Dogs are a man’s best friend. So, it’s more than worth assuming that you want to take your dogs wherever you go – whether it’s on an interstate drive or an airplane for a two-week long holiday in the Bahamas.
Today, we’re going to talk about the best dog breeds for traveling, why you might want or need to travel with your pooch and some regulations you might run into while traveling. (Remember when Johnny Depp and Amber Heard brought their dogs to Australia?)
Why Travel With Your Pooch?
Maybe you’re going on holiday and want to take your canine companion along with you: This might involve traveling via an airplane, car, bus, train or even on a boat, assuming that you don’t get sea-sick.
You might also have a guide dog that has to travel with you, just happen to love road-trips or, like most of us, simply can’t go anywhere without them!
What Makes a Good Canine Travel Companion?
Is your dog geared for travel?
Irrespective of your dog’s breed, you have to make sure that your dog is used to the idea of traveling beforehand: You can do this by taking your pooch on short trips first rather than the longest, weirdest trip of their lives right off the bat.
Teach your dog gradually to love short car trips – never with the window fully open! – before you take them on an interstate drive, for example.
Best Dog Breeds for Travel
Pomeranians make great companions, especially for traveling. Sharon Osbourne dedicated an entire chapter in her autobiography to her pooches (who really do go everywhere with her), and her and Ozzy’s daughter Kelly recently spent an incredible reported $11, 000 to fly her precious Pomeranian to LA – wow! Pomeranian’s small size means they are compact enough to travel as carry on, under-the-seat companions on most airlines.
Labrador Retrievers are often known for being great rescue and guide dogs; both, in fact, is what makes them ideal for traveling. Their calm, friendly and protective demeanor means they’ll never leave your side – make sure your pooch is properly trained first, though! You don’t want your furry friend taking you for a walk instead. These road-worthy canines are great road trip pals.
Chihuahua’s are wild and mountainous…well, at least Wild Mountain Chihuahua’s are. They’re also perfect for traveling and will literally fit right in your bag. (Remember all the tabloid pictures of Paris Hilton carrying around her beloved pooch?) That makes them great for going along with you – just make sure that any places you might be visiting don’t have any “No Dogs Allowed” rules.
4. Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers always have an Irish accent when we imagine them speaking, but we do realize that they come from the world over. If they’re used to travel, they’ll love going pretty much anywhere with you!
5. Jack Russell Terriers
Jack Russells make wonderful travel mates and not just due to their size: They can be extremely high-energy dogs, though, so make sure that you are able to take them for a walk to run off all of that energy in-between travel if they’re going to be stationary for a while.
Their compact size and high energy are also why they’re one of our top dog breeds for van-life!
Bulldogs are relaxed enough to travel with you and likely sleep and/or snore through most of the trip. Maybe you even get to play a game or two of poker on the train to make the ride seem a little shorter… While these amiable pets can do well on road trips, they shouldn’t be taken on an airplane – snubbed-nosed breeds have respiratory issues that can make air travel dangerous. In fact, most airlines won’t even allow you to fly with snub-nosed breeds.
Pet Travel Regulations: Know The Rules!
Plan on taking your pooch on a plane? Here’s a list of airline regulations for dogs and cats covering 160 different airlines so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. If you can, we’d recommend opting for one of the better-known top pet-friendly airlines for traveling with dogs, just to be safe!
The list includes things like what you’ll need to fly with your dog – including their vaccination certificates – so that you don’t miss a thing and have to turn back at the airport. We also have a comprehensive guide on airline approved dog carriers (for cabin travel) as well as airline approved kennels and crates for flying in the cargo hold.
Regulations for travel by train can usually be found on the railway’s website: For examples, here are the regulations from National Rail Enquiries in the UK and Amtrak in the US: Amtrak lets you take your dog (or cat) up to 20 pounds along for the ride for trips of “up to seven hours” – woohoo!
If traveling by boat is your thing, know that many cruises are more than happy to allow dogs along for the trip. Of course, this is not necessarily true for all cruise liners, so it would be wise to check before booking and paying your trip.
Here’s a list from All Things Cruise of some of the dog-friendly cruise-liners and their different rules and regulations. Have a safe trip!
If you’re taking your pooch on a boat of your own, make sure you’ve brushed up on your dog boating safety know-how and have a reliable dog lifejacket (this is essential, even if your dog is a great swimmer)!
For long road trips with your canine, consider investing in a dog seatbelt or canine booster car seat – these tools will keep your pooch in place and stop him from bouncing all over the car (making him a dangerous distraction for you while your drive).
While these travel tools are great for keeping the driver focused, they won’t really do much to protect your pup in the event of a crash.
For that, you’ll want a really road-worthy dog car carrier.
Share Your Dog Travel Stories!
How has your experience been traveling with your four-legged friend? Get in touch with us in the comments and let us know what experiences you have come across or what advice you might have to offer for the rest of our readers. We love hearing from you!