What to Do With Your Dog When Traveling for the Holidays

As you’re making your holiday plans with friends and family this season, remember to factor your dog and their best interests into the mix.

Whether you’re flying across the country, taking a train or bus to see loved ones, or going on a road trip, you’ll need to make arrangements for your pup.

How to Travel With a Dog During the Holidays

Here are some considerations to think about before you travel with your dog for the holidays. The best tips on how to have a dog-friendly holiday.

  1. Make sure they’re healthy. Book a well-being visit with your dog’s veterinarian a few weeks before you plan to travel. Ensure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations, as well as heartworm, flea, and tick prevention.
  2. Pack their dog food in your luggage. While your dog’s favorite kibble, wet food, and treats may be available at supermarkets or pet stores across the country, you don’t want to chance having to switch their food to something completely different after a long trip. Your dog will likely feel more comfortable and at home in the new location when they see their favorite food make an appearance. We recommend adding some tasty toppers like CORE Bowl Boosters Functional Toppers a few days before you travel and bringing them with you for a delicious bowl booster your dog will love as part of breakfast or dinner.
  3. Bring medications and water. Pack your dog’s medications, bottles of water for them and a collapsible bowl to drink from as part of your accessible travel bags. If you’re leaving your dog with a boarding service or a dog sitter, make sure they have your dog’s medications, instructions, and veterinarian’s phone number as well as any important medical history paperwork and information.
  4. Update their identification. Make sure your dog’s tags on their collar have your cell phone number and their rabies tags. Consider getting a microchip inserted if you travel with your dog often. It’s wise to double-check their collar, leash, and harness fit before you embark on a trip to make sure everything is snug so they can’t slip out.
  5. Crate your dog. Using a crate is one of the safest ways for your dog to travel—whether that’s on land or in the air. If you’re flying your dog to your final holiday destination, review the airline’s policies a few weeks ahead of time. Check any train and bus policies about how to travel with your dog for the holidays.
  6. Stop for lots of breaks. If you’re going on a road trip with your dog, plan out a few breaks where they can relieve themselves, get exercise, and snack on a treat. Give your dog a WHIMZEES by Wellness winter shapes dental chew after arriving at your destination so they know that you packed their favorite teeth-cleaning treats for the trip.

Consider all of your options and think about what will be best for your dog. Travel can be a lot of stress for your pup and while it’s nice to have your dog with you during the holidays, you and your dog might be better off leaving them with a favorite family member, neighbor, dog sitter, or boarding service. Here’s what to look for in dog daycare.