With summer vacations at it’s peak, I decided to interview a few Canine Travel Experts.
I've asked them to tell me about their main reason for traveling with their furry friends and what they feel is essential to take with them on their journey. They also shared some helpful online resources they use and what they find most challenging during their travels with pets. Lastly, they share some tips on skills they feel are important to teach dogs to make them good travelers.
1. Shandos Cleaver
Shandos currently travels around Europe with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel. Shandos is the founder and blogger-in-chief of Travelnuity, a travel blog focused on dog-friendly travel around the world.
“I love to travel, but I also love my dog, a Miniature Dachshund called Schnitzel. Like most pet owners, both my husband and I miss Schnitzel greatly when we travel without him, plus he misses us. All of us are a lot happier when we travel together, even if it complicates travel somewhat.We found it's a must to have a pet carrier that meets the transport guidelines but also allows your dog to be comfortable. Schnitzel loves his bag so much that he tries to get inside, if he thinks we're leaving. If you travel by car, ensure your dog has a seat-belt or harness so the dog is secure at all times.Unfortunately, there's not a single app or website we can turn to when preparing for our trips. We travel through different countries in Europe and use a variety of sites. Whether booking accommodation or flights, it's necessary to plan far ahead. It’s often difficult to find dog friendly options, so we learned to be flexible, especially when something doesn't turn out to be dog friendly that we expected to be.I highly recommend three things: get your dog used to being in a crate, used to being in different environments with lots of people, and train your dog to be well behaved while dining out.”
Find out more about Schnitzel and Shandos at Travelnuity.com
2. Preston Schutte
Preston lives in England and travels with Zeus and Hades, his two rescue-puppies through Europe on his motorcycle.
"I love that I don't have to leave them behind for weeks at a time and don't have to bother my friends to watch them. Seeing Zeus and Hades on the back of my motorcycle seems to bring joy to other people as well.I make sure to bring their goggles and helmets. I would hate for them to catch a bug or rock in their eyes. Waste bags because nobody likes to find a strangers' dog waste. The only other thing important for me is a tie out stake, so I don't worry about finding something to hold them with while tenting. I have checked out a couple of Apps (Petlas, Dogbuddy, SiteSeeker) but haven't used them. I am not that interested in planning my trips with such detail. I used to get so focused on the plan that I would miss a lot. Most campsites seem to be pet-friendly.Zeus and Hades aren't that well trained, so I would feel a bit of a hypocrite to tell others what to teach their dogs. I would say most pet owners would benefit from having a dog with a bit of obedience training; a house-trained dog is definitely important and so is a well-socialized dog. Know your dog's limitations!"
If you would like to follow Preston on his motorcycle adventures, subscribe to his YouTube Channel "UncleRocco's Modern Life", as he intents to vi-blog about it there.
3. Kayla Fratt
Kayla is a freelance writer and dog behavior consultant. She currently travels with her boyfriend and border collie, Barley, from Canada to Argentina.
“I’m a big runner and hiker, so traveling with Barley means I always have a partner for adventures! He travels really well, so it’s like having my best friend and a piece of home with me everywhere I go. As a professional trainer, having my dog with me is also good advertising.We don’t travel with much beyond the basics: leash, collar, KongWobbler, collapsible water bowl and a few toys.To prepare for travel, I’ve used BringFido.com for some things. Mostly, I just find dog-friendly AirBnbs and take it from there.One of my challenges is that I don’t want strangers to come up to pet my dog, and it’s often hard to avoid that when your dog goes everywhere with you. On long driving days, I often worry about stopping for lunch in the heat.I recommend Karen Overall’s Relaxation Protocol for dogs that travel. It’s almost the only thing I used to teach my dog to calmly lie under tables at coffee shops and bars. I tell everyone about it! Teaching your dog to come when called and leave it are absolutely life-saving skills any dog should know. And, of course, walking nicely on leash will make taking your dog places just a lot easier and more pleasant.”
Read about their travel adventures at Kayla’s blog “El Perro Tambien” or visit her on her website JourneyDogTraining.com.
4. Courtney Dickson
Courtney, a Travel and Lifestyle Producer and creator of A Bulldog Abroad, travels the world with her Frenchie, Cutter.
“Our Frenchie Cutter comes with us everywhere! When we're home he is always by our side, so why not continue that as we explore the world? Also, it saves us needing to get someone to look after him while we are gone. He travels well, and there is nothing better than knowing he's waiting to greet us at the hotel if we've had to leave him there for a few hours.
We always take his blanket so he has familiar smells. He knows to sit on it in the hotel room, car, or at the airport. It's his spot and a little piece of home.
We pack a couple of his toys, food and if we have room his food/water bowl. These are the basic essentials we pack on our trips. To check pet passport rules and regulations we use PetTravel.com, before visiting a new country. Sometimes it just takes a little extra time to find the right pet-friendly hotel in the location we are staying in the comfort level we like.
Many hotels will not allow dogs to be left alone in the room. When you are able to leave your dog alone, he/she shouldn't disturb other travelers by barking. If your dog is a barker, you should work on this before you travel with him/her, otherwise you may wish to leave the dog with someone you trust.”
Follow Courtney and her Frenchie Cutter at A Bulldog Abroad – Luxury travel with your pet.
5. Bruno Maiorana
Bruno is a teacher and writer, who travels the Americas with his dog Bong Gu, as a way to raise awareness about animal abandonment issues. His message: “There's no excuse to abandon our pets.”
“What are my favorite things about traveling with Bong Gu? Waterfall showers, finding wild animals, sleeping under the stars, feeling her warm body during cold nights and the sounds she makes when she's dreaming and imagining she's probably dreaming of me.
To ensure we will never get separated, the most important item is a capsule she wears in her collar with my email and phone number on it.
Bong Gu and I travel mostly on foot, sometime we walk 10 or 12 hours in a day and I couldn't have done most of it without maps.me a GPS app. On our travels, packs of wild stray dogs in the outskirts of towns have been most challenging for us.
If I would recommend one thing to teach your dog while traveling: Teach your dog to stay by your side and trust you completely. If I tell Bong Gu to wait, she knows, I have a good reason to ask her!”
For more information on Bruno and Bong Gu, visit them on Instagram MyLastVacation or see Bruno’s website Best Friends stick together.
To share your own travel adventures with us, join our Facebook Group
Until next time: Keep Your Paws on the Road!