Pets on Vacation: Traveling with your Furry Family

Recently I was contacted by Kendra who some of you may know from her twitter account @KendraThornton She invited me to collaborate on a post about travelling with pets. So half of the post is by Kendra and the second half by me. Hope you find it useful.

Travel tips by Kendra

Our best family trips have always included our dog.  While it takes extra effort and planning, it is always worth the time spent to include the dog on our vacation.  Next month we get to host some family as they visit Chicago, and I have shared some of my proven tips to make their trip more memorable for everyone.

Use a Dog Crate

While you may feel guilty at the thought of using a crate, don’t let yourself go down that road. Crates, when used regularly, become a dog’s home and allow her to feel comfortable in all situations. Our dog is used to sleeping in her crate at night, so when we travel I don’t worry about her being anxious and pacing in the new environment. When we crate our dog during long travel days, we make sure to give her plenty of exercise prior to leaving. After an extended game of fetch, she’s likely to sleep in her crate while we travel.

Travel by Car

Planes make travel easy for people, but for dogs, flying is very stressful. Most dogs fly in the cargo hold where it is cold, and they are not monitored by anyone during the flight. In addition, each airline has several strict rules, and a plane ticket for your pup can end up being more expensive than your ticket! I recommend only flying your pet when relocating. It’s important to start planning early and to follow all guidelines.

Research Pet Requirements

Many states have different requirements for pets crossing into their jurisdiction. Before you go, research necessary vaccines and obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian. Make sure that your destination doesn’t require quarantine. I also recommend a microchip for your dog in case she gets away from you during travel. Micro chipping is a quick, pain-free procedure that will let the authorities know that your dog belongs to you should she get lost.

Bring Home With You

Like kids, dogs appreciate a piece of home to travel with them. Bringing a favorite blanket or toy helps dogs feel more comfortable while away from home. Make sure the items fit into the crate easily to avoid packing an additional bag. Another calming trick is to apply lavender oil to your hands before petting your dog. A spinal massage helps our dog to relax when she’s feeling anxious. These tricks will certainly make your dog feel much more safe and secure.

Vacationing is so much fun, and making everyone feel comfortable while we’re away from home makes the trip fun smoothly. Finding a great hotel for both your dog and family makes everyone feel more comfortable. That’s why I suggested the family stay in a hotel right in downtown Chicago. Not only are many pet friendly but they are close to all the sites! By following our same feeding and exercising routine, for both the kids and the dog, we avoid unnecessary travel anxiety. It takes a little extra time to incorporate daily walks, but the enjoyment we get from traveling with our dog is more than worth it.

Travel tips by Misaki

Are you ready?

Before making a long car journey make sure your dog is comfortable travelling. Many dogs only go in the car when they visit the vets so they are stressed as soon as the engine starts.
I used to hate travelling in the car, (which I suspect had more to do with daddy’s driving than anything else lol) and would refuse to even get in. So mummy and daddy fed me in the car a few times. We didn’t go anywhere, we just sat in the car while I ate and then we got out again. Then they tried without the food and just made some short journeys. And gradually I got comfortable with travelling. Now I just settle down and fight off sleep.

Buckle up

Make sure your dog is restrained in your car. Whether in a crate or by a car harness. This will help protect in the case of an accident. I have a hammock which covers the back seat. It prevents me from jumping into the front of the car and also stops me from falling down the seat-wells (although don’t think I’d really fit lol). I’m also restrained by my harness.
If you like to have the windows open, it’s worth thinking about getting a window guard to prevent them from sticking their head out or even jumping out – I have some experience with this!

Regular stops

When planning your journey add some extra time to make some planned stops along the way. Allowing for a wee and water break and letting your dog stretch his/her legs will make them more comfortable during the trip. Although tbh I find that it’s mummy who needs to use the bathroom more than I do lol!


Before you travel, check your dog’s microchip details are up to date and they are wearing ID tags. Also have a recent photo with you just in case they do get lost. It’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.

First Aid

It’s worth taking a first aid kit with you for that just-in-case scenario. You can either buy one ready-made or make up one yourself. And worth looking up the number of the nearest vet to where you’ll be staying, in case you need it in an emergency.


So there you go. Thanks to Kendra for inviting me to join in.

45 Comments on “Pets on Vacation: Traveling with your Furry Family”

  1. All your travel tips are super – thanks for sharing Misaki and Kendra!

  2. fozziemum says:

    Great tips Misaki and Kendra…it is very important to be prepared before during and after a trip with your furry friends 🙂 hugs Fozziemum xx

  3. Great post! I wish it would be easier to travel via airplane with dogs, but to travel in the cargo area is not really fun :o(

  4. We travel at least once a year to Poland from UK with our 2 dogs… we considered back seat and a harness but it didn’t go all so well… now they get a boot of E320 and just sleep there most of the time… a lot of space to turn around or stand up if they wish to do so.

  5. Thanks for the tips Misaki. Phod is preparing for his first big trip with us.

  6. Great tips, thank you for sharing.

  7. These are all super tips, Misaki! I love road trips; I’m always buckled in and I always bring my crate along so I have my home-away-from-home at our destination!
    *Cairn cuddles*

  8. Two French Bulldogs says:

    We love to travel. Those are some good tips
    Lily & Edward

  9. Kyla says:

    We always go on Their car trips-sometimes 3 days there and then 3 days back. Make certain you plan and have reservations at pet friendly hotels and motels.It’s bad enough for the peeps trying to find a room for the night when all are taken, try it with three dogs.

  10. Emmadog says:

    We say, buckle up, make sure your mom packs all the stuff you will need and remember to take bathroom breaks on the road combined with a drink and small snack.

  11. Great advice! Thank you, Misaki & Kendra. I love rides…
    Stella the Great Newfenees & Bookshop Dog.

  12. Great safety tips. Cupcake doesn’t use a crate at home anymore, but she has a portable crate that we take with us on trips, or even just to visit friends. Be aware that some pet-friendly hotels require a crate if the pet is left alone in the room.

  13. All of those are great tips. We have to buy a new vehicle and I will be searching for a good hammock. Bentley always wants to get up front, so I sit in the backseat with him. We are working on short trips to prepare for Nashville 2015!

  14. pawedblog says:

    Great tips, Misaki!
    Hugs, Carrie and pups x

  15. Those are some FABulous tips Misaki!!!
    Nows, if only Ma would take me somewheres….
    Ruby ♥

  16. Those were all great tips guys!! Thanks for sharing, these are very helpful!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  17. dezizworld says:

    Pawsum posty!!!

    Luv ya’


  18. Rama's Mama says:

    Great tips!

  19. Alix says:

    Great tips in time for traveling this holiday weekend!

  20. k2k9dogs says:

    Hi! I wrote an accompanying piece to this, and sent it to you and then never heard back. Please let me know if you still want it. In the meantime, it’s on my blog at

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