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Advice on traveling with your dog

Dr. Jerry Klein, American Kennel Club on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

As the country reopens, so does the ability to travel. Some of us may want to take our dogs along for the ride. Before you and your dog jump in the car or hop on a plane to your next destination, here are things to consider.

Plan ahead

When traveling with your dog, proper planning makes all the difference. Bringing your dog with you is going to affect the kind of vacation you have: where you go, how you get there, where you can stay and the types of activities you’ll be able to enjoy.

Medical issues

Travel can be stressful to some pets, especially if they aren't accustomed to it. Signs of stress can include going off their feed, excessive barking or chewing, and even diarrhea and vomiting.

If a dog is used to traveling, no medication is usually required or recommended. If your dog has a history of becoming car sick, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to ease nausea and vomiting. Anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed by your veterinarian if the vet believes the dog might benefit from it.


To minimize and prevent gastrointestinal issues, try to pack a little of the same food and keep everything as close to schedule as possible. Some dogs may have medical concerns that need to be considered. This may include dogs that have serious underlying medical issues such as epilepsy or diabetes, or an elderly dog.


All dogs traveling should be healthy and free of communicable diseases. Prior to a trip, your dog should be examined by your veterinarian to make sure he's up to date on their vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and flea and tick prevention.

In case of an accident or escape while traveling, your dog should have accurate identification such as a microchip in place with updated information. For road travel, no papers are required for interstate travel but it’s strongly recommended that owners have proof of current rabies vaccination. If your dog is flying in the same compartment as you, no papers are required, but it's recommended that you have proof of a current rabies vaccination. If your dog is flying in cargo, documentation of a current rabies vaccination as well as a current health certificate is required.


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