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traveling w my 4 month old puppy

25 10:07:25

I will be traveling with my 4 month old cavalier puppy from NY to FL, what should be my major concerns and is that too young?


I'm not sure HOW you are planning on traveling so I'm going to go through each possible way you could travel with your puppy.

In general before you travel with your dog you'll need to take care of the following:

1. Make sure your pup has had a complete physical at his or her vet to make sure your dog is healthy enough to travel. Make sure your vet checks for heart conditions, pulmonary conditions, circulation conditions, any parasites (worms, ticks, or other internal parasites).   Make sure your vet knows you're planning on traveling. If you plan to travel by air, make sure your vet knows. Some dogs are brachycephalic and have a lot of trouble breathing when flying. Some dogs also get really stressed out when traveling in general and could end up in respiratory distress or worse.

2. Make sure you have current vet records for your pet. Make sure they are up to date with vaccinations or titers and keep that information on you. You may want to put it on a flash drive and keep it in your purse in case you end up at the emergency room while traveling or at a vet.

3. Make sure you know where all the 24x7 emergenc vet hospitals are where you are traveling, or along the road you plan to travel on, just in case. I know of many dogs who have jumped out of a window, or a door of a car and were hit by cars or even trucks because the owners weren't careful.  Dogs, especially puppies can get rambunctious when traveling, regardless of how the travel (plane, train, car, ship) and may be inclined to jump out of the car and run into traffic.. They may eat something they are not used to and get sick, or the change in water may get them sick, or exposure to other dogs who may have different regional diseases may also get them sick.

4. Make sure you bring bottled water with you to try and keep your pet on the water they are used to. Make sure you also feed your dog the same kind of food that you feed at home to avoid upset stomachs as much as possible.

5.  If you plan to travel by air. DO NOT check your dog into the belly of the aircraft. While all cargo holds are pressurized, the pressure of the cargo hold does not remain the same as the pressure in the passenger cabin once the plane starts to move. The pilot adjusts the airpressure in the cargo hold to make the aircraft go up and down. Most people ask if the cargo hold is pressurized. They do not ask if the pressure is the same as in the passenger cabin and the answer to that question is ALWAYS NO!!!  There is a reason that the FAA and DOT will NOT allow humans in the cargo hold. It's too risky.  Many animals die or become severely sick because of the airpressure change. The DOT requires all commercial airlines in the US to puplish the death, illness,and lost pet reports on their website each month (all be it burried in their website) but this is something to be very aware of.  In addition to the dangers of the change in airpressure, it's extremely loud, there is high turbulance, and noxious jet fuel fumes flow into the cargo hold.  The temperature can also fluctuate significantly as the plane goes higher in altitude. (If you have ever packed a shampoo or lotion bottle in your luggage and arrived and it has exploded in your bag.. this is a good example of what can happen to your dog)

       If you travel by air, make sure your dog travels in the passenger cabin with you at all times.  I would suggest taking a morning flight. Try not to feed your dog before flying to avoid an upset stomach - or feed a small amount a few hours before the flight and a little water, and make sure you take your dog for a walk to empty out before boarding. Many airports now how doggie parks onsite.

If you are traveling commercially, make sure your dog fits in his or her carrier and has enough room to stand up and turn around.  If you are traveling with the Dogtravel Company, make sure you have a leash no longer than 6'-8' feet long and your pup is used to traveling in a car, while wearing a dog car seat or dog car seatbelt, (no crates or carriers are used while traveling with Dogtravel) that is similar to the safety harness dogs will be wearing while on a Dogtravel flight.

**Some airlines do have rules about the age of dogs who can travel with them, and will not allow dogs under the age of six months on the aircraft***

Make sure your dog is also well socialized and knows his or her basic commands before traveling. You'll need to make sure your dog is not barking, charging, or pulling on his or her leash.  On commercial airlines, passengers love to travel about pets being on board and you want to make sure your dog is as little disruptive as possible.

6. If traveling by train, make sure your dog is well socialized and knows all his or her basic commands.  Currently Dogtravel is the only company offering dog friendly train service and dogs are crateless. If you do bring a crate or carrier to keep your dog in your cabin while on the train, make sure your dog is used to being alone in a strange place while being crated so your dog doesn't get too stressed out when you leave him or her.

7. If you travel by car.  Make sure your dog is fitted for a safety harness that keeps your dog secure in his or her seat and you can keep a leash on your dog at all time so you don't run the risk of your dog jumping out of the car and running into traffic.  You will need to make potty stops every 4 hours or so with a dog this old and give your dog a good 15 - 20 minutes of exercise running around and sniffing  at each stop or you'll end up with a very rambunctious dog when you get to the hotel or your final destination. This is more important to avoid at a hotel. Some hotels will ask you to leave if your dog is barking, or running around and gets stressed enough to potentiall get distructive or have an accident.  At such a young age your dog will need plenty of exercise and this will help ensure you get to your destination and your dog will be on as good of behavior as possible.

If you are traveling and the temperature is above 60 degrees make sure you leave the windows in your car open 1/2 inch to 1.5 inches.  You also may NOT want to leave your dog alone in the car, passers by may think your dog is in risk and may call the police and I've seen windows broken by police and dogs taken to animal services very quickly because good semaritans think that a dog is in danger.. (I personally ran into a store and left one of my dogs with separation anxiety for no more than 5 minutes and he was in my line of vision the whole time I was in the store. The police showed up and were about to break my window becasue someone heard my dog barking like a mad man.  He wasn't hurt, he wasn't in danger. He was just a rescue dog who had been given up a few times and had separation anxiety. 2 minutes later and I'd be out a window and I'd be bailing my dog out of doggie jail and paying fees and fines to animal services.. )

If it's above 80 degrees I would not leave your dog alone in a car at all.  You just never know what other people are going to perceive as too warm and if they're going to call and complain about your dog. If you do have to leave your dog for a few minutes. Leave a note in the window above your vin # with your cell phone #, the time you left your dog and the time you plan to return to the car so if anyone is worried they will see you knew what you were doing.

8. If traveling by ship, make sure your dog has a fitted life vest on at all times and make sure you keep your dog on leash no longer than 6-8' at all times, especially on the deck. Make sure your dog is comfortable being left alone in a crate in a strange place and will not bark or be destruptive to other passengers.

Without knowing how you plan to travel I'm hoping I answered your question. If you have further questions please let me know.

Chris Shoulet
Dogtravel Company