Packing for holiday road trips can be stressful enough, but don't let packing for your pet add to it. This guide will help you prepare for the trip by discussing useful products like the Spruce Pup dog travel bed, which folds up to fit in the car. Packing the Grab & Go Leash Bag ensures you have everything you need for your walks on holiday. Check out our tips and be prepared for holiday pet travel by car or by plane!
6 Tips for Preparing for Your Holiday Road Trip
Organize for Your Trip For a Stress-Free Takeoff
Packing for a trip with your dog ahead of time can help relieve any travel anxieties related to your trip. With organization in mind, you can have a more relaxing trip with your dog, thus allowing you more time to enjoy both the journey and the destination. Here’s what to keep in mind while preparing for your trip:
- Schedule extra time. Traveling with a pet will always take more time than traveling by yourself. In your travel schedule, allot more time to adequately prepare for your holiday road trip so neither you nor your dog feel stressed out. Make a list of everything you need from food down to your dog’s favorite toys. Take the time to organize everything for your dog so you’re not searching for anything along the way.
- Keep your regular routine. Try to stick with your regular routine with your dog as much as possible. If your dog is used to eating or going for a walk at a certain time, try to stick within their schedule as much as you can. Obviously traveling will disrupt their normal schedule a bit, but keeping structure while on your trip can help them adapt to the temporary change—plus it’ll be easier to get them back on schedule when you return home.
- Bring their vet papers. Whether you’re flying or taking a road trip, you should make copies of your vet records to bring along with you. If you’re flying, you’ll likely need to show your dog's records in order to board the plane.
- Update any ID tags or microchip information. Before you go on your trip, you should be sure to update any ID tags you have for your dog or microchip information in case anything has changed. If your dog gets lost or runs away while you’re on your trip, they’ll be in unfamiliar territory and won’t know how to get back home. This will be the easiest way for them to make a safe return to you.
- Invest in a comfortable travel bed for your upcoming holiday road trip. The Spruce Pup dog travel bed is perfect for any type of travel—whether it be by car or by plane. The sleek zip-up design of the bed allows you to easily close it or open it if it’s time to pack up or lay down. The memory foam bed ensures your dog will find comfort no matter where you are and the removable sheets ensure you’re able to quickly clean up the bed when you get home.
- Pack your Spruce Pup Grab & Go Leash Bag before your holiday road trip to be prepared for any walks you’ll take while traveling. Roll up your dog’s leash and keep it stored in the leash bag so you’ll always know where it is. Further outfit the bag with disposable poop bags, your dog’s favorite treats, and anything else essential for your walks away from home. This leash bag has ample pockets so you can organize everything before your trip rather than cluttering your doggy bag.
Tips for the Perfect Holiday Road Trip in the Car
Perfect playlist, good snacks, and a comfortable setup for your pup
Whether your dog has taken a long trip in the car or just a short car ride, you should adequately prepare for your holiday road trip in the car before the day you leave.
When you pack your car, make sure you keep your dog bag in reach rather than piling it behind everything else you have to pack. Easy accessibility will make any stops you have to make quicker and easier.
Use a kennel if your dog is not used to traveling in the car. Leaving your dog in the kennel will make your dog feel safe and secure. Plus, you won’t run the risk of your dog trying to hop in the driver’s seat with you and distract you. If your dog is acclimated to car rides, it’s still a good idea to use a seat belt harness to lock your dog into the back seat. Make sure they’re comfortable but still safe for the ride.
When your dog is riding in the back, you’ll want to plan for your car to get a little bit messy. For an easier cleanup and to protect any leather seats, try laying down towels, sheets or blankets. Just throw them in the washer when you get home and there will be less to clean up in the car.
Listen to your dog when they need to take a potty break or to stretch their legs. Especially for longer car rides your dog might need to take a break before you do. If they whine or show signs they need a break, pull off to a dog-friendly place and stop for a little while.
Traveling By Plane for the Holidays
Seamless Flying Plans for Your Pup
Flying with your dog on a holiday road trip can be tricky if you don’t take the proper precautions before you board the plane. Follow these steps to make sure you have everything prepared.
Check your airline’s policy ahead of time. Different airlines have different policies based on if your dog can travel and where they’ll have to travel. When researching flights make sure the airline allows you to travel with dogs and what their restrictions are before you book. When booking, book in advance. Typically airlines only allow so many dogs, so you should book your trip before that number is filled up. Avoid layovers with your flights as much as possible.
Before flying, acclimate your dog to their kennel. Get them feeling comfortable in it before you take them on a plane. Your dog should be able to stand up and turn around in their carrier, otherwise the plane may not let you board. You should also include identification information on the crate as follows:
- Your dog’s name
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- A contact at your destination (name, address, phone number)
- A photo of your dog in case they get out of their crate
Make an appointment with your vet about two weeks before your trip to ensure your dog is healthy enough to travel on an airplane. If your dog has heart problems or kidney disease, flying puts them at risk for serious health issues. If you have a breed with a short face, your dog can have respiratory trouble if checked in the cargo compartment. It’s also generally advised by vets not to give your dog a sedative before flying as it could create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for your dog. Always talk through what is safe for your dog and what isn’t with your vet before flying.
On the day of your trip, try to feed your dog at least four hours before your flight if possible. This will give your dog enough time to digest their food to avoid any accidents on the plane while still feeling full enough to not be fed until after the flight. While at the airport, be mindful of pet relief areas. Look them up ahead of time so you know where to take your pet if they need to relieve themselves.