Traveling with a Dog

by Laura Peterson in


This October, my boyfriend and I adopted a puppy, Tucker! Tucker is our world. 

So naturally, we have to bring him 99% of the places we go or are able to take him. However, planning to travel across country via an airplane for 10 days this Christmas, we had a big decision to make.

Dog Hotels are a bit overpriced as well. So, seeing as we are on a budget, this was not an option. However, earlier this fall we used Dog Vacay, an app which allows you to find trusted and local pet sitters. Pet Sitters on this site set their own rates which allows you to find one in your budget. Our pet sitters in late October were absolutely wonderful. They let us bring Tucker over for a visit to them and their dogs and sent us pictures every day with updates. However, 10 days would still add up and we really wanted to spend the holidays with our new little guy, Tucker. It would be his first Christmas, and we really just did not want to be away fro him. So, the only option would be to somehow get him to Washington D.C. with us. Pretty easy, right? We thought so!

However, as our trip nears, we've found a few things we think you might want to be aware of if you're thinking or planning on traveling with your pet:

1. Airplanes: Not all airlines allow pets in the cabin if they are not service animals. If you haven't already booked tickets, look for airlines that do. We booked with Frontier because we simply had to buy Tucker a ticket. Frontier lists their pet regulations here.

2. Check the airlines pet policies: The link above shares Frontier's policies but make sure to follow everything listed such as the dimensions and type of pet carrier to the seats you're allowed to sit in. We purchased this pet carrier from Amazon:

3. Airport Pet Relief Areas: Traveling typically equates to a long day. Be sure you are prepared for your dog too. Whether your flight is long or short, determine if your airport has pet relief areas. Your dog may need to use the restroom before or after the flight. The Denver International Airport lists their pet info here. You can also find maps where the pet relief areas can be found. Check your airport's website for specific info.

4. Vaccines: Before traveling, for your dog's safety and the safety of others, it is important to ensure their vaccines are up to date. It's wise to also print out their medical history and carry with you in case of emergency and knowing their vaccine history is necessary.

5. Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI): Some states require your dog to have a CVI in order to enter. This not only means the state you are flying in to, but also the state you're flying back to. While you may think your vet or airline would know this, we discovered neither did. To determine if the state you are flying in or out of requries this, call the State's Department of Agriculture. We determined the CVI had to be within a specific time period of flying, so plan in advance! Call your vet and set up the appointment. Our vet charges $30 for a CVI. 

6. Determine Day of Flight Routine: If it is your first time traveling with your dog, talk to your vet. They may have tips or recommendations for the day of routine. Determine which pet relief areas you will visit and if you need to arrive to the airport earlier than usual. Having a plan will make the day a lot less stressful. Know that while traveling with a pet may be easy, there could be hiccups. Extra time the first time you fly may not be a bad decision.

7. Travel Essentials: Depending on your travel plans, here are a few things to bring along for your dog (or to consider):

  • Dog Food: Measure out enough food and a little extra in case there are delays in your return plans. 
  • Dog Leash
  • Dog Poop Bags
  • Toy(s)
  • Treats
  • Water
  • Potty Pads: This may be something to think about if the airport you are traveling in or out of does not have a pet relief area. 
  • Travel Food/Water Dish: If you are staying in a hotel or will be out and about siteseeing, you may want to travel with portable food/water dishes. Here is one you can get at PetSmart for under $10: 

We're looking forward to Tucker's first Christmas and are blessed to be able to take him along with us. If you've traveled with your dog before, let me know below if you have any additional tips!!!

Cheers,

Laura