog enthusiasts, I’ve come to appreciate the joys and the complexities of hitting the open road with my furry companion. So, whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip or a weekend getaway, remember to embrace the chaos, expect the unexpected, and most importantly, have fun making memories with your best friend.

And if you’re in the market for a new canine companion to join you on your travels, be sure to check out for a curated selection of adoptable pups waiting to embark on their next great adventure.

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