15 Dog Transportation Tips that Travel Pros Know

Discover essential tips for traveling with dogs in summer. From flights to cars, learn how to handle dog transportation and ensure their safety during your trip.


Katie Abendroth


dog travel transportation tipsdog travel transportation tips

Summer Travel Series Part 1: Navigating Dog Transportation

Traveling with your dog can be a fantastic experience, but it does require extra planning and preparation.

Whether you're taking a road trip or are a frequent flyer this summer, here are some tips from the pros to make traveling with your dog easier.

When it comes to traveling, most of us want to take our dog along, but there are common barriers that make travel with pets intimidating.

From motion sickness to indoor access, having a four-legged traveler as your companion adds some stress.

We just need strategies and gear that make dog travel less stressful on everyone. A lot of my dog travel has been marked (no pun intended) by poor planning and as they say, failing to plan is planning to fail.

So if you are traveling this summer with your pup, here are 15 tips about dog transportation that will improve your experience no matter how you are getting to your destination.

Save for Later:


  1. Book direct flights

Whenever possible, book direct flights to reduce the chance that your dog gets lost or sick on a layover. The extra money is worth it to reduce everyone's stress.

dog summer travel tips airplane flights
dog summer travel tips airplane flights
  1. Research pet friendly airlines

Travel with your pet in cabin if possible. Some airlines have restrictions, so be sure to check.

Never falsely claim your dog is a service dog. American Airlines recently relaxed their small dog policy, here, allowing both a small dog plus a carry on.

tips for dog travel dog transportation
tips for dog travel dog transportation
dog travel tips airplane traveldog travel tips airplane travel
  1. Check crate requirements

Invest in a well-ventilated and secure travel crate that meets the airline's requirements. Make sure it's large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

This mesh carrier with wheels and pull handle by Katzielia can't be beat.

dog travel tips airline travel with petsdog travel tips airline travel with pets
  1. QR Collar

Label your travel crate with your name, phone number, and destination address.

Add a QR collar tag that also has your dog's microchip number, name, owner contact, and emergency contact.

dog travel tips flying with dogs
dog travel tips flying with dogs
  1. Visit the vet

Visit the vet before the trip to ensure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and obtain a health certificate if required by the airline.

Your vet can also prescribe anti-nausea or medicine to help with anxiety if your dog needs it for flying.

  1. Bring labeled pet medicine in your carry on

dog travel tips airline travel with dog
dog travel tips airline travel with dog

Bring essential items like a leash, collar with identification tags, food, water, and any necessary medications in your carry on. Keep all medicine in original packaging.

Arrive extra early to the airport, so you can get through security, pay extra fees, and visit pet relief (potty) areas.


  1. Buckle up

Use a secure and appropriately sized dog seat belt to restrain your dog during car rides.

A seat belt like this one connects to harness and seat buckle to prevent injury.

tips for dog travel dog transportation
tips for dog travel dog transportation
  1. Practice short drives

Make sure your dog is familiar and comfortable with car rides by taking them on short trips before longer trips.

Shorter trips will also inform you if your dog gets motion sick, or anxious in the car. If so, your vet can prescribe medicine or supplements to help.

dog travel tips car travel
dog travel tips car travel
  1. Pack a doggy bag

Pack a travel kit for your dog, including food, water, bowls, poop bags, a blanket, and their favorite toys.

This water bottle is our absolute favorite- durable, leak proof, and portable. Get yours here:

tips for dog travel dog transportation
tips for dog travel dog transportation
  1. Plan pet-friendly pit stops

Take frequent breaks to allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and get some fresh air. Plan to stop at pet-friendly rest stops or parks along your route.

Never leave your dog alone in a parked car, as temperatures can rise quickly and cause heatstroke.

short-coated brown dog
short-coated brown dog
  1. Prevent pet suffocation

Always make sure chip bags and candy wrappers are cleared out of your vehicle if you stop.

Even a few moments alone can lead to an emergency, so educate yourself here before you travel.

Cheetos Baked chip bag lot
Cheetos Baked chip bag lot
  1. Feed light before travel

One of the first things you can do is to feed your dog a light meal a few hours before the journey.

This helps prevent an empty or full stomach, both of which can contribute to motion sickness.

By providing your dog with a balanced meal, you can help stabilize their blood sugar levels and reduce the likelihood of them feeling nauseous during the trip.

dog travel tips
dog travel tips


  1. Open windows

Open the car windows slightly to allow fresh air to circulate. Run the A/C to keep the car cool. This can help combat any stuffiness or stale air in the vehicle, which can contribute to feelings of nausea.

The fresh breeze can provide a sense of relief since dogs are highly sensitive to smells, and letting your dog look out the window will help balance their vestibular which causes motion sickness.

dog leaning his head on car window
dog leaning his head on car window
  1. Try ginger

If your dog's motion sickness persists despite these measures, you may want to consider using supplements or sedative medicine from your vet.

Ginger treats are often recommended for their anti-nausea properties. However, please consult with your veterinarian before trying any new products. They can provide guidance on the right dosage or recommend medicine instead.

dog travel tips prevent motion sickness
dog travel tips prevent motion sickness
  1. Offer water, not food, during travel

Feeding your dog during the travel leg of your journey should be avoided, but keep them hydrated with water.

This is because eating while in motion can increase the chances of nausea. Wait until you stop for the night to feed your pup a full meal.

dog travel tips
dog travel tips


ALWAYS update your dog's microchip info before you travel.

Check out our next segment: Summer Dog Travel 2: Flying with an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

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