Pet travel tips: when you should leave your dog at home

You know that I love to travel with my dog. Maxie is a great travel companion, and we took her on both short trips – one-day trips to the seaside, to the mountains, to forests – and in longer vacations, like the one in the Apuseni Mountains, Romania. But sometimes, you should leave your pet at home, as it is safer for them – and for you! So here are my pet travel tips: when you should leave your dog at home. They come from years of experience having pets (cats, dogs) and traveling with our dog.

While I am the first one to say that you can definitely travel with your pet and have amazing trips, I am also the first one to say that sometimes it’s best for everyone to leave the dog at home. Most importantly, it is best for the pet, and that’s what really matter.

Maxie - copyright
Maxie

Put your dog first

Before getting into the pet travel tips and situations when you should leave your dog at home, let me emphasize the fact that the dog should come first. Your pet’s safety should be your primary concern, and not your pleasure in having them with you in a given trip. What’s best for them trumps what you would like.

I am saying this because, unfortunately, I sometime see animals that would #have been better left at home. Or situations in which the pet owners aren’t pleased with how things are unfolding, or the things they need to pass because they have their dog with them.

So remember: put your dog’s needs ahead of your pleasure of traveling with them!

But let’s see the pet travel tips regarding the situations when you should not take your dog with you on your travels.

When they might be killed/When it is not safe for your pet

Sounds scary? Well, it should be. Maxie is a street dog we adopted. She is a gorgeous animal with Border Collie roots. But she is not a pure breed. We have no problem with that but, unfortunately, there is a country in Europe where she’d be instantly killed just because she is a former street dog.

So an important travel tip is to always do your research, especially when it comes to traveling with your pet. Look for special rules and regulations – breed, transportation, health requirements, etc. in order to be sure your pet will be safe where you want to go.

When they would not have what to do

Please, don’t take your dogs somewhere where they don’t have what to do. Just letting them stay next to a tree or somewhere similar isn’t good. Would you like the same treatment if you were a dog?

As a travel tip, when you plan a trip with your pet, make sure you include activities for them too. Of course, that doesn’t mean that your whole time will be dedicated to them, but you should think of special things they’d love to do – find playgrounds, places to explore, etc.

When you can’t take care of them/spend time with your pet

When planning your trip and making your itinerary, ask yourself this: will you be able to take really good care of your dog? Will you be able to make sure nothing bad happens to them? Will you be able to spend time with them? Yes, this is related to the previous item, because your dog isn’t an accessory. And try to make road trips fun for both you and your dog.

If you are not sure you’ll be able to take good care of your pet, then the dog should be left at home.

When your dog’s health might be in danger

There are many breeds and sizes of dogs, and each comes with its special needs and things to pay attention to. So, as another pet travel tip, you should know very well when and where your dog can go. For instance, if you go to the seaside, you should know how much time can he spend in the sun, how to make sure you keep your dog hydrated at all times, avoid heat-stroke, and so on and so forth.

At Maxie’s vet cabinet I saw many dogs coming in with heat-strokes during the summer. And they are no jokes – a dog can easily die because of a longer exposure to the sun. and, keep in mind, this is just an example, as there are many more situations when your dog’s health might be in danger.

As a side note, don’t think that all health issues are related to the weather. No. Some dogs are anxious and they don’t like new environments, nor crowds. So they will be better at home, with a friend that will feed and love them, rather than on a strange territory. Not all dogs are the same. Some are friendlier, some don’t get along with other dogs. All these factors should be taken in consideration when deciding whether you should travel with your dog or not.

When they can’t travel any more/When their health isn’t what it used to be

This is the saddest moment: when you realize your dog can’t do what they used to do, can’t go where they used to go. We all grow old. Our pets faster than us.

With age come certain health issues. Unfortunately. But these health issue prevent pets to do all the things they used to do or stand the same weather conditions they used to stand.

Age is always an important factor – so don’t forget to take it in consideration. Ask your doctor what your pet can and cannot do, where they can or cannot go. Again, put their well being first.

When the dog doesn’t want to go

I mentioned above anxious dogs. But it may happen that a dog who loves to travel doesn’t feel like it on one occasion. For instance, on a Christmas even we decided to take a short trip to the mountains. But the car was new and Maxie just didn’t want to come with us. So we left her at home, for about six hours, and it was better for everyone. So yes, animals have their own preferences. Take those under advisement and try not to force them do something they don’t want to do.

I tried to include on this list my best pet travel tips when it comes to the health of the dog and traveling. Like I said, I love to travel with my dog, we all love to have her along, but there are situations when you should leave your dog at home. I hope the information above will help you make the best decisions!

Pet travel tips: when you should leave your dog at home

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Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

56 thoughts on “Pet travel tips: when you should leave your dog at home

  • 4 July, 2017 at 01:24
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    Teach your dog that being home alone is okay. Every dog should be able to stay on his own all day without falling apart emotionally or becoming destructive. From the time you first get him, whether he’s a puppy or an adult, practice leaving him alone. Start with just a minute or two and gradually extend the length of time as you become comfortable with his behavior while you’re out of sight. He can be in his crate, in a special dog room or dog run or, once you’re sure he’s trustworthy, on his own in the house. Watch for potty accidents, too, as these will tell you how long your dog can be left without needing to go outside.

    Reply
  • 9 July, 2017 at 22:17
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    We do not have a dog, only guniea pigs and fish! But these are great tips for a dog owner! I will be sharing this post with some dog mamas! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • 9 July, 2017 at 22:17
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    I don’t have a pet let alone a dog but i’ll remember this post if I ever do. This is really useful for dogs owners! xx corinne

    Reply
  • 9 July, 2017 at 23:30
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    What an in depth and informative post! I have two cats and miss them so much when I’m away from home, taking your dog places must be so rewarding.
    Thanks for sharing your experience

    Reply
  • 10 July, 2017 at 08:03
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    When the dog doesn’t want to go was an interesting one. I agree though if it’s not safe or your dog’s health isn’t what it use to be leave it at home with a family member or friend.

    Reply
  • 10 July, 2017 at 08:27
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    I can imagine travelling with a dog can sometimes be hars, but sometimes so rewarding! I will forward it to my nephew who is a avid traveller and dog lover 😉

    Reply
  • 10 July, 2017 at 11:50
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    Great guidance! Dog lovers really need to understand the needs of their Dog. Thanks for sharing..)

    Reply
  • 11 July, 2017 at 00:15
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    Wonderful points! Dog owners sometimes seem to struggle with leaving their dogs at home (at least, those that I know do) and I agree that sometimes you need to take into account the dogs’ needs more than anything else!

    Reply
  • 11 July, 2017 at 07:23
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    That’s very interesting that the dog didn’t want to go in with the new car. I have never seen a dog do that before although I suppose they can sense things. And I agree that it should be somewhere the dog can feel good and do things. I won’t be taking my dog up to the mountains any more because he didn’t take well to the changes in air pressure.

    Reply
  • 11 July, 2017 at 18:59
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    not easy for some to understand their dogs as some jsut have some for pet sake but dont take time to treat them closely like they should. nice read here and a worthy share.

    Reply
  • 14 July, 2017 at 18:04
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    i love taking my daughter’s dogs on mini-trips with me but, sometimes I opt to not take him because Of the environment, like when I know there will be fireworks or if there isn’t much for him to do and he’d be more indoors and alone than out and with me.

    Reply
  • 14 July, 2017 at 22:03
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    These are all very good points! I was on a trip with someone who brought her dog, and she left the dog in the car while we visited a museum. I was quite concerned for the dog’s health, considering how quickly a car can heat up.

    Reply
  • 15 July, 2017 at 11:23
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    As much as we want to bring our dogs with us (when we travel), we can’t because he is too anxious plus we are also afraid he might catch some virus. We either ask one of our relatives to check our dog from time to time.

    Reply
  • 16 July, 2017 at 13:49
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    I’ll keep all these in mind, especially as I’m planning to have a dog soon. Thanks.

    Reply
  • 6 August, 2017 at 20:40
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    I think it’s very important to balance your wants vs your dog’s needs. I try to bring my dog with me when I travel as much as possible, but this article has shown me a pretty interesting perspective on some of the positive aspects of leaving your dog at home from time to time!
    Thanks for the great article!

    Reply
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