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Dog Car Travel – A Pleasant Trip with Your Pup

dog car travel

Road Trip!

Whether it’s the holidays or a vacation, you might be planning a car trip with your dog. Just tossing them in the back seat might sound easy, but isn’t that safe and could lead to an unpleasant trip. Here are a few of our dog car travel tips:

  • Make sure your dog has gone for a walk to do his “business” and also burned off any excess energy they might have.
  • Don’t feed or water your dog too much before the trip. I’ll typically give my dog a very small meal before the trip. My dog will get sick if he has nothing in his stomach, but clearly you don’t want your dog to be too full, because they could get car sick and throw up too. You’ve got to find the right balance for your dog.
  • Bring some treats &/or a bully stick. Rewarding them for good behavior is important. The bully stick or other food stuffed toy can also keep them entertained during the ride.
  • If it’s a long car trip, make sure to take some breaks so your dog can walk and stretch out, as well as, do any “business” and drink a little water.
  • Make sure they are riding securely in your car. Here are a few options:
Clickit Dog Car Travel Harness Clickit Utility Dog Harness from Sleepypod
Unlike typical pet safety harnesses which are one-point in design, Clickit Utility is a three-point dog safety harness. Similar in concept to the three-point seatbelt federally required in all vehicles, Clickit Utility’s three points of attachment absorb force in a frontal collision by dissipating energy and keeps the dog in the car seat during impact. Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility was the Top Performer in the Center for Pet Safety test.
Orvis Travel Dog Crate Orvis Folding Nylon Travel Dog Crate
This lightweight and soft dog crate is ideal for travel or home. Set one up in the car to keep your dog safe while on the road, then take it out and use it at your destination. It’s a safe, secure and convenient way to travel by car. Its lightweight construction facilitates easy portability and is quick and simple to pop up and fold down.
dog-car-seat Snoozer Lookout Dog Car Seat
This car seat gives your dog the perfect place to either enjoy the passing scenery or curl up and take a nap while you’re on the move in your car.  Your dog can ride along right beside you, providing him with optimum reassurance and comfort. For safety and security a connection strap is included for the seat belt to join to the harness.

For more dog travel tips and products, check out our Dog Travel section! Safe travels!

Traveling with Your Dog on an Airplane

In our prior post, we highlighted the steps on what you need to do several days before your flight with your dog on a plane.

What to Bring for Your Dog for the Day of Travel

  • Your dog, plus their airline approved dog bagdog on plane
  • Typical things for a “walk”: collar, leash, poop bags
  • Health certificate from vet
  • Microchip number (if applicable)
  • Travel bowl for food/water
  • Dog food &/or treats (have a little on you just in case he gets hungry or needs an incentive)
  • No-odor bully stick – I think this is helpful so your dog doesn’t get too bored or anxious
  • Favorite small toy(s) for entertainment and comfort
  • Some paper towels, just in case your dog gets sick or spills something
  • If it’s a long flight/journey, consider bringing pee pads. No matter how old your dog is, it’s better be safe than sorry.
  • Pet-Eze – Just for emergencies, I’ve only used it once towards the end of a 10hour flight when my dog was getting really anxious and starting to eat his dog bag. It’s better if your dog goes without. However, if your dog is not comfortable traveling this might be a good option.
  • Don’t bring water – it’s not allowed to bring on the airplane and you can get some from the stewardess

Day of Travel with Your Dog

airline approved dog bagIf you have a ticket for a dog, you cannot check-in in advance! In my experience, airlines forget to tell you this. So even if it’s not on their website, I highly recommend you anticipate this and go extra early to the airport. Also, you cannot self-check-in or do curbside check-in.

I actually missed a cross country flight because of this issue. The airline didn’t mention I had to check in at the counter. I tried to check-in at home, but was unable to. When I got to the airport (early), I couldn’t self-check in. Then I waited in a long line to be checked in at the counter. I missed Delta’s cut-off by 4 minutes, which means I was at the counter 56 minutes before my flight. Rules were rules and I got bumped off my direct flight and had to be re-routed across the country with several connecting flights. As you can imagine – I was livid!

Post Check in on Day of Travel

airportpetparkOk – you’re checked in with your dog – it’s time to celebrate and breathe! At this point, you’re in the airport terminal. Some terminals have some outdoor space for dogs &/or smokers. If so, definitely give your dog the opportunity to go to the bathroom again before your flight. Alternatively, you can also try to do this in a human bathroom stall with a pee pad.

Now on to the security check. This will be annoying as normal, except now you have a dog and will actually need to get him out of his dog bag and physically carry him through the human metal detectors.

First, load up all your stuff on to the security belt to be x-rayed, including your shoes, belt, etc. The last thing you need to do is take your dog out of his bag. While many dogs likely jump out of their bag, this is when my dog, Kobi, refuses to get out his bag, so I generally have to wrestle with him for a minute and then he pops into my arms. (At this point you’ll probably hear other people coo-ing about how cute your dog is). Tip: have a couple treats in your pocket to make this process go really smoothly. Also, make sure to take off your dog’s collar as it probably has loads of metal things on it that will set off the machine.

Go through the human metal detector with your dog in your arms and then go get your stuff post-xray. First thing – put your dog in his bag and put on his dog collar. (Give your dog a treat if you have one.) Then get your stuff.

dog on planeThe good thing now is that while you’re not even on the plane yet, you’ve basically completed 90% of the hassle due to traveling with a dog. From now on, all you need to do is get to your seat and put your dog at your feet under the seat in front of you. Make sure your dog has appropriate ventilation, e.g. one of the dog bag “windows” should not be blocked (see example to the right). I also typically close the shades on the other windows so my dog can relax and have a nap.

My dog usually just rests during the flight. If he’s a bit restless, I’ll give him a bully stick or a small toy. I’ve also made sure to give him a treat or two during take off so he doesn’t worry about the sounds. Just make sure to check on him occasionally during the flight to make sure he’s fine. Bon voyage!

Top 5 Drinking Options to Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Popware H-Duo 2

Popware H-Duo 2

Summer weather is here and it’s important to keep your pet hydrated with a dog water bottle or traveling water bowl. Cupping your hands to make a water bowl for your dog isn’t easy and you usually end up wasting a lot of water. So we’ve put together a few of our favorite dog water bottles/traveling water bowls for you to check out.

Stainless Steel K9 Water Bottle

H2O4K9

We love the Popware H-DuO with collapsible travel bowl. The bottle has two 12-ounce watertight chambers so you can hold two different drinks simultaneously. Or if you prefer, put water on one side and small doggie treats (or food) on the other. The H-DuO is made of BPA-free material. The 8oz collapsible travel bowl clips onto the bottle, which makes it ideal to travel with your best friend.

Stainless Steel K9 Water Bottle If you’re looking for a dog water bottle which is high tech and modern, check out the H2O4K9 Stainless Steel K9 Water Bottle. It’s designed so that the lid is the bowl. Your dog also gets his own bottle of water if you’re not into sharing your own. H2O4K9 products are designed for rugged use and years of re-use.

Bandana Bowl
The Bandana Bowl by Pawabunda is a scarf (aka bandana) and bowl in one. Your dog can wear this bandana and when it’s time for a drink, take it off and it turns into a bowl. The bowl is water proof! We’ve tested this ourselves and it really doesn’t leak! If you think your dog is really hot, you can also pour water on the bandana & put it back on around his neck to keep your dog cool.

top paw travel water bottleThe Top Paw Travel Water Bottle is part bottle and part bowl. Remove the bottle from the holder and snap it into the upright position. Squeeze the bottle gently to start water flow. Place the bowl on the ground or hold it in your hand and allow your dog to drink. It also has a strap so it’s easy to tether for hanging from bike, wrist, stroller, backpack or just put on your wrist.

water bottleThe Good Life Gear Stainless Steel Pet Water Bottle offers a unique bottle design. The stainless-steel water bottle has two openings: the small one up top has a ball-bearing to control water flow when you hold the bottle upside-down for your dog to drink (think hamster water bottle). The second opening is larger to allow for filling and cleaning. You can also un-screw the whole top of the bottle, flip it over – and it’s a cup. It’s an easy and simple way to keep your dog hydrated while traveling, running or hiking with you.

You can always check out our shop category “Feeding & Watering” for more options and please let us know if you find any other cool dog products we should post about!

Lightweight Dog Bag by Sturdi Products

SturdiBag GreenAs we’re always on the search for great dog bags / carriers, we were thrilled to discover the SturdiBag Flex-Height Carrier! The first thing you notice is how light the bag is. The SturdiBag large only weighs 2.6 pounds, despite that it has been tested to safely carry a pet up to 40 pounds and has the dimentions: 18 L x 12 H x 12 W inches. It’s by far the lightest bag we’ve seen on the market!

SturdiBag

One the key advantages of the SturdiBag is the patented flex-height design with flexible rods that allow the carrier to flex down without collapsing to conform to under seat heights. Then the bag pops back into shape when it is no longer stored under the airline seat. Many dog carriers do not have this extra support and as a result the bag does not hold its shape and the top can collapse down on your dog.

The SturdiBag is made of durable 600 denier polyester with urethane coating, which makes it very durable and water resistant. It comes in a variety of colors and is available in 5 sizes for the standard model (non-divided) and 2 sizes for the divided models. It also has pockets so you can put your dog’s leash or treats in it. There is one back storage pocket on the 5 standard models and deep side pockets on the 2 divided model. The SturdiBag is also easy to clean and completely machine washable.
SturdiBag

The SturdiBag includes:

  • Adjustable 4-point padded shoulder strap & leather hand grip
  • Retractable privacy flaps on all mesh windows
  • Seatbelt safety straps for car travel
  • Interior Comfort Pad secured by Velcro
  • Zipper Security Clips and a tether for safety and security

The SturdiBag Flex-Height Pet Carrier comes with a Comfort Pad which is covered with soft fleece. This light weight Comfort Pad is filled with a cushy, convoluted or “egg-crate” style foam that provides air circulation and superior weight distribution for support, comfort and pressure relief. The Comfort Pad may be beneficial for aging pets and/or pets with arthritic or other orthopedic problems. If your dog really likes the Comfort Pad in the SturdiBag, you can purchase additional ones to use around the house. There are various Comfort Pad cover designs and colors so you can find one that suits your home.

SturdiBag

SturdiBags come in a variety of colors, designs and sizes

The company Sturdi Products really stands behind their products. All SturdiBag pet carriers and other products are warranted against manufacturer defect for the life of the product.

They will also replace parts as needed or handle special requests such as installing customized/heavy mesh. Sturdi Products has been catering to the needs of professional dog handlers and groomers since 1993. So they really have a “high touch” when it comes to customer service.

Sturdi Bag for 2

Divided SturdiBag has 2 Pet Compartments!

Sturdi Products was founded on the principle of decreasing the stress of both pets and people by designing better products for use when traveling with pets. Sturdi now offers over 40 professional quality & innovative products.

SturdiBox

SturdiBox

They also make the SturdiBox which is great for both on the road and at home. Built out of high-quality, durable materials, the SturdiBox waterproof and built to last. Folds flat and snaps closed for packing! You can see in the photo here are two smalls (holds 1/2 gallon and 8″L x 5″W x 4″D inches), one in purple filled with water and the other folded in black.