Traveling with Your Toy Dog Breed: Planning a Pet-Friendly Vacation

For owners of chihuahuas, yorkshire terriers, pomeranians, toy poodles and other toy dog breeds, “fido” is just like one of the kids. When family vacation time comes, you don’t have to leave your small dog breed at home, at the vet, or with a pet sitter. Traveling with your toy dog breed can be simple if you do your research beforehand.

Safety First, Don’t ForgetâÂ?¦
Your small dog breed needs to be up to date on all his or her shots. Make sure you have copies of proof of vaccinations and a health certificate if required. It’s very important that your small dog breed is wearing a rabies tag (that says when they have been vaccinated for rabies) in addition to the standard pet id tag. Additionally you want to have your vet’s number available and the number and address of a vet at your desired travel location.

Supplies you will need:
� A small dog carrier or travel crate. Whether you are traveling by car or by plane you will need a protective carrier for your small dog. It is not safe to let your toy breed roam around in the car. And airlines require that your small dog be kenneled. Whether you choose a cute Paris Hilton like carrier or a standard looking kennel is up to you.
� Small dog clothes. If you are going to a cool climate, your small dog breed will need a sweater or jacket. If you are traveling in the cold winter considered purchasing dog boots for your toy dog breed. If you are going to a warm tropical climate dog sunglasses are available.
âÂ?¢ Dog leash. Do not forget your small dog’s leash. You will need it to take your toy dog breed for walks or pet friendly attractions.
âÂ?¢ Food and water bowls. It’s best to travel light. Instead of lugging your at-home bowls, purchase a portable dog travel bowl.
âÂ?¢ Don’t forget the premium dog food that your toy breed is used to. Small dogs can be picky so travel with the food your toy breed normally eats.
� Medications. Remember to bring any medications that your dog may need. Also bring flea and tick spray if your small dog is not already on preventative.

General Air Travel Rules
� Make advanced reservations with the airline. Airlines are not required to carry animals.
� Some airlines allow small dog breeds that are 10 pounds or less to travel in the cabin if they fit underneath the passengers seat
� Most airlines require a health certificate
� Your pet should be at least 8 weeks old
� Do not feed your pet before travel
� Your small dog must be in a USDA approved pet carrier or kennel

Car Travel Tips
Traveling by car with your small dog breed can be pleasant. Be sure to take a few car rides with your toy dog breed before your actual trip. This will allow your small dog to get used to the car environment. When it’s time for your trip with your small dog be sure to have a kennel or small dog carrier. Your toy dog breed should always be safe while traveling. If you are crossing state lines, be sure you know the pet regulations. If it’s going to be a long trip, plan on making a few stops so your toy dog breed can stretch and use the bathroom.

Don’t give your small dog food prior to your trip. Feed your small dog in the evening and pack a few snacks and water for the trip. Be sure not to leave your pet in the car alone. During hot weather car temperatures can reach over 110 F rather quickly. During cold weather, the temperatures can decrease just as quickly.

If you are on the road and your pet needs emergency care, call the American Animal Hospital Association at 800-252-2242 for the location of the nearest AAHA-certified veterinarian.

Pet Friendly Lodging

Never sneak your toy dog breed into a hotel. There are plenty of hotels that provide pet friendly lodging for a nominal fee. Resources like Fido Friendly, Petswelcome and AAA can provide you with a list of pet friendly accommodations. Additionally books such as Pets Welcome: , and The Pet Travel and Fun Authority of Best-of-State Places to Play, Stay & Have Fun Along the Way: 35,000+ Accommodations, Pet Sitters, Kennels, Dog Parks & Camps, Beaches, Boating, Skiing, Festivals, Events, Attractions, Pet Bakeries, Tons-of-Pet Fun & More Guide! by M.E. Nelson, can provide lots of hotels that not only allow small dogs, but cater to them.

However, sometimes the lists can be outdated so before you make your reservation, be sure to ask if they allow pets, the regulations and the cost. When making your reservation, keep in mind that it will be easier to take your toy dog breed outside for bathroom breaks if your room is on the ground floor.

Make sure you completely understand the hotels regulations. Some hotels do not allow pets to be left in the room unattended. But if this is not the case, and you leave your toy dog breed in the room, be sure to put the “do not disturb” sign on the door. If possible, leave your small dog in his kennel or small dog carrier and be sure to leave the TV or radio on so your small dog feels you are still there.

Before you take your small dog for a walk, be sure to ask the hotel management where you can walk your dog.

When it’s night time have your small dog sleep in their crate, small dog carrier or on the floor. Even if they are used to sleeping in the bed with you, doing so at a hotel is not appropriate.

Most importantly, be sure to clean up after your toy breed.

A few extra things you may want to pack for the trip include:

� A list of pet friendly activities
� Window shades for hot days
� Towels to wipe muddy paws
� Dog treats
� Dog cleaning wipes
� A few dog toys
� Puppy pads
� Dog waste removal bags
� A first aid kit
� A dog brush
� Your toy breeds favorite blanket
� Travel drops to help with motion sickness
� A recent photograph in case your toy breed wanders off

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