Tips for Travel With Your Pet

basset hound and a suitcase

Are you trying to figure out how you can safely take your pet with you while traveling? It is that time of year; people across the country traveling for the Christmas holiday. Families are packing their bags, loading the car with kids and singles are hitting the road with their vehicles packed. Airlines are booking more flights now than any time of year with excited passengers waiting to spend Christmas with their loved ones. But what about the dog? Here are some ways you can include your pet in your travel plans, make decisions, and if need be-make other arrangements for your pup.

I recently flew home to Pennsylvania from Los Angeles to spend time with ym family. I miss my Basset Hound SO much and was disappointed after learning I couldn’t fly her..with me. Yes it was possible, but there was no way I was going to fly her 3000 miles in cargo. Then I thought about driving so that she could be with me. Then I thought, “Wait. I have dog-loving best friends in Los Angeles! These friends are begging you to letVegas stay with them, stop stressing.!” After all of the toying and tossing with ideas, I learned what it would take to travel with my pet. This information should help you if you are stressing over the same thing.

  • Flying- This is why I didn’t take my hound dog on an airplane. There are people that do it all the time, and this is everone’s choice, just not for me. Air travel with pets is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the International Air Transport Association. Most airlines will allow small animals to travel in the passenger cabin with the owner, while larger dogs are placed alone in the cargo hold. Cargo and my basset hound equals no-can-do. My basset hound is very docile and because she  was the runt, even small noises can startle her. After reading about the risks of air travel for dogs, I was 110% against it. 9But again that’s just me). If you do take your small pet, you must check with what airline allows pets. Plan ahead! Your small pet must be placed in a small carrier. Be sure to make it comfortable for them.
  • Traveling by vehicle-Be sure to take a soft, comfortable blanket for your dog to make them as comfortable as possible. If traveling a long distance, I recommend a dog seat. These are just like booster seats for babies made for dogs. Some people think that may be going a bit overboard–but when it comes to my hound dog, I am always “too overboard” *smile* Be sure to make pit stops for your dog to drink, eat and do their business. If it’s just you and your dog, be sure to talk to them, while being focused on the road. I wouldn’t recommend giving your dog any type of raw hides while driving. You may hit a bump in the road or a sudden stop. If your dog begins to choke, you won’t be able to pull over in the middle of a busy freeway.
  • Staying in a hotel? Believe it or not there are some hotels and lodging facilities that do allow pets. You find a list of them on
  • Doggie Motels-If you cannot travel with your pet and have no friends or family that can take on the responsibility, doggie motels can be an alternate choice. Be sure to look in to the reputation of the facility! Have a conversation with the folks that will be taking care of your dog, advising them of the dog’s personality and eating habits. Again–DO RESEARCH ON THE FACILITY. You may feel better about leaving your baby with a reputable doggie hotel, and your pup will certainly appreciate it as well.
  • Dog-sitting service-This really all comes down to what I mentioned about doggie hotels. If you plan on using a dog sitter service, do the research and scope them out. Just because one dog-sitting service is cheaper than the other, that shouldn’t be the decision maker. maybe there is a reason one is less expensive, maybe not. What it all comes down to is their reputation…period.
The staff at wishes you safe travels during the holiday season! Plan ahead, make things comfortable, and be confident in the decisions you are making while traveling.


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