Summer Plans? Take Your Dog!
My philosophy has always been to do what you love, in the places you love, with the people and pets you love. The last few years have been very challenging to do this as traveling and socializing were both dramatically reduced due to the pandemic; however, it brings me joy to read that Americans are planning more summer trips according to this article from Travel Daily Media.
It took me over two years to finally get back to my favorite travel destination, Paris. I love walking the streets of Paris, appreciating all the art, architect, fashion, and dogs! Yes, dogs are everywhere, enjoying the scene, just as I am along with KoKo, my beloved four-legged friend. KoKo has traveled one time with me internationally and six times with me domestically, but each time takes planning and lots of preparation to make it easy on both me and her!
With summer quickly approaching, and many people making travel plans, I have shared my favorite tips for pet parents who will be bringing their dogs along! These travel tips for dog owners will make life easier and more enjoyable on your journey’s.
Rev Up Your Reservations
Just like you make a reservation for yourself, you must make one for your dog! Make sure you do your homework to find a pet-friendly airline, as well as lodging accommodations. There are only a limited number of pets allowed per flight, so plan ahead! After the reservation is made, share this exciting news and adventure with your dog.
It is always best to talk with your pet and let them know what wonderfully interesting and exciting things you will be doing together. The benefits of parents talking to babies are plentiful – and now research suggests that talking to your dog creates bonds as well! I love getting KoKo excited about our upcoming travel plans!
Get Your Docs in a Row
To travel domestically on a plane, your dog must have a health certificate and inoculation records within ten days of departure. Always work with your veterinarian and be totally prepared – do not wait until the last minute (for those procrastinators!) to get this done because sometimes life gets in the way.
Certain states, like Hawaii, may have even more requirements and could possibly involve a quarantine period, so it’s always best to double check with the state you are visiting. If you are traveling internationally, more work is required!
For KoKo to come to Paris with me, she needed to have her health certificate approved by APHIS USDA. The required documentation is different for each country, so check official websites and with your airline for the steps and forms needed. It’s always a good idea for your pet to have a microchip and this is especially true when traveling. Finally, in case of any emergencies, have the information for a reputable veterinarian at your travel destination handy so you’re not scrambling when you need one because accidents do happen.
Create Comfort with a Carrier
If you are traveling with a small dog that will be in a pet carrier, it is important to train them to get comfortable in their carrier for a “pawsitive,” pleasant experience. Purchase a pet carrier at least a month before your trip and leave it open in your home for your pet to explore. Place their favorite toy and treats in it, so it feels more like home.
Plan a few easy, short trips with them traveling in the carrier to places like a dog park so they get excited to go into the carrier. You will be amazed to see how they grow to feel so safe in their den environment, which goes back millennia to dog’s ancestor, the wolf.
This summer (or sooner if possible!), I hope you take the time to do what you love, in the places you love, with the people and dog that you love. I am loving my time in Paris with KoKo and my dear friends I missed so dearly and want that feeling for everyone!
Have your own travel tips for dog owners? Let us know!
Gayle is the founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company, where she single-handedly designed, manufactured and marketed the iconic SHERPA Bag you see everywhere! This carrier, which millions have bought for their dogs, cats and other animal companions, continues to be THE top-selling, prize-winning, globally-popularly soft-sided pet carrier. Further, it is because of Gayle’s advocacy and entrepreneurship that pet travel on airlines is now possible and common. Gayle’s the author of “IT’S IN THE BAG”, which is part memoir and part business book.