The population is aging and, if the economy permits especially the cost of fuel, many people will spend some time traveling. Most of us do not want to leave our Best Friend at home. How to travel with a dog has been a subject of many hours of contemplation. The schools-of-thought seem to be Plane, Train, or Automobile. And Veterinary papers are always a must.
Plane is an either/or situation, in the cargo hold or the cabin. It is easy enough to take your dog in the cargo hold – pay the fee and we are done. But what happens to your Best Friend between the time you leave them and you pick them up. These stories can be frightening even if you don’t own a dog. In the cabin is good, but the dog needs to be in a crate and the crate needs to fit under the seat. This is very limiting. If we have a service dog they can fly in the cabin, but we will in most cases pay for an extra seat (usually large dog).
Traveling by train is an issue of control or else. There is extra charge for your friend to travel and it is preferred that we have a separate cabin/enclosed private setting. In other words, just not in the main seating/or coach. You can crate the dog and they would prefer this, but we must have control of our dog. The theme seems to be dogs are OK if you have crate, service dog or have worked extensively with your dog so you can depend on the control at all times.
Automobile restraint is up to us. In other words, our Best Friend and our automobile (we hope). Safety is a primary issue and crating or (pet) seat belts are still the options of choice. Many auto insurances now cover pet care if they are with us and we are involved in an accident. (This is good to check on prior to a trip.) We will need to stop regularly (morning, noon and night) for water and potty breaks for your friend. There is something to be said for having our Best Friend right there.
However, the fly in the ointment, so to speak of is where we are going to stay. This should be planned out in advance and reservations made for people and Best Friend alike. We will want to take your own water bowl and dish for food. We will take our food from home and also water, if possible. Changes in water and/or food can lead to some interesting digestion issues. If we are staying in campground especially if we wouldn’t drink it our Best Friend shouldn’t. Traveling with a dog can be a wonderful experience. We have met many, many people and dogs that we might not have if not for our Best friend. We have found accommodations to be excellent and very pleasant hotel/motel staff.
If traveling with our best friend plan ahead and we will have a wonderful time. We will want to check a few things in advance, if by car what is the weather supposed to be like and plan for our friend with knowledge of conditions of heat, cold and longtime waits for us. Many places do have kennels to meet the need of leaving our best friend in a car. If traveling by alternate means, we need to be sure pets are acceptable in rental cars as well. We can take care of much of this by making reservations with a travel agency or buying a travel package.