Skip to main content

Tails of the City

Back to all posts

Six Tips for Taking Fido on Vacation

Dr. Johnson recommends bringing containers of water for to keep your dogs hydrated during roadtrips.
Dr. Johnson recommends bringing containers of water for to keep your dogs hydrated during roadtrips.

It’s time to take the family vacation. For many people like me, members of the family include a dog and they will travel too. Now humans may like taking long trips, but dogs may find going to distant places a bit jarring. It’s vital that they are prepared and made comfortable during travel and at the destination. Here are six tips from veterinarian Dr. Arhonda C. Johnson from The Ark Animal Hospital on how to ensure your dog has a good time vacationing too.

1.) Consider sedating your dog for travel: Johnson says some (dogs) don’t travel well by car. Sedating them will lower their stress level. Check with your vet to find out if your dog can or should be sedated.

2.) Make sure to bring plenty of water: If traveling by car, make sure you pack a container of water for your dog along with bottles of water for your human family members. When you make pitstops, take the water out to give your pet a drink. Johnson notes that with regard to food, pets can go up to a day without eating. But water is essential, especially with temperatures skyrocketing across the country.

Dr. Johnson and her dog Petey from The Ark Animal Hospital.

3.) Bring a leash: Your dog may roam freely at the home park or backyard. But it shouldn’t be allowed to wander around a truck stop or car stop. Anything can and will happen. Be sure to keep it on a leash.

4.) Get the proper crate size for air travel: If your dog is small enough, it may be able to come on the plane with you. But it would need a small crate or carry on that would fit underneath the seat. Larger size dogs would need an adequate crate that would go in the cargo hold. Johnson emphasizes that the temperature within a cargo hold can increase or decrease depending on the plane so sedation is recommended if a pet has to travel in the cargo hold.

5.) Obtain a health certificate: Johnson cautions that many air carriers do not allow dogs on planes without a health certificate. Make sure you get one from your vet and that vaccinations and medical records are up to date.

6.) Make your dog at home at the hotel: When staying in hotels, set up a spot in the room where the dog will eat, drink and sleep. This helps with the adjustment of being in a new place. Also scope out areas around the hotel where dogs are allowed to take a potty break. And bring waste bags with you to curb your dog.


Got a tip to add to this list? Add it in the comments section here!