How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful

on July 14, 2022

How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful

Got big plans to travel with your fur baby? Our pets are our family, so we naturally want them with us! Unfortunately, our fluff fam doesn’t always enjoy traveling. There are so many factors to consider, which can be stressful for pet parents as well!

Don’t worry!

We’ve gathered some of the top tips for safe, smooth travels with your favorite fur baby.

Read on to learn more.

Options to Avoid Travel

Alright, but before we launch into traveling with your pet: what are your options for leaving your fur baby at home?

If you’d rather leave Rover at home, you have three main options:

  • Hire a pet sitter to stay at your home or handle Fido’s schedule. This might be a trusted friend or family member, or a professional. 
  • Dog boarding centers, such as daycares, often have overnight care available.
  • Boarding at your vet may be an option, depending on their facilities.

Each of these options have their own expenses and requirements. But sometimes it’s good to know what your options are. If you find yourself extra stressed about traveling with your pet, you may want to at least explore one of these options as a backup plan.

Now, as for traveling: some planning ahead can make traveling with pets less stressful. Here’s how.

Tips for Traveling with Pets

The first thing to know is how your pet will respond to the transportation part of traveling. If you haven’t taken your pet places, it’s time to schedule a little practice trip. 

Take your pet on an errand, on a hike, or some other local stop. 

NOTE: this probably goes without saying, but never leave your pet in a hot car. Remember if you run an errand with your dog that temperatures need to be above freezing and below 70℉ to leave your pet in the car.

On your practice trip, you should plan ahead to provide for your pet:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Bathroom stops 
  • A favorite toy
  • Bed, blanket or other comfort item

Also consider safety harnessing, such as crating your dog, using a harness and dog seat belt, or otherwise keeping your fur baby safe during your travels.

Working out these potential kinks on a day trip will make longer excursions easier.

Acclimate Your Pet to Travel

So what if your practice trip reveals that your dog hates travel? 

Signs of motion sickness or travel stress in pets including:

  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Tail between legs
  • Whining or whimpering
  • Cowering
  • Aggression/barking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy or inactivity

If your dog experiences these signs of stress, you may want to go with your backup plan (see “Options to Avoid Travel” above). Or consider acclimating your pet to travel! 

Even a stressed and motion sick dog may still prefer to travel with their pack! So, with some persistence, and the tips in this article, you still might be able to take Rover along with you.

How to Travel with Pets

So, into the nitty gritty. You’ve decided to travel with your pet. You really want to make this work! Here are some of the tougher decisions pet parents make, and how to navigate those choices.

To Crate or Not to Crate?

Some airlines may require a pet carrier (see Air Travel section below). As for a road trip, you have the choice to crate or not to crate.

Crating is a personal choice: some pets will see a crate as punishment. However, if your pet is already crate trained, crating for travel is a safe option--and avoids bathroom accidents!

Bottom line: crate train in advance or avoid the crate.

Air Travel Requirements

Airlines have specific requirements that involve some research. Check out the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) information on pets as well as your airline’s flight information. Some points to consider include:

  • Size of pet
  • Crating requirements
  • Certificate of health
  • Flight reservation for pet
  • Expense
  • Service dog rights, including documentation, if your animals is a support dog
  • Bathroom stops along the way, such as pet relief stations in the airport

Some airlines will allow larger dogs to travel in cargo holds, in a crate and possibly medicated. However, before pursuing such an option, you should check with your veterinarian. Not all pet parents will want to sedate their dog, and there may be safety concerns for cargo travel.

Bottom line: you can carry on your smaller pet, or consult your veterinarian before traveling with a larger dog by airplane.

Should You Medicate for Travel?

Even a generally well-behaved pet may be stressed about travel. For this reason, some pet parents give medication for travel. 

While this is a question for you and your veterinarian, never use human medication for pets! They may be the wrong dosage or include ingredients which could be toxic to pets. 

Pet CBD for Travel

As an alternative to medication, or even as a supplement to help reduce the total quantity of medication needed, consider a calming CBD tincture for your pet for less stressful travel.

At Bad Dog CBD our Calming CBD Tincture is perfect for a pre-travel calm. What’s more, CBD helps a fur baby’s overall health in many ways. So, rather than increasing stress, you’re increasing health! 

Check out our online store for more.

Hip & Joint with CBD Tincture


Hip & Joint for Dogs Tincture