A dog sits on a rock next to a bag of Get Joy treats while high-fiving its owner. They are demonstrating a successful dog travel checklist.

Dog Travel Checklist For Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is notorious for family vacations and guaranteed good quality time with loved ones. Our furry four-legged friends are just as much a part of the family as anyone else. Traveling with your beloved extra member is made easier with a clear dog travel checklist. Keep reading to ensure a safe and easeful Memorial Day weekend for you and your pup!

Dog Travel 101

Here are some of the basics for traveling with dogs. For the foundations of dog travel 101, consider the following:

Traveling By Air 

If you are traveling by air, the first thing to do is to check directly with your airline’s policies on pet travel. Also, make sure to check that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. Usually, your veterinarian can provide all the necessary documentation for airline travel. However, you should still check the USDA website yourself for a list of travel requirements by country.

In addition, never leave your dog unattended or take them outside of the carrier while inside the airport. Make sure they are in an approved pet carrier with food, water, and treats at hand. You’ll also need a blanket and/or towel inside the carrier to make it extra cozy for your pooch. 

Also, consider bringing your dog’s favorite toy for a sense of familiarity and consolation. Remember that traveling on an airplane is often a disorienting experience for humans, let alone dogs. So, the more you can make your pet feel safe, the smoother the ride.

Lastly, ensure also to have a collar with an up-to-date tag on your dog, including your phone number.

Traveling By Car

If you are traveling by car, plan to stop every 2-4 hours for a potty and stretch break for your dog companion. If you know your dog gets car sick from long rides, ask your vet for remedies beforehand. This way, you can all be prepared for the journey at hand.

If you travel across state or international borders, you will likely need to show a health certificate and other health forms. Your vet can help you with all the required paperwork, so schedule an appointment ASAP before your trip. Additionally, you can also visit the American Veterinary Medical Association for more animal travel and transport information.

Dog Travel Checklist For Both Air And Land Travel

These are some basics you’ll need no matter where your journey takes you:

  • Dog poop bags
  • A leash
  • A favorite toy or bone
  • Treats
  • Relevant medication
  • Sufficient food and water for the entire trip
  • A blanket or towel for your dog to lie on
  • Proof of current vaccinations

Which Dog Travel Crate is Appropriate?

When traveling by land, it’s important to comply with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines to ensure your dog successfully makes it on board. The appropriate dog travel crate will have space for them to turn around while standing, stand and sit fully, and lie in a natural position. You can get a better sense of the container’s dimensions by exploring this resource from the IATA

Additionally, most dog carrier companies can identify whether your carrier’s dimensions comply with IATA’s rules and regulations. 

As for car travel, there are no official regulations for carrier dimensions. However, if you are crossing land borders you will need some kind of carrier. Simply ensure you choose a crate that your dog can easily move around in. This way, you and your fur baby will have happy trails on every step of your journey!

You and Your Pup Can Stay Prepared With Get Joy

At Get Joy, we provide all pet parents with the support they need in living healthy lives all together. We provide on-demand virtual-vet services, available anytime from anywhere. For more information about our services, meal plans, and dog wellness resources, browse our website.