Most dog owners mistakenly assume that traveling with your dog is virtually impossible. People think it costs too much or that their beloved pets will spend lengthy, lonely quarantines to take them on holiday.
However, that’s not always the case. It turns out you can travel with your dog without ruining the dog’s life or your finances.
According to estimates from the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, the number of dog owners traveling with their pets today is 37 percent, up from just 19 percent a decade ago.
Here are some of the things that you need to consider before you travel with a dog.
Check whether the destination allows dogs
Travelers generally assume that destinations do not allow dogs. But that’s no longer true. It turns out that there are now dozens of venues that welcome dogs with open arms, partly because the owners themselves are dog lovers.
Check your hotel’s website and see whether they permit dogs or not. Often, you’ll find that they do, with relatively few caveats.
Get pet insurance
According to pet insurance provider Petsure, dogs are more than just pets. They’re part of the family. For that reason, owners need to prepare for the worst: their pet getting sick.
The best way to do this is to get pet insurance. Regular coverage protects against vet fees (up to a specific limit). Significant policies also include no compulsory excess, cover for pre-existing conditions, and no compulsory co-payments for older pets.
Determine whether you have all the correct documents
Just like people, pets also need documents — particularly when traveling abroad. Check whether you have all their records to hand, including information on their health and vaccinations records.
Documents are helpful for two reasons. First, they are often essential for getting through border control. You will need to present evidence that your dog does not present a hazard to the citizens of the destination country.
Second, they are also helpful if your pet gets sick. Vets can view their history, see the vaccinations they’ve had, and use their medical history to recommend treatment.
Ask yourself if you need a pet carrier
Pet carriers are beneficial when traveling. They prevent dogs from roaming around in moving vehicles and make them easier to handle. They also protect them (and their owners) during accidents – particularly those that fasten to your seatbelts.
If you plan to take your dog on long hikes, you might want to get a pet sack or backpack that holds your pet, saving you from carrying them if they get tired on a long hike.
Check airline policies
Lastly, you’ll want to double- and triple-check airline policies. They may allow dogs, but they may also insist that you meet several requirements beforehand.
Make a plan to travel with your dog
Before you travel with your dog, it’s not enough to make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly, and it’s OK for your dog to fly.
You also need to be sure the dog will enjoy tagging along on your holiday. Will you have time for daily walks? Will your dog be left alone for long periods while you go on excursions? Will you have to rush back to the hotel to check on your dog?
If the experience won’t be fun for both of you, it might be best to make arrangements for your dog to stay home safely.