How to Travel With a Dog

The summer is rapidly approaching, and many people are starting to put together travel plans. If you’re bringing your dog along, you’ll have a few extra responsibilities to account for. See the guide below for more on how to travel with a dog!


Written by Echo Wang | Edited by Bianca Versoza

The summer is rapidly approaching, and many people are starting to put together travel plans. If you’re bringing your dog along, you’ll have a few extra responsibilities to account for. See the guide below for more on how to travel with a dog!

Determine Which Travel Method Works Best

If you’re prepping for a long trip, travelling with a dog takes a lot of forethought. You can’t take any shortcuts; otherwise, the consequences could be costly. This applies not only to the destination’s dog-friendly policies (or lack thereof), but the method you’re using to get there.
For instance, does your trip require a flight, train ride, or just a long drive?

Depending on your route, you may have to make special arrangements for your fur baby. Here are some critical details to know when making travel plans with a dog:

  • Airplane travel: It’s getting increasingly difficult to fly with your canine companion. Unfortunately, many people have abused policies allowing for Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), so airlines have cracked down on these rules more than ever before. If your dog is not a service animal or an ESA, it may not be able to travel in-cabin with you.
  • Train or bus travel: This will be a bit trickier since many companies do not allow large breeds on board. For example, Amtrak’s pet-friendly program only accommodates dogs and cats that weigh up to 20 lbs combined with their carrier. On the other hand, Greyhound prohibits all non-service animals.

If you’re not going too far away, consider using a rideshare program instead. Many Uber and Lyft drivers are more than happy to transport a travelling puppy. Still, even if you go with these alternatives, bring a blanket or carrier to keep the driver’s vehicle clean.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Up-to-Date on Vaccinations

You must vaccinate your dog before travelling long distances. Whether you’re travelling cross-country or to a different nation entirely, your dog may be exposed to pathogens it may have never experienced before.

This demands additional protection from a vaccine—however, the specific requirements for pet travel healthcare change from location to location. Check the import/export standards from your location and the destination before starting your trip. Regardless, you will have to follow the import requirements if travelling within or returning to Canada.

The most important vaccine your dog will need is the rabies shot. Before travelling, you will need to present a valid rabies vaccination certificate to the CFIA Animal Health Office. If your puppy has never received a rabies vaccination before, you’ll have to give the booster at least 28 days (four weeks) to work in your dog’s system before travelling. However, older dogs with past vaccination records don’t have to wait the full four weeks.

The core vaccinations your dog will need, no matter where you’re travelling, include:

  • Parvovirus, distemper virus, and adenovirus-2
  • Rabies
  • Leptospira

Keep Your Dog Comfortable and Occupied

Not all dogs will be too happy about travelling with their human companions. Some dogs get carsick, and others are just plain-old homebodies. If you suspect your dog will be anxious about the trip, it’s best to be proactive and give it something to manage its stress.

Some ideal toys and accessories for travelling with dogs include those described below.


These are incredible for distracting your dog or puppy. The ultra-durable rubber is ideal for endless gnawing from bored or teething pups.

Plus, you can provide mental stimulation on long rides by challenging your dog to extract treats and kibble from the middle.


  • Ultra-durable Kong rubber will last for years
  • Great way to occupy nervous dogs with treats or plain chewing


  • Sizes seem to be inconsistent

Pop-Up Bowls

You should be giving your dog the same number of bathroom and water breaks as you. The easiest way to feed and water your pup during brief stops is to use a collapsible bowl.

These don’t take up much space and are easily washable. Plus, the nifty bottle that comes with this pack can hold kibble and water in the two compartments.


  • Highly convenient for feeding and watering pets on the go
  • Dual-use design with leak-proof lid stores kibble on one side and water on the other


  • Storage capacity is only about seven ounces for kibble and ten ounces for water, so depending on the breed you may have to refill multiple times

Seat Hammock

If you’re riding on a train or in a car, do your best to be considerate and keep your dog’s hair from getting embedded in the material.
This particular hammock is best suited for SUVs, perfect for cross-country road trips with the pup. No matter how far you go, the non-slip rubber backing ensures that it’ll stay in place.


  • Features four waterproof layers: 600D Oxford waterproof cotton, PP cotton, Oxford 210D with PA waterproof coating, PVC non-slip rubber backing
  • Fits perfectly into an SUV backseat with Velcro seat belt openings and four adjustable clips


  • Dog hair will piles up on the Velcro, and eventually leads to hair sneaking through the openings

How to Travel with a Dog: Conclusion

Learning how to travel with a dog can be fun and open’s your dog up to new experiences. Depending on your destination, some of the necessities may change but for the most part as long as you give them plenty of pit stops, have collapsible bowls and protect your car, it can be enjoyable for all. .
Above all, you must keep your puppy occupied and comfortable, which will give you a much stronger chance of the trip running smoothly.