Today I’ve a funny travel story from Perrin about Pet Travel – specifically, travelling with dogs.
His bio says ‘Perrin farts around in Chicago with his pack: his wife, Michelle, and their little mop of a dog, Chewie. When he’s not driving them crazy, he writes about dog stuff at HerePup‘.
I can relate a lot to this – I’ve done travelling with my old dog across northern Australia which as a memorable experience. It was good to have a living thing accompanying me, even though he kept dropping farts in my tent.
Here’s a good hint – don’t feed your dog eggs! Here he is below! His name was Tex.
3 Ways Your Dog Will Almost Certainly Screw With You on Vacation
We all love our dogs. I know I love mine. She completes my life. That doesn’t mean she’s not a furry, 15lb reincarnation of The Dark Lord Satan when we travel. I don’t mean to say she doesn’t love to travel. She does. She adores every stupid second. She just leaves a tornado-esque trail of dog hair, body fluids, chew-marks, and mentally broken airport employees in her wake.
It’s part of what makes dogs so lovable: they’ve got that perfect combination of excited + totally oblivious. It’s also what can turn a vacation into a battle for your sanity.
If this is you–if you feel my pain–I’m here to help. I want to give you some intel on what exactly your temporary travel arch nemesis is thinking. And I want to give you some tactics to thwart his plan (or at least do some quality damage control). Check it out.
1. Your dog will barf on something.
Realistically, your dog will probably barf on several things. Dogs just barf sometimes. But they’re particularly likely to barf on vacation.
Why? FIrst, traveling can make dogs nervous. New environments. Crowded places. Scary noises. All of this can add up to a health dose of anxiety, and for some dogs, anxiety is a one-way ticket to Blow Chunks Avenue.
Secondly, vacations are filled with new food. Even if you’re super vigilant, your dog’s likely to get his slobbery jowls on some novel human treat. And for some dogs, sudden dietary changes mean the food comes right back out as fast as it goes in.
How to show him he’s not your barf boss. Aside from monitoring your pup’s food intake, it’s tough to actually keep him from barfing. So you’ll have to battle the barf from the backend.
And you do that by being a massive dork. Wear a fanny pack with anti-barf cleaning supplies. That includes a few essential items: a few plastic bags, a disposable spoon, folded paper towels and a miniature spray bottle of deodorizing cleaner. Use the spoon to bag the barf, and then spray ‘er down.
It’s also a good idea to do a bit of research so you know which human foods are safe for your dog and which aren’t. For example, most people know chocolate is toxic for dogs, but did you know sugarless gum is about 100x more toxic than chocolate? What about onions? Or garlic? Of all the travel dangers out there, you might not expect food to be one, but it certainly can be.
2. He’s going to piss someone off.
It’s inevitable. Some d-bag simply won’t understand why your dog needs, like, just 15 seconds to hump his suitcase.
Dogs are curious. Most dogs love everyone. Sadly, though, not all humans love dogs, and some dark souls even actively dislike dogs. This can cause problems. If you run into one of these schmucks, at best your pup will make them uncomfortable, and at worst he’ll cause a confrontation.
Here’s how to get your dog to keep his damn weiner to himself. These tips don’t just go for weiners. It goes for any unwanted social behavior (and, really, licking and begging for food are probably more common than uncontrollable suitcase humping).
Before applying any “tips,” though, your dog should have basic obedience under control. He should be able to walk politely on a leash. He should sit when told. And, most importantly of all, he should drop everything and look at you when you say his name. Practice all this before your trip.
Aside from that, follow the #1 rule of traveling with a dog: make sure he’s tired. Even if your flight leaves at 5am, wake up at 3am and go for a nice, long walk. Put him on the treadmill. Play fetch. Who cares. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog.
And finally, make sure other people understand traveling can be confusing and overwhelming for a dog. One good way to do this is to buy a doggy t-shirt that asks people not to pet him. He’d like it, of course, but it’s confusing when some humans enjoy him and others don’t.
3. He’s going to be flagged by the TSA.
Is there anything more annoying than having a bored TSA agent inspect your junk with a cancer-causing microwave body scanner? Yes. Yes there is: trying to get your dog onto a plane.
So really, this one isn’t your dog’s fault. It’s the government’s. And they don’t make it easy. There are, oh, about half a million different rules you need to be able to recite from memory before you can take your dog on an airplane.
For example, did you know that you’re required to arrive at least two hours before your departure time if you’re going to be flying with your dog? And did you know that every major airline reserves the right to board your dog for any reason (although, they usually only exercise this right if your pooch is scared, aggressive or sick).
They can. And honestly, there are regulations everywhere. It can be a major pain even getting your dog into the airport, let alone on the plane.
Here’s how to successfully get a dog off the ground.
First, you need to know the general rules about traveling with pets outlined by the FDA (you don’t really need to be able to recite them from memory, but it’s certainly a good idea to give them a look-see before you embark; you can do that here).
You should also know and understand your airline’s rules. These are often different than federal laws, and you don’t want any surprises.
I Kid… But Seriously…
Traveling with a dog is what you (and your dog) make of it. It can be amazingly fun, or it can be a complete disaster.
The lesson is simply to be prepared. Work with your dog before hand. Pack the right doo-dads. Make sure you know the rules. And you’ll be good. If you’re thinking of globetrotting with your four-legged pal, here’s a more extensive list of tips for traveling with your dog.
Also, here is an infographic Perrin whipped up too, check it out!