Does your dog like to travel? I sure do! I enjoy short car trips, like a mini-vacation in Boston, or longer trips where I might have to fly or relax in the car for a long time. When traveling with dogs, I recommend that all humans bring a reliable travel dog crate to keep their dogs safe and cozy.
Why Is It Important to Use a Crate When Traveling With Dogs?
Driving with a safety belt on is a law. Flying with a safety belt is also required for much of a flight. What makes human safety any different than canine safety? Since we don’t sit the same way you do in the car, a safety belt won’t protect us if we get into an accident, but a crate will help protect us. You wouldn’t want a projectile pup would you? This is why it is a good idea to invest in a safe travel dog crate you can use whenever you are traveling with dogs. Bonus – you can use the crates on short car trips, too!
Tips Before Crating:
- Don’t overfeed your animal. Some dogs love to eat, but go slow on the water and kibble before a trip. Some dogs are prone to motion sickness – not me, thank goodness! – and there’s a good chance they’ll vomit in their crate if they’ve eaten too much. Stick to a small snack before leaving and another small snack during a break. You can always feed your dog a big meal once you’ve stopped for the night or reached your destination.
- Exercise your dog. If you can tire your dog out, there’s a better chance he will relax and rest in his crate. Trust me. My parents usually let me romp around the dog park before I get crated for a big trip. With all the fun I have playing, I usually look forward to napping in my crate.
- Keep a positive attitude. Take it from me. We pay attention to our human’s attitude. If we can tell that you are stressed out about the idea of crating us, we will get nervous as well!
- Do a few test runs. Before you crate your dog for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to slowly let your dog get used to being in the crate. Start out small, by encouraging him to go in for short periods of time, but leaving the gate open. Then, begin to close the gate, seeing how your dog responds to being enclosed. Next, take a drive with your dog in the closed travel dog crate so he gets used to being crated with motion. Forcing your dog into a crate with no practice could likely lead him to become stressed and not enjoy his traveling experience.
- Be careful about what you put in the crate. Don’t include leashes and check to make sure your dog’s collar isn’t too loose. Those could become choking hazards. A soft blanket or small toy may be good to include in the crate if there’s enough room.
Remember to Take Breaks Away From Your Travel Dog Crate
I’ll bet you like to take breaks in long trips. You probably long for the chance to stretch your legs, relieve yourself at a clean rest-stop bathroom and grab a snack for the road. Great! You and your dog have something in common! We love the very same things! Even if you remembered not to overfeed your dog, he might have a full bladder if he hasn’t gone to the bathroom in some time. He also will want to move around after being confined. Breaks don’t need to be long, but your dog will be a better backseat driver if he takes a break, just like you get to do.
One Thing You Should Never Forget When Traveling With Dogs
Don’t ever leave your dog in the crate in your car. If you plan on traveling with your dog, be sure that you can be an attentive pet parent throughout the entire vacation. It isn’t fair to leave your dog crated in the hotel room while you explore a new city from morning until midnight. Invest in your hotel’s dog walking service if you plan to be away from the hotel, or bring your dog with you to pet-friendly locations.
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