We are planning a holiday trip, either by road or air, and wonder what your advice is for each type of travel. We want to keep our cockapoo, Coco, safe and happy on vacation.
Looking forward to travel with Coco,
There are advantages to each travel plan. If you go by car, keep in mind this is the easiest and most fun way to travel with your dog. Remember, they look forward to a break every two hours; don't forget a car seat or a doggie seat belt; and bring a bottle of water and familiar bowl. For tiny breeds, an enclosed pen is a good idea. Also, be sure that your dog is leashed before leaving the car... a frightened dog in an unfamiliar place can be devastating. If your dog usually jumps out of your car upon arrival, the most important command for your dog to learn prior to your vacation is 'wait,' and then the release word, 'okay.' Obeying this command could save your dog's life!
Remember too that when traveling by car, your dog will never say that the radio is too loud and, except for some hounds, will never sing along. She will never backseat drive or say you're going in the wrong direction either!
In addition to new security regulations for air travel, there are also tighter restrictions on dogs. Your first inquiry should be directed to the airline; most carriers provide this information on their websites. Print a copy, and take it with you when you travel just in case there is any misunderstanding at flight time. If your dog won't be traveling with you under your seat, I suggest that you 'tip' the person who is responsible for transporting your dog onto the plane in his crate to help with Doggie VIP treatment.
If Coco is too big to be accommodated under your seat, she will travel in a crate in the hold. To safely stow her, the crate should be big enough to allow her to stand and turn around. Use a crate with handles and side rims for easy lifting. Write 'Live Dog' on the top and side of the container. Freeze some water in his crate dish, so that there is minimum spillage. Do not tranquilize your dog. This, combined with the increased altitude, could affect Coco's equilibrium and possibly her respiratory and cardiovascular systems. This is particularly true with pugs, bulldogs, and other flat-faced breeds. Make sure she does her 'business' prior to check in. While you're boarding the plane, ask the gate agent if he can check to make sure Coco is stowed safely.
Whichever travel you choose, have a great time!