How to Travel with a Rabbit – What You Should Know

Are you ready to take your rabbit on a plane, bus or car ride but are concerned about how your pet will cope with the experience? Perhaps you are wondering what requirements have to be met for your pet to travel internationally. Maybe you’re looking for tips to ensure your fluffy friend is as calm and comfortable as possible while on the move. Here we’ll try to answer all those important questions in our guide on how to travel with a rabbit.

traveling with rabbit
Photo Courtesy of David Mark – Pixabay

How will your rabbit handle traveling?

Generally, rabbits do not like to travel, and you should think really careful about bringing your rabbit on a trip of more than a few hours, if possible. If you have to relocate or take an extended vacation, then travel is unavoidable. If you just want to bring your rabbit along on a European sightseeing trip or a visit across the United States to see your family, then you should consider other options.

It may be better for your rabbit to stay with a pet sitter or in a shelter than to do all of that traveling, since rabbits are easily stressed and frightened. Also, if your rabbit has any health issues, you should talk to your vet before any extended travel.

Rabbits have trouble handling changes in temperature, unfamiliar noises, changes in their feed schedule and strange environments. You have to consider how stressful the trip will be for your pet and consider all of your options first.

Pick an appropriate carrier

Firstly, it’s so important that you choose a pet carrier or pet crate that will work well for your rabbit. If you use one that previously carried a cat or dog, it’s very likely the carrier will still contain scents of the animal (your bunny’s predator), which naturally may scare or stress your rabbit. Unfortunately, it may not be as simple as cleaning the carrier; your rabbit will only really feel at ease in their own personal carrier.

Rabbit in Carrier

Another factor to consider with your pet carrier is size. To determine if the carrier is big enough for your rabbit, see if he or she can turn around inside the carrier without a problem. If your rabbit can, you’re good to go.

Acclimating your rabbit to its carrier

Most importantly, prior to traveling with a rabbit, acclimate it to the carrier.  All time spent to this end will pay off on travel day. Keep the carrier available to your bunny and leave the door open. Put familiar bedding and some treats in the carrier and encourage your rabbit to spend time in the carrier every day.

The next step is to take your rabbit out of its normal environment in the carrier. Take short rides in the car to get your friend accustomed to riding in the carrier. Take it to a pet-friendly restaurant where it can be exposed to other people and activity. Always return home and provide treats for good behavior. The most time you can devote to acclimating your bunny to its carrier, the less stress it will have on travel day.

The most important thing you can do prior to traveling with a rabbit is to acclimate it to the carrier.  All time spent to this end will pay off on travel day. Keep the carrier available to your bunny and leave the door open. Put familiar bedding and some treats in the carrier and encourage your rabbit to spend time in the carrier every day.

The next step is to take your rabbit out of its normal environment in the carrier. Take short rides in the car to get your friend accustomed to riding in the carrier. Take it to a pet-friendly restaurant where it can be exposed to other people and activity. Always return home and provide treats for good behavior. The more time you can devote to acclimating your bunny to its carrier, the less stress it will have on travel day.

When flying, choose the right airline

You might have guessed that not all airlines will allow rabbits to travel in the cabin. However, there are still many that will accommodate rabbits, so make sure to do your research, and if you can, choose an airline that allows for cabin travel for your beloved pet. Riding with you will definitely put your rabbit at ease and make flying much more tolerable. The following airlines all allow for rabbits to travel in the cabin, but you’ll have to alert the airline ahead of time so that they can accommodate you:
● WestJet
● Island Air
● United Airlines
● Finnair
● Frontier Airlines

Related: Airline Pet Policies

how to travel with a rabbit

Will flying internationally be a problem?

If you have to go overseas or to another country with your rabbit, you might be concerned about international regulations. Thankfully, Emma Williams, an expert on rabbit health and care at Flemish Giant Rabbit told us that rabbits are not considered to be heavily regulated because, for the most part, rabbits are not a mammal that is almost never found to have contracted rabies: “You can take rabbit to and from the United States to many countries with a bit of careful planning. Whether you are travelling to India, Canada, Hong Kong or Japan, you should be able to take your rabbit with some preparation and considerations.”

Importantly, there are other issues to consider when importing a rabbit to a foreign country. As an example, The United Kingdom will require 4 months of quarantine for rabbits entering from a non-EU Member State and South Africa does not permit the import of rabbits at all. That is why it is important to check import regulations before travel.

Which vaccinations do you need?

While flying internationally isn’t a problem, your rabbit will need to be vaccinated and have proof of these vaccinations before you can board the plane. You may be asked to provide documentation when you are booking the tickets so that there is no confusion at the gate. Your rabbit should definition be vaccinated for the following, if not others:
● Myxomatosis
● RVHD 2
It’s a good idea to talk to your vet before travelling to ensure that your rabbit has the appropriate vaccinations close enough to travel time so that he or she doesn’t need to have them updated during the trip.


How to travel with your rabbit in a car

If you are taking a road trip with your rabbit, you will need to secure your furry friend properly and safely. You should strap in the pet carrier onto a seat if there is a spare seat. If not, then you can place the pet carrier on the floor or in the back of the car with the luggage. Just make sure that the carrier is secure enough that it won’t slide around or roll over, even if the car brakes suddenly or takes a sharp turn. As well, make sure there is plenty of air circulation for your rabbit.

You should also bring enough food and water for the trip. Luckily. rabbits do not get travel sick so you don’t need to worry about feeding them too close to your travel time. Feeding them as usual will help keep them calm and satisfied and less likely to stress out. You also have to consider how the changes in temperature may be affecting your rabbit. The car can become very hot when you travel, and anything over 85 degrees can be damaging to their health, so you may want to give your rabbit a personal fan, keep the AC at high in the car and ensure your rabbit gets plenty of water.

Final Thoughts

Although rabbits are generally not very good travelers due to how easily stressed they are, sometimes travel is unavoidable. You can make the trip far more pleasant for you and your pet by following these simple travel tips on how to travel with your rabbit.

Anoop Nain is the proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. Although his “puppers” are grown up, each day with them is a new learning experience for him. He has a degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare.

How to Keep Your Pet Hydrated when Traveling

Dog drinking water for hydrawion

When asked about the most important thing to do when you are traveling, experts always recommend staying hydrated. Low humidity levels in airline cabins and cargo holds can quickly drain the fluids in any warm-blooded mammal including your pet. The heightened stress of travel simply adds to the problem. Lack of fluids in an animal is a serious condition, and that is why you always need to keep your pet hydrated when traveling.

Many pet owners are not aware of the importance of keeping their pet hydrated when traveling. Just bringing a water bowl may not be enough. Nonetheless, traveling with your pet doesn’t have to be stressful if you are prepared. But, without proper planning, there’s always the risk of your pet getting dehydrated.

What is pet dehydration?

Simply put, dehydration occurs when your pet is losing more fluids that it is taking in.

Pets normally release fluids in their body through panting or breathing, evaporation through their paws and urination. When at home, pets can replenish the fluids they lose through eating and drinking. Although pet owners should restrict food intake when traveling, they should always provide ample opportunities for their pet’s hydration.

What are the symptoms of pet dehydration?

There are many signs of dehydration to look out. A dehydrated pet may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • dry and/or sticky gums,
  • excessive panting,
  • disorientation
  • sunken eyes
  • lethargy,
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of skin elasticity
  • too much or reduced urination

If any of these conditions are noticeable, then you need to encourage your pet to drink water as soon as possible and get them to a veterinarian if they persist.

What are the dangers of pet dehydration?

Now you know why it’s crucial to keep your pet hydrated when traveling. When your pet is dehydrated, it loses precious body fluids and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride. All these electrolytes for dogs help in stabilizing the body’s PH, transporting nutrients to body cells, promoting and regulating muscle and nerve function. Therefore, when your dog is dehydrated, it can easily suffer organ failure and even death.

How can you keep your pet hydrated while traveling?

Keeping pets hydrated when traveling, especially in the summer heat, helps to avoid many problems. There are many ways to keep your pet hydrated. Here are some suggestions:

1. Travel in the Spring or the Fall

Summertime is the most popular time for families to travel; however, excessive temperatures can pose a significant risk of dehydration for your pet.

When traveling in the car, always keep the windows closed and the air conditioning on. This will lessen the amount of fluids that are lost through your pet’s mouth.

Dog in Car

If flying, many airlines will not allow your pet to fly in the cargo hold if temperatures exceed 85 degrees F (30 degrees C) as exposure to high temperatures in the holding area, during loading and taxiing can be deadly for a pet.

It is far safer to travel when the temperatures are mild, and your pet does not need to breathe as much to release heat.

2. Carry enough clean water

You don’t move in hot weather without packing your favorite snacks or drinks, and your cat or dog also needs the same when traveling. Water is essential to dogs and cats, just like it is to humans.

Pets can survive with water for days, but without it, they will die very fast. For this reason alone, it is important to keep your pet hydrated when traveling. If your pet refuses to drink, wet your finger with some warm water and gently message the upper gums to stimulate your pet to drink.

Be keen on the type of water that you give to your pet. Some pets have no problem with faucet water, while others hate the smell of chemicals in it. Strange water can cause tummy upset so bringing water from home will prevent that.

To ensure that your pet drinks more and doesn’t suffer from dehydration as you travel, check out this Reverse Osmosis Guide it will help you to consider the best water filter for your pet.

A water filter alters the taste of the water and eliminates pollutants, bacteria, viruses, cysts, and toxic chemicals, ensuring high-quality water for your pet. This way, your pet won’t be put off by the smell, hence it will drink more. You can also acquire a doggy water dish that comes with a reservoir appended to a pool or tap for a continuous supply.

3. Offer wet food before traveling

If your dog is accustomed to dining on kibble, add some water to it. This is an excellent way to keep your pet hydrated when traveling.

Wet dog food is a bit more costly and smellier than dried food, but most dogs love it. This kind of food not only ensures that your pet stays hydrated but also provides the essential nutrients your dog or cat requires to remain healthy during your trip. More so, wet food is canned and can last for a long time, making it ideal when traveling with your pet. If you are traveling internationally, then confirm that the import of pet food will be permitted in your destination country.

Also, consider giving your pet some fruit. Apples, watermelon, cantelope, honeydew, peaches, oranges and pineapples are examples of fruits that contain a lot of water and taste great. All skins and seeds should be removed. Do NOT feed your dog grapes as this fruit can cause kidney failure in dogs.

4. Offer some ice cube treats before traveling

Traveling cats love treats, and ice cube treats are great for hot weather. Add some ice cubes into your pet’s water to keep your pet hydrated when traveling. You can also freeze some peas and blueberries and offer them to your pet to calm them. Add fruits and vegetables to your pet’s diet as they contain large amounts of water.

Ice Cube Treats for Hydration

5. Place a large water bowl in the crate

Unlimited access to clean water is essential for all pets. If your pet doesn’t drink enough, they risk suffering from dehydration, and we are all aware of the dangers associated with that.

Large crate water bowl to keep your pet hydrated when traveling

As such, when traveling with your pet, a pet travel water bowl or water bottle comes in handy. Place it in your pet’s crate, and this will encourage your pet to drink more. Freeze the water in the bowl prior to travel to minimize spillage. Although your pet may sip little by little, you will be surprised how much they end up drinking.

6. Use cooling pads or vests

Traveling with a puppy can be risky, especially in hot weather. So, consider a cooling mat from online or pet retail stores near you and ensure that your pet fits perfectly into their keep cool jacket. It should also be made from the right self-cooling fabrics. Note that the airlines will object to mats made with gel substances if your dog or cat is flying in the cargo hold.

7. Book a pet-friendly jet charter

Traveling by air with pets is quite a challenge, and keeping your pet hydrated while in the cargo hold on long flights is a challenge. For this reason, consider booking a pet-friendly jet charter, since, keeping pets hydrated when traveling in the cabin with you will be easier. Moreover, the chances of overheating are very minimal. The temperature is regulated, and you’re allowed to travel with your desired number of pets in the cabin regardless of their size.

Pet friendly private jet charter
S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

8. Opt for a pet-friendly hotel

Keeping your pet hydrated in a pet-friendly hotel is easier. Many hotels understand how vital our dogs and cats are to us. They offer different exceptional services to ensure that your pet stays hydrated and healthy such as water bowls, spas, doggie treats, grooming, local dog walking services, training, and pet sitters. When you stay in a pet friendly hotel, it becomes easier for both of you to enjoy your vacation.

Dog in pet friendly hotel

These are just some of the ways to keep your pet hydrated when traveling. Planning in advance is key. Taking some simple steps ahead of time and being aware of the signs of dehydration are most important to keep your pet safe and your trip happy for you both.

Heman Thuranira is a competent SEO content writer who specializes in offering blog writing, ghostwriting, and copywriting services.

Prepare for Illness when Traveling with Your Dog and Your Family

This year, almost 100 million Americans are planning annual family vacations, with many hoping to bring their dogs along, too. Traveling with the family is fun and a great way to explore and create memories together, especially when your four-legged family member is involved, but sometimes exposure to germs can wreak havoc on your vacation.

Prepare for illness when traveling with your dog and your family and include preparations and research on how to deal with common as well as uncommon illnesses associated with travel that your dog and family could face, particularly when traveling and exploring new places. A few simple steps can get everyone back on their feet and paws in no time if they do become unwell, helping the whole family to enjoy the trip.

Dog and girl at the beach
Courtesy of Alvin Balemesa – Unsplash

Get vaccinations and preventative treatments before your trip

It’s a good idea for the whole family to get any vaccinations that are recommended for the country that you’re visiting to help keep everyone healthy and safe. For your dog, this means a visit to the vet for their vaccinations too.

A current rabies vaccination is a must before traveling with a dog. Other vaccinations may also be required. Have your veterinarian issue you a rabies certificate and a health certificate as well as any other documentation required if traveling internationally. More information on international pet travel.

A trip to the vet should also include a vaccination against Leishmaniasis, which is common in South and Central America, southern Mexico, and the Mediterranean, as well as Canine Distemper, common in countries where there are a lot of strays and unvaccinated animals.

Canine influenza has been reported in most American States, Canada, China, South Korea, and Thailand, so a vaccination should be given if you’re traveling to any of these countries, especially if you will be kenneling your dog or it will be exposed to other dogs in parks.

Dogs may also need a vaccination against Canine Brucellosis (endemic to the Americas, Asia and Africa) and Trypanosoma evansi (endemic to North and Northeast Africa, Latin America (except Chile), the Middle East, and Asia). There is no cure for Brucellosis once infected and Trypanosoma (surra) can be fatal if left untreated so these vaccinations should be given serious consideration when discussing them with your veterinarian.

Finally, prepare for illness when traveling with your dog to any country and give it preventative treatments against tapeworms and ticks. Your veterinarian can make recommendations on available products.

Preparing for Illness when traveling with your dog means a visit to your vet.
Courtesy of JC – Pixabay

New places can mean new allergens

Just like people, some dogs are more prone to allergic reactions than others, often due to their breed, but the reality is that anyone can have allergies at any time and for any reason. Traveling to new places will increase the chances of an allergic reaction as everyone will be exposed to new things, such as different pollen caused by plants, dust and various chemicals used in the new environment.

On your daily walk, the following plants may cause allergic reactions in your dog and can even be fatal if ingested – junipers (male), Acacia, Mulberry and oak trees, primrose, daylilies, daffodils, narcissus, tulips, and agapanthus, Oleander bushes, bottlebrush trees, spurge, milk bush, chenille plant, pencil tree, yews (male), Podocarpus (male),  and even Bermuda grass which can be found on rights of way in many cities.

Watch out for itching or biting, welts or sore spots, rashes, swollen faces or unusual behavior as these can be signs of an allergic reaction in your dog. If you suspect an allergy, then Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin are commonly used antihistamines that relieve allergy symptoms or counteract allergic reactions. See a veterinarian to discuss the appropriate dosage for your dog.

As a family, it’s likely you’ll end up eating different foods, which can also increase the risk of food allergies, especially in children trying foods for the first time.

Try to stick to foods that you know don’t contain allergens and don’t be tempted to let your dog try new foods either for the same reason. It’s easier to avoid food allergies in dogs than it is in children as you may be able to pack enough of their usual food based on how long your vacation will be.

Adjusting to foreign food and water

When you prepare for illness when traveling with your dog, foreign food and water are important considerations. Depending on how long you’re traveling for and where you’re going, it’s not always possible or feasible to take a dog’s food with you. For example, some countries won’t allow you to import certain pet foods and you need to be aware of the ingredients, how much liquid they contain and the weight of food as well. Every country will require that your dog’s food be in a bag or can that is manufacturer-sealed. Many countries will not permit the import of food where beef or lamb are ingredients.

What to do?

See if your pet’s usual food is sold in your destination country. Many large stores have locations in foreign countries. If this is not an option, be prepared by writing a list of the main ingredients in your dog’s food so you can find something similar.

If your dog is on a prescription diet, ask customs officials in your destination airport whether you can justify the import if you have a letter from your veterinarian stating the necessity for the food.

It is not always feasible to bring bottled water for your dog and your family when you go on vacation, especially if you are flying. Water quality can vary by country, and it is worth the time to research information from other pet owners.

Speak to your doctor and veterinarian for advice on the best anti-nausea and diarrhea medication to pack and the doses that should be administered.

Start introducing local water gradually by washing food with it, brushing your teeth with it, making ice cubes with it and watch for signs of an upset stomach.

Dog in car on family travels
Courtesy of Tadeusz Lakota – Unsplash

Preparing for motion sickness

Both humans and dogs are susceptible to motion sickness, whether you’re in a car or on a boat. Specifically, children and young dogs seem to be the most prone to this condition. If you’ve never traveled a great distance before, it can be difficult to know if motion sickness will be a problem for your family, which is why it’s so important to prepare for it. Luckily, children can tell you how they’re feeling, but look out for common signs of motion sickness in dogs, which include inactivity, whining, yawning, drooling, shaking, licking their lips, and vomiting. Preventing motion sickness in people is similar to preventing motion sickness in dogs. Open the windows for some fresh air, have them sit at the front of the car and face forward if possible, limit food consumption before travel, and stop regularly for breaks. If none of that helps, motion sickness medication from a pharmacist and a veterinarian can be given to relieve symptoms.

Research dangers lurking in the local environment

It’s really important to be aware of and prepared for environmental dangers to your dog and your family in your destination country. Blue-green algae has started to become more prevalent in many countries across the globe, including many US states, the UK, and Mexico. The algae releases toxins as it breaks down, which is dangerous to the health of both animals and humans.

No one should swim in water where algae is present, and you need to take precautions to ensure your dog doesn’t drink it. Make sure they have fresh water available to them to deter them from doing so. Symptoms will include twitching, weakness, seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea and even death in extreme cases.

Lungworm is another potential problem for dogs and is particularly prevalent in the UK currently. Lungworm infestation occurs when dogs eat larvae that are found in snails, slugs, or frogs, so be extra vigilant of what they’re eating when outside. Worst-case scenario, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms so that dogs can be promptly treated. This includes breathing problems, coughing, and a reluctance to exercise.

If you and your dog are traveling to the southwestern United States or northwest Mexico, know that people and animals can develop Valley Fever after inhaling spores growing in loose, sandy soils prevalent in these areas. Be on the lookout for symptoms of coughing, fever, weight loss, lack of appetite, and lack of energy.

Make sure you pack enough medications

If anyone in your family, including your dog, is on medication, you should make sure to pack enough for the duration of your trip. Ideally, bring along a few days extra supply, just in case of travel delays. Keep all pills and lotions in their original packing with the prescription details on the outside of the packaging.

Have a copy of any prescriptions in case you need a refill during your travels. This is also helpful to show proof to any officials that your medicines are prescribed, if required. 

It’s also a good idea to research the location of local doctors, pharmacies, and vets in relation to where you’re staying and have their contact details on hand.

Traveling as a family can feel incomplete if you don’t bring your dog along, plus it’s great fun for your pooch to be involved too; however, don’t forget to prepare for illness when traveling with your dog and your family as it just makes sense. Medical emergencies are not what anybody wants to deal with while on vacation. The object is to keep everyone safe, healthy and happy and make memories together.

Jane Sandwood is a freelance writer and editor who spent over a decade in the tourism industry.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe on a Motorcycle

Dog with Motorcycle
Credit: Photo by mandy zhu on Unsplash

Most dogs love to travel. They enjoy sniffing out new places and the excitement of taking a ride in the car. Just notice the glee on dogs’ faces when hanging out windows of passing cars. Have you ever passed a motorcycle with a dog riding on it and wish your dog could be that cool? Do you know how to keep your dog safe on a motorcycle?

Before you hop on your bike with your canine sidekick and ride on down the road, there are steps you must take to prepare both yourself and the dog for the rush of adrenaline. Certainly, dogs love to be with their owners at all times, but it is your responsibility is to ensure your pup’s safety on your two-wheeled adventures. And, depending on your dog’s personality, it could become a pro at riding shotgun.

Ease Your Dog into Motorcycle Riding

Not all dogs are fit to ride motorcycles. A dog’s personality and size are two factors that must strongly be considered when thinking about adding your dog as a passenger on your bike. For some dogs, the stress and anxiety are too much for them to handle. Large dogs may be more difficult to safely secure for the speeds that motorcycles can reach.

Generally, the more confident or laid back your dog is, the better passenger it will make regardless of its size. If you think your dog’s temperament is up for the experience, you still need to ease them into riding the motorcycle. Simply tethering your dog to the motorcycle and hoping for the best is not how to keep your dog safe on a motorcycle.

Sidecars, Tail Bag and Dog-Friendly Other Options

How to keep your dog safe on a motorcycle
Credit: Photo by David Tostado on Unsplash

Finding a secure place for your dog to sit is fundamental to keep your dog safe on a motorcycle . The size and type of transporter will depend on whether your pet is large or small. If your pet is a small dog, you may at first consider simply holding your dog as you drive, but that’s exceedingly dangerous, both to yourself, your dog and other drivers on the road.

Larger dogs may be able to just “hold on” to the seat, but again, that is a huge safety issue, especially for longer rides. The best choice is to make sure your pet is secured for their protection. There are several different choices of items to use to contain your pet in one location while you’re driving the motorcycle.

  • Backpacks and Slings – Smaller dogs can be placed in backpacks or chest slings similar to the ones parents use to carry babies. The pet should be comfortable being carried in the tote before you attempt to take them for a spin on the motor vehicle.
  • Custom Dog Seat – If you’re a regular traveler who wants a companion on your many road trips, you might consider having a custom dog seat installed on your bike. The special setting allows a pet of any size the ability to ride as a two-up passenger.
  • Tail or Tank Carrier – Dogs of the smaller breed variation can easily fit into a carrier that can be installed on the tail or tank of the bike. Some bikers even have a special carrier built that has windows and ventilation for the pet’s comfort.
  • Sidecar – The ultimate dream of combining pet ownership and motorcycles. Sidecars are the most expensive option that also comes with a lot of spectator attention. It is an option to consider if it fits into your budget and you have a larger dog who has an adventurous spirit.
Dog in Motorcycle Carrier

Take Your Time

Think of it as a parent teaching their child to ride a bicycle. It takes encouragement and patience. You can begin by setting your dog on the motorcycle when the engine is running so they can get used to the noise and vibration. It may take more than one training session before your pup is accustomed to the bike.

Once your dog seems relaxed with the rumble of the bike, you can slowly begin to roll the bike at a low speed that won’t injure your dog if they get spooked and jump off. Any strides your dog makes in accepting the motorcycle should be rewarded with praise and treats.

You can also try calming treats at the beginning of training to help keep your dog relaxed. However, the calming treats should be used with training instead of just drugging the dog into compliance. Your dog’s safety is the most important thing when traveling, whether in a car, motorcycle or airplane.

Know the Law

Read more to find out what you’ll need to ride safely and legally. Typically, dogs can legally ride on motorcycles if they are safely secured; however, it’s best to check your local municipal motor vehicle laws to see if there are additional rules you need to follow to keep your dog safe on a motorcycle.

Doggie Essentials for Road Trips

If you’re merely taking your bike (and pet) for a spin around the block, you don’t need to bring a lot of extra items. However, if you’re taking a trip that will last a few hours or longer, then there are a few things you will need to keep your dog comfortable and happy. What should you bring with you on the road?

Food and Water

Even short trips of a few hours will leave your pet parched and possibly hungry. Always bring water on excursions. Nylon travel bowls are perfect for your pooch’s needs. The loop on the side of the bowl can easily be attached to a belt or zipper to save room on the bike.

You don’t have to schedule your bike ride around your pet’s feeding schedule if you bring their food with you. Be sure to prepare some canned dog food for your canine friend. Don’t forget to pack the calming treats in case your dog gets nervous during the road trip.


dog with doggles for safety
Credit: Photo by Arie Wubben on Unsplash

As cute as it is to see dogs sticking their heads out of car windows or their fur blowing in the open wind, it’s actually very dangerous for their health. Rocks, dirt and other particles can cause irritation in their eyes or even become lodged in the eye. The best way to avoid the potential health problems of exposing your dog to the high winds is a pair of Doggles. That’s dog goggles. They look as funny as they sound, but they work great in protecting your pet’s eyes.


You will need a travel leash for the potty breaks at rest areas along the way. Many rest stops don’t have enclosed areas where pets can roam free. Leashes are often required and keep dogs from running into traffic.

Your pup should also have a collar to attach the leash. A collar is also necessary for identity information about your pet should they get loose and run off.

Microchip or Nametag

Nametags and microchips are the most popular methods pet owners use to let strangers know if the dog is a stray and how to contact the owners in the event of a lost pet. Nametags often communicate the pet’s name, along with the owner’s address and cell phone number.

A growing number of dog owners are choosing to include humorous notes on the nametag, such as “Call my mom. I’m lost and she is at home crying.” Just don’t forget that the most important thing about a nametag is your pet’s name and your contact information.

Microchips are passive devices that will return a unique and identifying number when scanned. This number can be searched on a number of databases to find the owner’s address and phone number. Unlike name tags that are immediately visible and accessible, microchips require a microchip scanner and database search for identification purposes. However, if you find yourself frequently coming upon lost dogs, you may want to consider purchasing your own personal microchip scanner.

Ready to Hit the Road, Jack

Pet owners often say they would bring their dogs with them everywhere if they could. If you’re a biker, now you can safely bring your beloved pet with you on motorcycle outings. Some dogs will never be comfortable riding motorcycles;, but it can be a fun and exciting experience for both the owner and their willing dog as long as you know how to keep your dog safe on a motorcycle.

Leo Wilson graduated from a university with a major in animal health and behavior. He had over a decade of experience working in the pet industry and has contributed many dogs and pet-related articles to several websites before he decided to start sharing his knowledge on his own blog. And when he is not busy working, he and his wonderful wife love spending time at home with their 3 dogs and 2 cats.

Where to Have Fun with Your Dog in New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand
Image by reginasphotos from Pixabay

Traveling with a dog or cat can be challenging, and, for most pet owners, a trip to New Zealand is a big deal. The country has strict pet import regulations; however, with advance planning, it can be done and is well worth the effort. The North and South islands are ripe for exploring and the scenery is breathtaking. From sweeping mountains to sandy beaches; from glaciers to hot springs; from exciting cities to exotic wildlife, whether you live here or visiting this great country, you’ll have no problems finding out where to have fun with your dog in New Zealand.

Taking your dog on vacation with you is one of the most enriching things you can do, not only for your dog, but for you and your family as well. Including them in your adventures will strengthen your bond and make your trip so much more meaningful.

Dog owners can give all sorts of excuses as to how they can’t take their dogs out with them on vacations. Such claims may have sounded reasonable years ago, but today, there are few reasons to keep your dogs at home while you explore new places. Now, most travel destinations have dog-friendly attractions for both you and your dog to enjoy, and New Zealand is no exception.

They are no small parks in New Zealand if you are thinking that. There is a number of places that are designed for you and your dog to have a great time. Don’t believe us? Check out these places where to have fun with your dog in New Zealand.

Cornwall Park Café, Auckland

Dogs having fun
Image by bonjourbonggu from Pixabay

Cornwall Park Cafe in the Auckland region of New Zealand is an incredible place to take a break and hang out with your dog. How great it is to have your meals with your pup in open places enjoying the lovely sunshine, the beauty and people around you. This also gives your dog (and you) the opportunity to socialize.

This cafe is welcomes pets inside as well and is alive with people from different regions coming together to enjoy each other and the surroundings. It is a top-notch cafe to grab a quick sandwich or a light breakfast. If you ever happen to be in this eatery, then we highly recommend you check out the bacon and waffles on their menu. They serve breakfast everyday starting at 9:00 AM.

Rogue and Vagabond, Wellington

Have fun with your dog at Rogue and Vagabond Cafe
Image by Gabriela Fink from Pixabay

Like to rock and roll with your dog? If yes, then you must head to the Rogue & Vagabond Craft Beer Bar when you and your dog visit Wellington.

We can talk all day about the delicious food that the bar and restaurant serve; but the real attractions that Rogue & Vagabond offers are the music gigs that different bands perform here frequently. Dogs are not only allowed here; they are adored by the staff and visitors alike. It is a great place to have fun with your dog in New Zealand.

You can get a quick beer and snack at this bar while you enjoy the fantastic music from up-and-coming as well as established bands in New Zealand that you likely have not heard before. Make sure to be there before the dinner rush as you will see a lot of people lined up to get in the bar around dinner time. Sunday morning jazz is also a popular attraction.

Best Ugly Bagels, Auckland

Have fun with your dog at Best Ugly Bagels and Coffee
Image by sanghyuk cho from Pixabay

Want to taste the most delicious bagel in the country? Try visiting the Best Ugly Bagels in downtown Auckland. The name might be deceiving, but once you try out the food at this very popular restaurant, then you might have a new favorite eatery on your list. They have reasonable prices for other dishes; however, bagels are their specialty.

Dogs are welcome at the Ugly Bagels, and it is worthwhile to sit there and enjoy the tasty food with them. The service time is quick, and the staff at the restaurant is very friendly. It is truly a place in New Zealand worth visiting.

Bottle Lake Forest Park, Christchurch

Have fun with your dog bicycling at Bottle Lake Forest Park
Image by RitaE from Pixabay

No dog would ever refuse an outing in a park, and if it is a place that is as beautiful as the Bottle Lake Forest Park, There are good chances that you and your dog would want to stay all day. Riding along the Waitikiri Drive, you will come across the incredible Bottle Lake Forest Park, a top-rated tourist attraction in Christchurch.

There are many different tracks that you can take with your dog while exploring this park. People into cycling especially like to visit this park. Going through the blue track is an amazing experience that you will have with your dog. It has a fantastic pathway and some picnic areas that your dog will love. Choosing the other tracks will afford you the opportunity see the beautiful scenery along the coastline, which will surely give you and your dog experiences you will not soon forget.

Saint Clair Beach, Dunedin

Have fun with your dog at a New Zealand beach
Image by Jennifer Regnier from Pixabay

A beautiful beach, lovely sunshine, and a fantastic view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean coastline – what more could you want for a nice vacation? At the Saint Clair Beach in Dunedin, you get to experience all of it with your pets. Your dogs will enjoy the open beach where they can run, play, dig sand, and have a fantastic time with you. Going to the Middle Beach, and Saint Kilda Beach are also options when you are here, as these beaches are adjacent to it.

The beach has some lovely hotels where you can stay nearby after spending your time there. You will get to meet all sorts of people coming from different countries to visit here with their pets. It is a very calming beach and a great place to explore. It is easy to commute to this beach with the locally available buses, and if you are driving to this place, you will have no problems finding a parking space as there is ample space available.

These spots are just some of the many places where you can have fun with your dog in New Zealand. Indeed, There are many more adventures that await you and your dog in this beautiful country. Why not plan a trip with your dog so you both can enjoy a wonderful experience together?

Rebecca Siggers has been closely studying the travel industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current travel trends and also likes to write about food and beverages, particularly wine.

The Cost to Ship a Pet Dog, Cat or Other Animal

Cost to ship dog, cat or other animal

If you are a pet owner, sooner or later, you will need to transport your pet, either with or without you. Pet owners take vacations; they relocate to new countries; they rescue disadvantaged pets. In all cases, there are 2 important questions to ask: what do I need to do and what is the cost to ship my pet dog, cat or other animal?

Obviously, all pet owners would like to ship their pet the best way possible, imposing the least amount of stress on them; however, cost is always an important part of the equation as transporting a pet can be quite expensive, especially internationally. Certainly, budget preparations should be made in advance.

Options to Ship a Pet Dog, Cat or Other Animal

Ground Transport

Auto transport

Ground transport may appear to be one of your best options for moving your pet, especially if you can accompany it; however, this option may not necessarily be the best option for your pet for many reasons. Being removed from its environment can be stressful for many pets, so the length of the trip is important when considering what type of transport you use for your pet. Ground transport may accommodate shorter trips, but not all trips can be short.

Depending on your route, auto transport may take a lot of time and expense, especially if you need to hire someone to drive your pet. When you consider the cost of the driver’s time, fuel, meals, overnight accommodations, auto or van rental and return travel, the cost can add up quickly. Also, being confined in a car for very long periods of time can be acceptable for some pets but not for others.

Although this is not the case in all countries, the availability of bus and train transport in the US is limited, and carriers like Amtrak will only accept small cats and dogs under 20 pounds. If these forms of transportation do not serve your destination, then you need to find other options when you disembark.

Find more information on transporting a pet by ground.

Transport by Sea

Certainly, ground transport is not always possible, especially if your destination is across a large body of water like an ocean. Very few commercial vessels will accept pets unless they are service or emotional support animals. The Queen Mary 2 is pet friendly if it accommodates your route.

Commercial Air Transport

Air pet transport

Air transport is the quickest option for traveling pets. Costs will vary significantly based on airline pet policies, the class of service used, size and weight of your pet as well as your route and destination country. Many pet owners share concerns with flying their pet, especially in the cargo hold, but safety is every airline’s first priority when it comes to shipping live animals and, considering the number of live animals flown each year to the number of incidents, flying is a viable option that should be considered as long as your pet can be acclimated to a carrier or crate.

There are 3 classes of service to ship dogs, cats and other animals on commercial airlines. Note that not all 3 options are available on all commercial airlines.

  • In-cabin – generally for small dogs and cats weighing less than 18 pounds and less than 19” high when standing (will vary according to airline pet policies
  • Checked Baggage – for larger dogs and cats (and sometime other animals) accompanied by an adult passenger. Weights are generally between 19 and 100 pounds but may be less) Travel will be in a special area of the cargo hold which is temperature and pressure controlled.
  • Air Cargo – unaccompanied dogs, cats and (sometimes) other animals or pets bound by destination country regulations or requirements. Travel will be in a special area of the cargo hold which is temperature and pressure controlled.

Generally, the cost to ship a pet dog, cat or other animal in the cabin or as checked baggage is a fixed price and the cost is charged for each direction of the flight. So, if you were flying from JFK to Paris round trip, your airline will impose a separate cost to fly to Paris and another similiar cost to return to JFK, no matter what class of service your pet was flying under.

Some airlines will tier their pricing based on the length of your route or the size of your pet, if flying either in-cabin or as checked baggage. Lufthansa and Philippine Airlines are examples of airlines that use this type of pricing.

Note that several airlines will impose an additional pet fee if the flight has a layover, even if your pet is staying on the same airline. (Air France is an example). Also, if your pet changes airline companies during a layover, another pet fee will always be imposed by the airline operating the next leg of the journey.

In-Cabin and Checked Baggage

Here are some samples of costs imposed by major airlines for pets flying in the cabin and as checked baggage. Note that these costs may change, so it is always best to contact your airline to confirm recent costs and make a reservation for your pet. Note that these are not round-trip costs;  they are charged for flying in each direction.

In-cabin cost

  • American Airlines – $125
  • Delta Airlines – $125 (US/Canada/Puerto Rico), $200 (International/Virgin Islands), $75 (Brazil)
  • United – $125 (more for longer trips with multiple layovers)
  • Southwest – $95 flat fee
  • Lufthansa – $59 (domestic w/in Germany), $69 (w/in EU), $92 (to/from N. Africa/Asia/Mediterranean Countries), $103-126 (intercontinental), $100 (to/from Japan)
  • KLM – EUR 30 to EUR 200 depending on destination
  • Turkish Airlines – 80 TRY w/in Tturkey, $70 USD (minimum) international

Checked Baggage Cost

  • American Airines – $200 all routes ($150 to/from Brazil)
  • Delta, Southwest & United – checked baggage service for pets is not offered
  • Lufthansa – $92 (domestic w/in Germany), $115 (w/in EU), $149 (to/from N. Africa/Asia/Mediterranean Countries), $172-218 (intercontinental), $200 (to/from Japan)
  • KLM – EUR 30 to EUR 200 depending on destination
  • Turkish Airlines – 120-260 TRY (depending on size of pet) w/in Turkey, $140 USD (minimum) international

Air Cargo

To estimate the cost to ship your pet dog, cat or other animal via air cargo is where things get complicated. Most airlines charge by dimensional weight which includes the weight of your pet including their crate and the dimensions of the crate. The algorithms used by cargo departments can be pretty complicated and very hard to estimate, especially for international transport as many factors affect the estimate including the cost of fuel which can vary frequently. United Airlines offers a dimensional weight calculator which is easy to use.

Simply put, the cost to ship your pet as air cargo is going to be considerably more than flying with it in the cabin or flying it as checked baggage. Why is this? Basically, because, when flying as air cargo, your airline will track your pet via an Air Waybill from the origination airport through layover airport(s) to the destination airport. The airline is responsible for the care of your pet from the moment it is checked in at the cargo facility. This arrangement is a bit different than pets flying as checked baggage where the owner has more responsibility to provide for care at layover airports when applicable.

In addition to the cost involved, almost all commercial airlines will require that an agent book your pet’s transport as air cargo. Agents will charge a fee for this which can vary significantly depending on the services required and the extent of documentation involved. As shipping a pet can get very complicated, the peace of mind knowing an expert is handling your pet’s transport is worth the cost.

If you need an estimate of the cost to ship your pet as air cargo, then you may want to contact an agent who can assist you with cost figures for your specific route and pet. The International Pet and Animal Transport Association is a worldwide organization of licensed transporters who can help you ship your pet safely. You can search for an agent by name, country or airport on their website.

You can also contact us if you have any questions about shipping your dog, cat or other animal as air cargo.

As the costs to ship your dog, cat or other animal as air cargo are significantly more than in the cabin or as checked baggage, why would a pet owner ship their pet using this option?

  1. The destination country requires it. (examples are UK, UAE, South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and others).
  2. The owner or their representative cannot accompany their pet.
  3. The pet is being shipped for commercial purposes.
  4. The dog or other animal is very large (generally over 100 lbs. including crate).
  5. The airline does not offer checked baggage services for live animals.
private transport air jet charter

Private Jet Charter

Chartering a private jet is the ultimate in shipping a pet. Your dog, cat or other animal can fly with you in the cabin, relaxing and enjoying the trip either on your lap or right next to you, depending on their size (of course). Here are some of the benefits of chartering a private jet:

  • You can book your trip according to your schedule.
  • No security or check-in lines at the airport.
  • Temperatures are not a concern.
  • Any size pet can fly safely in the cabin with you.
  • There are no distractions from other pets or passengers.
  • You can choose in-flight options.
  • You have 2 private captains to serve you.

As you can imagine, the cost for a private jet is considerable; however, it will be the experience of a lifetime for both you and your pet. You can click here to find sample prices to ship your dog or cat via private jet charter.

Other Important Costs

There are other costs to consider as well when transporting a pet, especially internationally. Some of these include:

  • Cost of a crate or carrier and accessories
  • Veterinary and lab costs for tests, vaccinations and health certificates
  • Import permits (if required)
  • Government endorsement (if required)
  • Pre- and post-travel inspection (if required)
  • Quarantine costs (if required)
  • Entrance fees (if required)
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) (depending on the purpose of travel)

With all considerations involved, it is best to start early when planning to transport your pet because the costs can be notable. Certainly, it is worth the cost to ship your pet dog, cat or other animal when you relocate to a new destination, take an extended vacation or rescue a pet who does not have a home; however, costs can be sizeable when traveling far distances and being aware of those costs early on will allow you the ability to budget for them.

The Best Dog Friendly Adventures in California

Dog Friendly California Destinations

With a fabulous collection of dog-friendly beaches, miles of beautiful hiking trails, and a wonderful array of dog-friendly restaurants, cafes and bars, California is one of the best places in the world to find adventure with your four-legged friend. Here are some of the best dog-friendly places to visit in California with your dog.


Carmel simply loves dogs and will welcome them just as much as their two-legged visitors. For starters, take your pooch along the scenic path from Carmel River Beach to Carmel Beach for incredible views, and then head down to the beach itself. Carmel Beach allows dogs to play on the sand and frolic in the surf even when they are off-leash (as long as they are trained to respond well to voice commands)!

For more fun times, visit Carmel Plaza, Carmel River State Beach, Seventeen Mile Drive, Mission Trail Park, Carmel Walks and Garrapata State Park for numerous opportunities for outdoor adventure with your best friend. 

If you are not worn out, head to the Mission Trail Park, a 33-acre nature preserve with 5 miles of wonderful trails through pine and redwood trees to exercise your dog and soak up some nature along the way. Then head to Downtown Carmel, where shopkeepers offer dog biscuits, water bowls and even delicious gourmet doggie meals such as grilled chicken, biscuits, kibbles and steak. Many restaurants and cafes offer dogs and their owners both open-air and covered patios as well as a variety of indoor spaces to relax.

Done for the day? There are  many excellent dog friendly hotels and inns in Carmel, which will warmly welcome both you and your four-legged friend, even offering welcoming doggy packs! Just be sure you are aware of their pet policies and reserve a room for you both in advance.

Dog on beach in California

San Diego

This is another wonderful pet paradise in California full of dog-friendly adventures. San Diego’s weather is perfect for both people and their pets, and they have a fantastic collection of dog-friendly beaches (including the original dog beach!) and a plentiful supply of wide-open spaces.

San Diego also offers many excellent dog-friendly hotels, which even include pampering services. This city also offers all sorts of doggy-inspired events for your both to enjoy including the DogFest and Annual Bow Wow Brunch Cruise.

Sections of Del Mar Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado North to Mission Bay’s Fiesta Island are all  dog friendly, and there’s also a great selection of dog-friendly parks including Balboa Park’s two-dog parks. Have a super friendly dog? Make sure you head to one of the city’s summer events such as Imperial Beach’s Unleashed Surf Dog tournaments or the Hornblower cruise’s annual Pet Day on the Bay. Alternatively, just opt for some Doggie Yoga and Pup Paddle-boarding instead – yes really!

Lake Tahoe

The alpine paradise of Lake Tahoe is a scenic doggie heaven with lots of adventurous options for both dogs and their parents. Campers will find MacKerriecher State Park’s three campgrounds dog-friendly and ready, including Nevada Beach campground with a wonderful dog spot. You can even take your dog swimming at a dog-friendly beach like  Homewood’s Obexer General or hike in a lift at Squaw Valley’s aerial tram and Northstar’s lifts as long as your dog is leashed.

What dog-friendly adventure is complete without renting a raft like dozes of other summer  pet travelers and float  for miles down the Truckee River? You can also try out a dog-friendly canoe with spacious cockpits for a furry member and their parent at the Tahoe City Kayak. What fun for you both!

Summer estate outbuildings and homes are  plentiful too at the Tallac Historic Site where your dog is invited assuming it is leashed. [is this just for visiting or are there are pet friendly accommodations?]

Lake Tahoe has trails that span hundreds of miles and you and your dog will love exploring them as much as Tahoe City Lakeside Trail and Van Sickle Bi-State Park.

The area also has delightful treats for dogs in any of the diverse dog specialty stores, including spa treatment, dog toys among others.

Cannon Beach

Dog friendly adventure in Canon Beach

Cannon Beach will remind you of Carmel with its lush forest extended in a way that seems to meet the sea. You can hike local trails with your dog through tall trees as you observe your furry companion’s reaction to elk, deer, chipmunks and raccoon scents. Dogs are allowed at the beach without a leash, if well behaved.  Natural trails such as Elk Creek Nature Preserve is a special place to walk your furry pet. You can also enjoy the natural flora and fauna of Ecola State Park.

Local doggie stores in Cannon Beach offer both human and pet products as well as dog-friendly outdoor spaces and seating. Water bowls are abundant with most local hotels allowing pooches with hospitable pet services.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz offers both enjoyable pet outings and hearty dog-friendly adventures as well as dog-friendly resorts and restaurants, redwood hikes and pet-friendly beaches.

The county includes lots of picnic sections and campsites, natural hiking spots like the Big Basin Redwoods State Park or miles of paved surface along the North Escape Road. Others include an immense number of trails from the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to Byrne-Milliron Forest and Roaring Camp Railroads perfect for families and their furry companions.

If you fancy a picnic, then head for the Felton Covered Bridge Park and enjoy the San Lorenzo River together or enjoy the pet-friendly wineries and beaches in Santa Cruz where dogs are welcome.

Leashed dogs are allowed in downtown Santa Cruz while surfer points such as East Cliff Parkway is an enchanting point to watch surf duels and wave runners with your dog. Leashed dogs are also allowed in tide-pooling adventures, particularly around Live Oak’s Santa Maria Beach.

Newport Beach

Be sure not to miss Newport Beach, a unique pet-friendly place with dogs invited to so many places from high-end hotels such as the Island Hotel and Hyatt Regency Newport Beach to West Coast food and fashion locations like Fashion Island that are very friendly to well behaved pups and their companions,.

The open sea is always a delight for every dog walker and owner where Duffy boats are perfect for pooches and their parents who love their cocktail cruises just right. The water’s edge is a perfect place to wind down with your dog by watching the sunset and making evening runs along the way.

Mornings along Newport beaches are truly special, including hikes along El Moro Canyon or Back Bay with your pet. Be sure and check out beaches from Newport Beach Dog Park, Municipal Beach to Crystal Cove State Park. Doggy day care and shopping centers open for dogs including Fashion Island, Petco, Charlie & Me to Russo’s Pets are fun places to bring your best friend.

Groom your  dog at a dozen of places such as Paw Spa, Ace Pet to One Bark Avenue.

Newport Beach includes lots of pet friendly resorts and hotels that welcome dogs with great fanfare including treats and water bowls.

Half Moon Bay

Dog friendly Half Moon Bay

Like in most of dog-friendly California and nearby areas, beaches are all the rage in Half Moon Bay such as Half Moon Bay’s State Beach and Poplar Beach, perfect places for ball tossing and picnics. Right off Wavecrest Road is Half Moon Bay Dog Park, a community funded and supported park where furry friend meet-ups are aplenty. Enjoy scenic biking, running and leisure strolls with your leashed dog in the Coastal Trail.

Half Moon Bay includes dog-friendly hotels and motels, posh packages for pooches and tight budget options for those with dogs in local inns. Overall, Half Moon Bay is largely a dog-friendly area with top natural surroundings and commercial establishments with their doors open to both pooches and people.

So, no matter what you and your dog are up for, whether enjoying the outdoors or shopping in unique pet boutiques or sharing a spa experience, California will not disappoint. There are truly all sorts of dog-friendly adventures here.

Becky Moore is a semi nomadic traveller and owner of Global Grasshopper – an award winning blog. Here she writes about under the radar destinations and dog friendly travel. 

10 Mistakes to Avoid when Traveling with Your Dog

Traveling with a dog
Photo Courtesy of Joseph Ken

Traveling with a dog can be an enjoyable experience if you prepare properly. Having problems during your trip can ruin your vacation as well as end it abruptly. Here are ten essential tips to help you get the most out of your shared traveling experience.

Not booking your airline and pet friendly hotel well in advance

Booking in advance is essential when you are traveling with a pet, not just in terms of the accommodation you will use at the end of the journey, but in securing the best means of travel. Booking well in advance give you ample time to follow all the steps on this list, allowing you to select the most comfortable means of travel for your pet, and giving you the preparation time you need to avoid last-minute stresses. You should contact your airline or pet friendly hotel to make a reservation for your pet.

Not checking travel policies and procedures

Before you travel, it is essential that you consider all the policies and procedures that cover traveling with a pet. Whether it is by auto, airline, bus, train or boat, if you are using a public service, there will be strict pet regulations that you must adhere to. Read up on everything, and check if there is anything that you are unsure about. The last thing you want to happen is to arrive at the airport, for example, and find that your pet is not allowed to travel because of some oversight you made during your research on traveling with your pet.

Not ensuring you have the right documentation

Speaking of air travel, it is now essential that, when traveling internationally, pets should be transported with the correct pet health certification. Pet insurance is not mandatory to fly, but is highly recommended if it is available. Is your dog or cat microchipped? Many countries will require this. Almost all countries will require that your dog or cat be vaccinated for rabies. Does your pet have a pet passport? You didn’t know you needed one?! You see how things can happen. Simply ensure that you are up to speed with all the requirements, and don’t get caught unprepared.

Not training and socializing your pet

If you are traveling with a dog, it is highly recommended that you start to train them before you depart on your journey. If you are going on a long road trip, for example, and your dog never accompanies you in your car, that is not good preparation, so start to take your dog on shorter trips leading up to the event to get them used to the experience. Train your dog to behave during the trip by employing a rewards process in these practice runs too.

Likewise, if your dog is rarely or never in a public environment, but you are about to set off on a long bus or train journey, or take them on the subway, this foreign experience could provoke fear. Instead, take them to a nearby dog park or pet friendly restaurant. Get your animal accustomed to people bit by bit, and train them in all of the necessary manners you would expect of an animal traveling in a public space. Other people will thank you for it, and it could help immeasurably reduce your stress levels too.

Failing to keep your pet adequately fed and watered

This is common sense, but your animal may become agitated if they are not adequately cared for during the trip. Although you should reduce their food intake prior to travel, do not limit their access to water and plan for those necessary toilet breaks. Which leads us to…

Failing to pack properly

Your dog’s needs will involve plenty of pre-planning, so ensure that you pack for every eventuality. Your dog will need to take a toilet break, as will you during the journey, so ensure you have all the necessary equipment, including a sturdy leash, from a hygiene perspective (also making sure you conform to airline rules with regards to what you can and cannot bring with you). Pack treats, toys, towels and any necessary medication. It’s just like packing for yourself, just give it a different perspective.

Not adequately securing your dog during travel

Have you checked up on all the rule stipulating how your animal must be secured during travel? From crates to carriers to leads to harnesses, restraints and even seat belts, there are a number of regulations surrounding the transport of your animal, so don’t get caught running afoul of the law, which could lead to a hefty penalty and even separation from your animal, which can cause distress on both sides.

Choose the wrong time of day to travel

Avoid the heat of the day by traveling in the cooler mornings or evenings. If your pet is nocturnal, day travel might be better. Just think about what suits best in terms of their comfort and security.

Not updating tags / microchips / contact information

If your pet has a tag or microchip, now is the time to make sure everything is completely up to date. Names, cell phone numbers, email addresses and what to do in case of an emergency should all be detailed clearly so, if a separation should occur, you can be safely and quickly reunited with your beloved pet. Considering microchipping your pet as it is the best protection you can give your pet when traveling.

Failing to plan in case of emergencies

A bit like planning in the case where you and your pet getting separated, no one wants to think about emergency scenarios, but it is just good planning to make sure that you do give every scenario ample consideration. If you are flying, consider what the emergency procedures are in airports and what type of policies airlines themselves employ. If you are going on a long road trip, it’s a good idea to consider options for vets along the route, as well as your final destination. If your pet has medical requirements, make sure these are covered on your pet’s tag or microchip too so they can be adequately cared for in the interim. It probably won’t happen, but you’ll be grateful you prepared if it does.

Traveling with a dog is certainly worth all the effort. A few simple steps ahead of time will go a long way in ensuring a safe and happy trip for everyone.

Animal trainer and writer Joel Syder can be found at Originwritings and PhdKingdom. Assisting in the care and development of your pet is Joel’s passion, and you can also find his insights at AcademicBrits.

Pet Travel: 6 Ways to Deal with an Anxious Dog

Pet Travel Anxious Dog
How to deal with an anxious dog when traveling

According to Scientific Reports, nearly 72.5% of all dogs suffer from at least one behavior that is anxiety related. Noise sensitivity was the most common across all breeds, affecting 32% of dogs. Other anxieties included fear of other dogs, strangers or new situations. As travel involves new experiences, new places and new faces, it is in the best interest of both of you to know how to deal with an anxious dog.

Calming your dog’s anxiety can be nearly impossible when you don’t know how, and seeing them in a state of panic can leave you feeling anxious too. New experiences, environments, and the unknown can combine to create an uneasy situation for both you and your dog. Don’t despair! Following these 6 anxiety-relieving methods should equip you with everything you need to calm an anxious dog in no time!

What to Look for

There are certain behaviors common to anxious dogs: excessive licking, yawning, panting, trembling, shaking, wining, barking to name a few. Loss of appetite or the onset of destructive behavior are others. Watch for a tail tucked between the legs, ears pinned back or a crouched position. These are signs that your dog is upset, and they should require a response on your part.

Stay Cool

Have you ever come home excited and full of energy? Chances are that your dog was just as happy and excited as you were! That’s not because your dog got the e-mail about how you’d been promoted at work; it was because you were excited, it made them excited. Conversely, if you slumped open the door and groggily entered your home completely unenthusiastically, your dog would slowly but surely start to feel sad alongside you, attempting to comfort you and might even begin whimpering.

This same principle applies to anxiety as well. If you’re anxious – they’re anxious, and, if they’re afraid and confused and you react explosively, it only amplifies their fear. So, remember to maintain control of your emotions, even if you’re anxious, and your dog will likely mimic your composure.

Crate Training

There are so many benefits to crate training that it’s no wonder practically any dog trainer worth their salt recommends it. When a dog is feeling anxious, having a safe place for it to retreat and settle down is crucial. Try placing their crate in the corner of a room with a blanket wrapped around it to block out light. Put items in the crate that are familiar to them such as bedding, favorite chews or a “used” t-shirt of yours, the scent of which will comfort them.

Having their crate associated with safety and with the darkness blocking out any excess stimuli, it becomes the perfect place for an anxious dog to go. When traveling, especially in the car, bring the crate along! It will make the dog feel more at home, and help you have more control over your anxious dog.

travel with anxious dog
Keeping your dog calm when traveling

Don’t Reward Bad Behavior

We’ve probably all done it at some point. Your dog’s been barking for ten minutes straight at your neighbor moving the lawn, and you give them a treat so they’ll stop. Maybe they were scared, and you just leaned down to pet them. Sound familiar? While it may be convenient or comforting for us to have these quick fixes, it teaches our pet that their behavior isn’t just okay—but we approve of it, even reward it.

But just because you shouldn’t give them positive reinforcement doesn’t mean you should ignore them either. It’s especially important to have a handle on your dog’s behavior while traveling. Airports and new places can be overstimulating environments, and you can easily lose control of your animal if they have no discipline and do not respond to your commands.

Train Your Dog

There are quite a few resources for training your best pal, and spending at least 30 minutes a day training them is never a bad idea. The saying “old dogs can’t learn new tricks” isn’t exactly true – it would be more accurate to say, “old dogs rarely break old habits on their own.” Regardless of the age of your dog, you can always begin training. Hiring a trainer is never a bad idea, especially if you don’t have the time or energy to fully train your dog. That way, when they’re feeling anxious, you can regain control and have their undivided attention on you instead of the object of their anxiety.

Desensitize Them

If they’re anxious around other dogs—socialize them. Bring your dog to doggy playdates and slowly work up towards going to the dog park. Driving in cars are scary? Simple—take them on short one- or two-minute rides and reward them frequently with treats, slowly working up to longer drives.

The idea is this: find what provokes anxiety in your dog and slowly expose them to those situations until they realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. With travel, it can be hard to familiarize them to places like airports, but finding similar situations can work just fine. Taking them to a busy outdoor shopping center, or a place with lots of action will work just fine.

pet travel training for anxious dog
Keep your dog calm when traveling

Alternative Treatments

If you’re still having a difficult time calming your dog’s anxiety, consider seeing a vet and asking about other options, including Benadryl, CBD oils, all-natural pet calmers, and prescription anti-anxiety medication. Your vet may not recommend some of these treatments because of legal restrictions (namely, the FDA hasn’t approved some), but there is a growing pool of anecdotal evidence that natural remedies like CBD oils do the trick.

CBD has no known potential for overdose, but its effects in dogs aren’t thoroughly-researched yet, and the FDA has announced that selling CBD pet products on-line and in stores is considered illegal at the federal level. Should you decide to try it, research your supplier carefully and test it at home before you travel with your dog to make sure you know the optimum dosage, because too much can make your dog sleepy, which is no good if it’s too big to carry through an airport!

Traveling with a pet is almost like traveling with a child: you need to keep an eye on them, they require extra luggage and planning, but they can make your trip a lot more worthwhile and memorable. If you follow these tips, you are sure to have a more relaxed and enjoyable trip.

Madison Adams is a beauty and lifestyle blogger who is just as focused on her next lavender latte as she is on writing. Using her psychology degree, she likes to draw on human insights to make her writing (and life) more impactful. When she’s not writing, Madison can be found being walked by her giant labradoodle, Grover. 

CR 82 Crate Requirements for Flying Pit Bull and Other Dog Breeds

Pit Bulls to fly in CR 82 pet crates
Courtesy of Joe Stoltz, Pixabay

Many dog breeds have enjoyed much popularity over the years for their extreme loyalty and also for their abilities to guard property as well as their owners and their families. Although breeds such as the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Boxer, Cane Corso and Mastiff have risen and fallen slightly in popularity, these breeds are still included as popular dog breeds worldwide.

In recent years, Pit Bull Terrier breeds have become more popular. Actually, a Pit Bull is a term referring to several breeds, mainly the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. All of these breeds can be raised as great family dogs if they are properly trained and socialized; however, they are extremely strong and can cause a lot of damage if stressed.

After years of collecting statistics on dog aggression and incidents of dog bites, some dog breeds and their mixes have been classified as “dangerous” by many commercial airlines, and, as such, they are either banned from transport or must fly in a container that is stronger than commercial plastic crates commercial plastic crates.

In the effort to secure safe passage of these breeds, several airlines have imposed restrictions on the crates they can fly in and require what is known as a CR 82 crate. The specifications of this crate are defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It is a container that will ensure the safety of dog breeds known for their strength and also powerful jaw during air transport.

Due to international shipping costs, many pet owners need to have these types of crates custom made. Here are some of the specifications required by IATA for custom crates that are CR 82 compliant.

CR 82 pet crate specifications for dangerous dogs

Your dog’s crate must be measured properly, allowing your dog to stand up with head extended and turn around in the crate easily without touching the sides or top of the crate. Snub-nosed breeds such as Boxers will need generous sizing.

Your dog’s crate must be made from non-toxic materials such as untreated wood or metal that is suited for this use. The bottom of the crate must be waterproof and absorbent padding should be placed in the bottom of the crate. All sides must be made from solid wood or metal.

Food and water containers must be provided and either attached to the door or fixed inside the crate with access for refilling by airline staff.

Your dog’s crate must allow for easy handling with a minimum of 2 inch (5 cm) thick forklift spacers on the sides that allow for lifting, whether manual or forklift.

Your dog’s crate must have adequate ventilation on three sides (domestic flights) and 4 sides (international flights) which is not blocked in any way. The ventilation openings should be 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and cover the top third of the sides and the entire back of the crate, spaced 4 inches apart. Openings must not allow any part of your dog to protrude from the crate.

The door of the crate must be constructed of metal mesh and it must be escape-proof and include a lock that cannot be opened by your dog. No part of your dog should be able to protrude between the bars of the door. A sliding piece of wood or metal with larger (4 inch – 10 cm) and smaller ventilation holes (1 inch – 2.5 cm) that can raise and lower should cover the door.

The frame of the crate must be solid wood or metal and all parts must be bolted or screwed. Additional metal bracing must be added if the weight of the crate and your dog will exceed 132 pounds (60 kg).

There can be nothing protruding on the inside of the crate (nails, screws, etc.) which could cause injury to your pet.

The crate must be extremely sturdy and rigid. It must be able to withstand freight damage. All joints must be secure and gnaw-proof.

The crate must be able to fit in the cargo door of the aircraft that serves your route. It is extremely important that you contact your airline to confirm that your dog’s CR 82 crate can fit through the cargo door of the aircraft that serves your route.

Remember that these regulations are in place to secure the safety of your dog. Your dog’s temperament can change drastically when in the active and noisy environment of a cargo facility at the airport. The bottom line is keeping your dog from escaping its crate as that is when it is most vulnerable and subject to harm.

Click to see a crate that can be modified to be IATA CR 82 compliant with the addition of a door and brace.

You can also check your airline’s pet policies on dangerous dog breeds here.

You can also check your airline’s pet policies on dangerous dog breeds here.