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Man's best friend may come in different shapes, sizes, and breeds, but one thing remains the same. The unconditional love for your dog and a need to take them with you wherever you go. Traveling with your dog may seem stressful and overwhelming at times, especially if you are unprepared. However, traveling with your dog doesn't have to be a chore and it doesn't have to be impossible. You can avoid dog sitting costs, while exploring new places with your pooch. Below are a few tips you can use when traveling with your dog:

Traveling by Car Tips: Whether you are going on a long or short road trip with your pup, it is essential that you get your dog used to being in the car. First try going on short rides in the car and paying attention to how your dog reacts and adjust accordingly. Some car rides make dogs very stressed or anxious so paying attention to their signals is key. You may have to get a ball, anxiety chews, or a stress release jacket to help them work through the fear of being in the car. Especially if it is a long trip. Another key is to avoid car sickness by ensuring that your dog is well-fed and having water on hand. When you stop for potty breaks, let your dog stop for a potty break too. Let them get 5-10 minutes to breath fresh air and release some stress or anxiety the ride may cause.

Traveling by Plane Tips: Traveling by plane is a little more difficult than traveling by car. The biggest adjustment is ensuring that your dog is well enough to fly. This is usually done by taking your dog to the veterinarian and submitting a clean bill of health to the airline 10 days before traveling. Airlines also require a rabies and vaccination certificate for the flight as well. There are also a limited number of pets allowed on each flight so completing this process as early as possible is key. While crating your dog for the flight, make sure that your dog is comfortable with a crate pad and their favorite things that help keep them calm and stress free while traveling. Be sure to label your dog's crate with your name, address, phone number, etc in case you ever get separated.

Traveling by Train or Cruise- So, even though pet friendly travel is more common than ever, there are still some restrictions when you're traveling and the carrier you are traveling with. For instance, if you're traveling by train, Amtrak only allows one pet per passenger with the trip being less than 7 hours, with a pet over 8 weeks old. Your pup has to be stored in a carrier under the seat and less than 20 pounds. If you are looking to take your dog on a cruise, there is only one that allows pet friendly cruises and unfortunately, your pup won't be able to stay in your room or bed with you. Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has transatlantic sailings, but your dog would be in the onboard kennel deck with dedicated crew that will take care of them.

Traveling Essentials- Regardless of whether you are traveling by train, bus, plane, boat or car, there are a few essentials that you are going to need to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible. If you are going on a hike, things like a collapsible bowl, booties, or hands-free leash will be essential to getting through the hike or long walk without overworking your dog. Having a cargo liner is key as well. That way you can keep the dirt from the hike outside your car. If you are flying or cruising with your dog, identification tag, microchip, or a collar with owner’s details on it is key. You never know what could happen on this trip so it's best to be prepared. Keep a virtual and physical copy of your dog's health records on hand as well. You never know when you might need them.

Pet Friendly Hotels- Once you've decided on the destination, it's very crucial that you research the destination and hotels to ensure that they are pet friendly. Ask tons of questions at the places you plan on visiting. Make sure that you are checking the pet policies, what the fees will look like and if the attractions accept your dog. Look for hotel chains that will welcome your dog without asking for additional fees, deposits, or one-time charges. Even look for pet friendly homes on Airbnb if the hotels are too costly to accommodate your dog. Check to see whether the hotels offer bedding for your dog or if you will have to bring your big dog bed along with you. Since dogs are creatures of habit, it's important to bring all your dog's favorite toys with you so that it feels just like home. Even if they are far from home.

Dog Friendly Apps & First Aid Kits- Having an on first aid kit for your dog in case something happens is essential. I can't stress proper paperwork enough. It's like an ID or passport for your dog. Next is hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, gauze, scissors, tape, and rubber gloves. Grooming wipes, a towel or a blanket, small travel snacks and food, and a comfort item to help them relax in moments of stress. It also helps to have these dog friendly apps handy as well. Bring Fido for pet friendly restaurants and attractions, Dog finder plus to help find a dog park, dog vacay to find dog sitter and walkers in your area, and red cross pet first aid to find the nearest veterinarian.

Taking your dog with you on your annual family vacation should be a fun time, not a stressful one. Making sure that your dog is on his or her best behavior definitely helps! Attractions, hotels and restaurants are more likely to be accommodating if they see that your dog behaves well. So be sure to teach them manners along the way. Over time the process will get easier and traveling with your dog will be a breeze! If you are looking for a big dog bed to take with you on your travels, check out our latest dog beds here.