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Planning a trip can be one of the most exciting things to do. But there are so many finite details you have to take into consideration. When you are taking a pet with you, it gets even more complicated.

Sure, it is great when you can take your pet away with you, but it can also make it so much more complicated.

That is exactly why we have put together this guide, so you have everything you need to know. Nothing will be missed out as you and your pet take a vacation together.

Traveling With Your Pet

Let's jump right in and cover everything you need to know about traveling with a pet, no matter which way you travel! 


Did you know that a survey was conducted in 2018, which found out that a good 95% of people with pets actually planned at least one overnight trip with their pet? 

That is exactly why it is so important we all know this stuff, whether you travel internationally, or nationally! 

Traveling By Car

Traveling by car is not always the most fun experience, with a pet it can be even less fun. They are not as patient as us, so here are some things to help you prepare for this, so your journey is calmer.

Train Your Pet With The Vehicle You Will Be Using If Necessary

Training is always a good way to go when you need to prepare your pet for new situations. Of course, you will need to get your pet used to the vehicle, but more so, you need to train them to get into it calmly. 

It is also advisable that you train them to be calm. If you have a dog and you take them out for walks, use the vehicle you will be traveling in to transport them for walks far away. Build up a positive association.

Get Your Pet Used To The Vehicle

Getting the pet used to the vehicle is not only about training the pet, but also helping them feel comfortable inside it. Animals are not as used to vehicles as we are, and being inside one for an extended period of time may make them stressed. 

Use treats to train them, help them build up a positive association with the vehicle, and reinforce good behaviors with it. 

Make sure that before your trip they know that the vehicle is not a bad place, and they can relax and even sleep inside. The more positive associations you build, the more comfortable they will be, and the easier the trip will be for all of you.

Keep The Car Ventilated

Always keep the car ventilated. Especially on hot days. 

While air conditioning is great and can keep you cool when you do not want windows open, having a window open is much better for your pet. 

Yes, it might get a bit breezy when you hit the highway, but it is better than a stuffy car. Poor ventilation will make your pet uncomfortable, and will make the trip more unpleasant for everyone involved, 

You should aim to keep the temperature in the car between 70 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Think About Pet Seat Belts

Pet seat belts are a great invention, however, they’ve not been proven to protect your pet during a car crash. Therefore, it is probably better to have them in a crate that is strapped down to the seat with a typical seatbelt. 

You should also keep your pet at the back of the car, especially if they are not in a crate. Otherwise they may distract you when you need to be focusing on the road. 

Airbags are great for us but can kill our pets, and therefore your pets should be kept in the back seat instead. Or in a crate where they will be safer. 

Traveling By Plane

What if you are traveling by plane? This is where it gets a little more complicated. Road Trips are easy, but plane travel has a lot more legal information to be considered.

Visit Your Vet Before The Trip. When You Fly With A Pet, You Need A Certification Of Health Provided By Your Vet Prior

Before you fly you have to visit your veterinarian to get a certification of health. This means that your pet will need to be ticked off as being healthy and safe to fly. Not all animals are, and some animals are not allowed to fly. 

This is simply due to the health of your pet, and the restrictions of the destination in which you land. Not all pets are allowed to fly because of certain health risks they may pose for native animals and the animal life in the destination. 

So, always visit the vet before flying so you know if you can bring your pet with you safely. 

Vaccination Certificates

You do need vaccination certificates to fly your pet. There are some diseases our pets may carry that animals in the destination country may not be vaccinated for. Similarly a destination country may have viruses your pet needs vaccination against. 

It is always best to vaccinate your pet before travel, and remember to take the certificates with you so that you can show this at their airport along with your documents. 

You need your documents and your pet will need theirs, and this is one of the most important documents to have, without it they may not be allowed to fly. 

Pet Must Be At Least 8 Weeks Old

When you fly you need to visit your vet for many reasons, of course you will need them to have their vaccinations and certificates of vaccination, as well as a certification of health. However, one thing is very easy to forget. 

You cannot take a very young puppy on a flight. A pup must be at least 8 weeks old, and they need to be fully weaned from their mother. 

If your dog is younger than this they cannot fly. Similar rules will apply to other pets, but all animals age differently. It is best to ask your vet at what age your pet is allowed to fly if you are not sure. 

Your Pet Is Your Responsibility While Flying

All of the above and all of the below are your responsibility. You are the person responsible for your pet, verifying their health, checking temperatures for flights, and their ability to fly.

If you are unsure of how your pet will deal with flying, ask your vet if it is best that your pet be tranquilized for the flight. 

It is your responsibility to ensure that the flight, travel, and destination are all safe for your pet. This means doing research and making sure that your dog will not be stressed and unhappy during the trip. 

Check The Temperature Of The Destination Before Flying

You should always check the destination of your trip, and the differences in temperature. Some locations may be too hot or too cold for your pet, and this can make them uncomfortable, stressed, or even sick. 

You should always be aware of temperature differences. 

This also applies to the flight too, as planes can be very cold. You should check with their airline about the typical temperature of the aircraft where your pet will be during the flight. 

Consider if you will need to provide an extra blanket for them and so on. Your pet's comfort is no.1 priority.

Each Airline Has Different Requirements & Regulations. Do Your Research Prior

Always do your research on the travel before you go. Different airlines will have different rules and regulations. 

Do not forget that federal regulations will prohibit shipping a live animal as ‘excess baggage’ or ‘cargo’ if they will be exposed to temperatures below 45 degrees, or above 85 for longer than four hours during arrivals, departures, or during connecting flights. 

Every airline will also have their own rules in regard to your pet. Some airlines will have specific requirements for crates. If your crate doesn’t meet their standard then they may not allow you to use this crate. 

Yet, they may also allow your dog in the cabin with you if your carrier will fit underneath the seat in front of you. 

Make Reservations For Your Pet

Do not forget to make reservations for your pet as well. It is easy to forget to make a reservation for your pet. You should always remember to add them into your reservation when you book your flight. 

There will often be restrictions on how many animals can go on each flight, so go to the vet asap, check your pet can fly and then book the flight as soon as you can to ensure you are able to take your pet. It leads to less disappointment.

Traveling By Bus, Train Or Boat

When you are traveling by bus, train, or boat, there are even more restrictions than by plane. Although you might not think so. We have two things to need to think about before you go booking your pet a spot on your trip.

Only Dogs Under 20lbs Are able To Travel Via Bus Or Train

When you travel via train or bus, you might find yourself to be dissapointed. If you have a dog then your dog will need to be under 20lbs to travel. Especially on Amtrak trains, and you will also be met by a hefty $25 fee as well. 

Greyhound also do not permit dogs either, however, service dogs are an exception. 

You should always check to see if your pet is permitted via whichever mode of public travel you intend on using. 

Always Check The Policies Of The Boat/Cruise Before Traveling With A Pet

Some boats and cruises will allow dogs, but you should always check policies before you travel. While some will allow pets, others will not. It is best to check before you book if you are intent on taking your pet with you. 

If you are simply taking a ferry, then double check if you can take your pet with you. 

If you are taking a car ferry to cross a body of water during a road trip, you may be fine to take your pet, although there may still be restrictions on the area in which your pet is allowed. They may have to stay in the vehicle for example. 

Where You Are Staying

How you travel is not the only consideration however, you should also be thinking about the rules and regulations of where you are going to end up! 

Always Check The Policies Of The Place You Are Going To Stay

If you are staying at a hotel or motel then check the policies, some places will happily welcome pets with open arms, others will not. 

Campsites, RV sites, and other ‘outdoorsy’ places will probably allow your pet, however, private owned holiday locations such as villas, and public spaces such as hotels are more likely to have stringent rules in place dictating if pets are allowed and where they can go. 

If your pet is allowed to stay in your accommodation during your vacation, make sure that they are well behaved and have been trained for this environment.

Try And Keep Your Pet As Quiet As Possible

Speaking of keeping your pet well behaved, if you are in a public area such as a hotel, it is good practice to try and keep your pet as quiet as possible. While it is your vacation and your dog's vacation, others may not be so happy hearing fido barking into the night. 

It is good practice to train your dog for these environments beforehand so they are well behaved when you are there. 

Make sure that they respect other guests, hotel staff and the property. For this reason it is best to avoid taking puppies on vacation, as a teething puppy will be a bit destructive, and could seriously damage property.

Do Not Leave Your Pet Unattended

You should also be very cautious of ever leaving your pet/ dog alone in an unknown space. Dogs are especially well known for destroying property if they are left alone and unattended in a new and unfamiliar environment.

ENsure that you are with your pet at all times when you take your pet to a new place. 

It is also wise to ask the staff where you can walk your dog/pet, as they will likely have a special area for this. And do not forget to pick up any pet mess they leave behind.

Pet-proof Your Room

You should also pet-proof your room or vacation space. Before you let your pet have free reign of this space. You need to ensure that it is safe for you and for the property for them to explore this new place. 

Ensure that electrical cords are out of reach and that there is nothing left on the floor or reachable places left by previous occupants or otherwise that would be harmful to your pet. 

It is important to feel confident that you, your pet, and the space will all be safe and that there is no risk to your pets health, or the property being damaged before your pet enters.

12 Tips For Traveling With A Pet

As well as this information on preparing for some exciting travel with your pet, we have compiled some top tips for you as well! 

Keep Pet Restrained

You should always keep your pet restrained during travel. This is true for car journeys, plane journeys, bus, boat, or trains. 

It is not safe for your pet to be loose during travel. If you are driving, your pet should be restrained to avoid you getting distracted in the car as you drive. 

During travel using public transport, your pet needs to be restrained as to avoid disrupting over travelers and also to avoid any potential accidents. 

If you use a pet carrier, you should always ensure that it is large enough for your pet to stand up in, as well as turn around and lay down in.

Stop Several Times During Travel Time For Pet

When you are traveling, especially on the road, it is important for you to take several small stops. We get uncomfortable during long journeys and your pet will too. 

It is also wise that you take several mini trips with your pet to get them slowly used to riding in a vehicle before you start your longer trip. Do this by slowly increasing the length of the trips you take. 

Start off with a few minutes, then half an hour, then an hour, and so on. Slowly ease them into long travel. This can have a massive impact on their level of comfort.

Keep Pet Hydrated

You should also take some water with you and ensure your pet has a supply to drink while you are on the go. Dehydration is a problem in pets, and you should ensure they are properly hydrated for the length of the journey. 

So, when you are packing your travel supplies, and arrange some water for yourself, remember to pack some for your pet as well. 

This stands for cats too. Even though animals like cats get a great deal of their water from wet food, it is ideal to take water with you instead, as between meals during travel they will need something to keep them going.

Feed Pet

Do not forget to feed your pet a light meal a few hours before you set off on your journey. You should also take stops to feed your pet when you are on the go as well. 

It is ill advised to feed your pet when you are in a moving vehicle, as doing so is just a recipe for travel sickness. A mess which you will have to clean up. You should also take collapsible bowls for your pets. 

This will make it easier for you and make for a lighter packing tool. Get them used to these bowls for a week or two before you travel so they are comfortable with these bowls.

Monitor Well-being

You should consistently monitor the well-being of your pet on the go and never, ever leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. 

It is a serious health and safety concern for your pet to be in a car higher than 70 degrees or lower than 35. 

When you make a pit stop, take your pet out of the car so they can stretch and get some fresh air as well. They will thank you. 

More so, it is not good practice to leave your pet in your car anyway, a passer-by might break your window, or report you to free the pe (especially true for dogs)

Pack A Travel Kit For Your Pet

Make up a travel kit for your pet, much like you would make one for yourself. You want to include health records, immunization records, food, water, bowls, and medicine 

Also include cleaning supplies such as waste bags, a poop scoop, litter tray and so on. It is also good practice to take comfort items such as a blanket, toys, and so on. It will help keep them entertained and happy. Why not get them some new ones too? 

Also, do not forget to pack a pet first aid kit as well! 

Make Sure You Are Able To Identify Pet

It might sound silly but you should also be sure that you can identify your pet. This means that you should microchip them. They should also have a collar with an ID tag stating your cell number and a home address. 

If you are going abroad, take a temporary tag with your number and destination information in case they wander off while you travel. 

Take a photo of your pet with you as well, just in case. 

Finally, also remember that any collar you use on your pet should be flat, and choke collars are not allowed, they are cruel and hurt your pet.

Keep Your Pets Documents With Your Own

It is good practice to keep your documents and your pets documents together. This way you will have less chance of losing the documents. You will need to make sure they are always safe, as you will need these even if you are only traveling from state to state. 

Another state may require to know if your pet has had a certain vaccination, or will ask to look at your pets health certificate. Therefore it is best to just keep all your documents together. This will prevent losses, and you can just hand them all over together. 

It's just easier for everyone.

Prepare Your Vehicle/Surroundings For Your Pet

As well as training your pet to cope well in a travel situation, you should also prepare the vehicle for your pet too. This is especially true for cars, RV’s and such. If you want to protect particular surfaces from your dog you can easily get floor and seat covers. 

These covers do not only protect the vehicle but also add comfort for your pet too. 

If you are considering traveling with your pet on a more regular basis, it might be wise to invest in some of these. 

You should also ensure that the environment is suitable for your pet, and you have a litter tray/ puppy pad/ etc down just in case. They will still need to use the restroom, and nerves during travel can make them need to go more frequently.

Plan Ahead As Much As Possible

Planning can be a godsend before traveling. Even when we travel without pets we need to plan ahead. However, when traveling with pets, planning is even more important.

You are not only planning for you, but for your pet too. It is a good idea to create a ‘to-do’ list before you leave for your trip, and integrate ‘to-do’s’ for your pet as well as for yourself. Make sure to have everything you need for your pet packed the night before you leave. 

This can make the whole trip a lot easier.

Bring Toys & Games For Your Pet

Do not forget to bring fun things to do for your pet. Travel can be especially dull for animals, it can also be stressful for them too, so to avoid boredom and stress upon your pet, bringing toys and games to keep them entertained will help a lot. 

A bored or stressed pet will start to fidget or make a lot of noise, which will make the whole trip less enjoyable for everyone. 

Bring chew toys, things for them to chase or look at while you travel. Get inventive as to what you can use.


If you are using a crate to transport your pet, ensure that it is correct for them. This means it needs to be the right size for them to stand up, lie down, and turn around in. 

Ensure the crate is strong enough for your pet to be inside it for a long time. Make sure it can withstand biting, and mini temper tantrums. 

You should also be certain to put a label on it that reads ‘Live Animal’, so that anyone else who handles it is aware there is an animal inside. 

Finally, fill up the crate with things that will be comfortable for your pet; a bowl of water, favorite toys, and their comfort blanket.

Health & Safety

Finally, before we leave you to plan for your trip, do not forget health and safety as this is imperative for your pets safe travel.

Do Health Checks On Pet Before Travel

Remember that before you travel you must do your health checks. 

Ideally it is best to check with your vet that your pet is safe to travel prior to you booking any travel to avoid lost funds and disappointment. You should also ensure that they have a checkup and all their vaccinations are up to take. 

Take health records with you as well as records of vaccinations too. These are required for traveling by plane, and may be required when traveling over borders. 

Keep Your Pet Fit & Healthy Ready For Travel

Do not forget that health is not always the same. We get unexpectedly sick sometimes and so will your pet. So, make sure you keep them healthy before you travel so they are fit and ready to go when the time comes. 

As you are traveling bring along their normal food, as well as bottled water and all the medicines that they will need for the trip.

Before you travel, if you suspect that any health conditions may have cropped up, take them to the vet to find out if they are okay, and if they will still be okay to travel. They may need more medications, so be sure to take any new medicine with you as well. 

Always Be Prepared

The key to pet travel is to be prepared for the unexpected. Always have an emergency number ready. Find the nearest 24 hour vets to you and program it into your mobile phone, as well as the number for your normal home-based vet as well. 

This way, if your pet needs any medical attention while you are away you will have all the information you need right away so that there is no hanging around and issues can be resolved as soon as possible. 

Also, do not forget that not all pets will enjoy traveling and going on trips, especially elderly pets.


Travelling can be great fun, and traveling with a pet can be even better, but there are many things you need to keep in mind to ensure that your traveling with your favorite non-speaking companion goes as smoothly as possible. 

Make sure you have everything ready before you go, as half of what you need to do is in the planning! Remember, before you do anything, book anything, or prepare anything, first you need to speak to your vet and get the okay from them!