It’s hard to believe the holidays are already here! According to AAA, one-in-three Americans will travel this holiday season, be it by land, sea, or air. While you’ll want to play it safe no matter how you’ll be traveling, if you plan to take your furry best friend with you, there are other safety precautions to keep in mind. Here at Eagle Animal Hospital, we believe your pet’s health and safety are of the utmost importance. If you are one of the 112.5 million travelers taking to the air or roads during the holidays and you have pets, you’ll want to read our holiday travel tips for dogs. Have to leave you precious pup behind during your travels? Give our Northland pet resort a call to book a reservation for Top Rated Local® dog boarding in Kansas City. Our caring and compassionate dog boarding team will care for your dog as if they were our own. In the meantime, read these awesome travel tips!

Eight Holiday Travel Tips for Dogs

Whether you plan to travel by land or air, travel with your dog in the safest way possible by following these tips.

Traveling By Road

Before hitting the road with your furry friend, plan ahead by making sure you have everything you need to make their ride safe and comfortable.

Microchip and Identification Tags

Microchipping your dog is always a good idea, as it increases the chance of them being returned to you if they wander off and get lost. Before you leave, contact your Kansas City veterinarian to have your dog fitted with a microchip. Your vet can insert a tiny microchip under your pet’s skin between their shoulder blades. The chip stores your pet’s information and your contact information, which vets, rescues, and animal shelters can scan to alert you that your pet has been found.

Also, be sure to have the license and rabies tags attached to their collar, as well as an ID tag with their name and your correct contact information.

Restraints and Kennels

Your dog will need to be secured in their travel space. Either invest in a safe pet carrier or travel kennel, or purchase a safety restraint that functions similar to a seatbelt. Pet restraints for car travel can:

  • Keep your pet restrained during sudden stops.
  • Keep your pet restrained in the unfortunate case of an auto accident.
  • Keep your pet localized to the back seat, making them less of a distraction for the driver.

Pack for Your Pet

When traveling with your dog, make sure you pack everything they need to make their ride comfy. Dogs often become stressed and anxious when riding in cars for long periods of time, so bringing along some of their favorite toys and/or a comfort blanket can help them feel more comfortable. Here are some other items to pack for your canine companion:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Extra food and water
  • Treats, chews, and toys
  • Medications and supplements (e.g., flea and tick meds, antibiotics, etc.)
  • First-Aid kit for pets
  • Dental care items
  • Brush
  • Leash
  • Poo bags

Carry Their Health Certificate

We also recommend that you carry their health certificate with you in case of an emergency. Learn more about the different state requirements for pets by visiting the USDA’s animal transport guidelines.

Traveling By Air

Traveling by car is a lot less stressful for dogs, so only travel with your pet by air when absolutely necessary.

Vet Exam

Schedule an exam with your Kansas City vet to ensure your dog is healthy for traveling by air. Some airlines require a pre-flight pet checkup and certification to ensure your pet is healthy, has no transferable diseases, and is of mental soundness to fly.

Learn the Airline’s Pet Travel Policy

Plan ahead so that you know the ins-and-outs of traveling with pets by air. Follow this link to visit the TSA’s pet travel guidelines to learn their requirements. Also, be sure to familiarize yourself completely with your chosen airline’s current pet travel policy. Adhere to any requirements, otherwise, your dog may not be able to fly with you. Keep in mind that you will be required to provide the travel kennel, so make sure you get the appropriate size for your dog to ensure a safe and comfortable flight.

Give Them Lots of Exercise

Your dog will be cooped up in a pet carrier for several hours, so ensure they get plenty of exercise before heading out on your journey. Walk them, take them to the park, and play in the yard frequently in the weeks leading up to your trip. Be sure to walk them the day of your trip, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Consider Dog Boarding

Probably one of the safest ways to travel with your dog for the holidays is to simply drive them to our pet resort. That way, you won’t have to worry about their safety on the road or in the air. You can simply drop them off for a nice, comfy stay at our state-of-the-art dog boarding facility where they can play, relax, and sleep. Don’t spend time searching “pet boarding near me” or dog boarding near me.” Rather, give Eagle Animal Hospital and Pet Resort a call to book your dog’s stay with us. We offer exceptional dog boarding for pet owners in the Greater Kansas City area and beyond, so contact us today!