Some families and solo dog owners cannot imagine going on vacations and other fun trips without their dogs. As much as everyone involved may have fun, it would help if you considered your dog’s welfare. So, how many days of traveling can a dog withstand?
As long as you plan your trip around the dogs’ needs, dogs can withstand as many days of travel as possible. Dogs make great trail buddies on hikes, and they can also make cross-country trips without issues. You will not be traveling non-stop, so your dog will have enough time to rest between destinations.
This article explores how long a dog can travel, if traveling is stressful for dogs, and if it is bad for dogs to travel a lot. I also discuss how often you should stop on a road trip with a dog, how to train a dog for traveling, and the optimum number of days a dog should travel.
How Long Can a Dog Travel?
Many dogs can travel for days and weeks with no problems. Whether it is a plane ride that lasts for hours or a cross-country trip that may take weeks, you want your dog to be safe and happy for however long you will travel together.
If your pet is coming along with you for a pleasurable trip or you are traveling for necessity, there are some steps you must take to meet your dog’s needs all the way.
Is Traveling Stressful for Dogs?
Although many dogs like to travel, it can be a little stressful for them. If you do not consciously create an enjoyable experience for your dog during a trip, you will have a stressed-out dog instead of a lively travel companion.
Some dogs who have had awful travel experiences in any form can find traveling extremely stressful. They display their anxiety about going on a trip in the following ways:
- Trembling and panting.
- Excessive salivation.
- Tense muscles and agitation.
For dogs with moderate-to-severe anxiety, you can consult your veterinarian to suggest a travel plan that best suits your dog or prescribe medications and other aids to deal with the stress of traveling. Some strategies to eliminate your dog’s anxiety during traveling include:
- Medications your vet prescribes— alprazolam, trazodone, and gabapentin are some medications sometimes used to decrease travel anxiety in dogs.
- A calming pheromone collar or pheromone sprays
- A Thundershirt® – is a body wrap that swaddles your dog and provides reassuring pressures for your dog.
- Calming treats like NaturVet Calming Soft Chews.
Long before your trip, ensure you test all medications at the vet clinic or at home to know the appropriate dosage and your dog’s reaction to the drugs.
Is It Bad for Dogs to Travel a Lot?
Traveling a lot is only bad for dogs who have health issues or cannot travel for other reasons. Dogs do better on road trips than on flights, so it is bad for them to travel a lot if you subject them to frequent flights.
Also, if you cannot provide a safe and comfortable environment for dogs, it isn’t pleasant for you to travel a lot with dogs. Traveling can be an excellent adventure to share with your dog when done right. The open roads and sights to see are thrilling for both you and your furry companion.
How Often Should You Stop on a Road Trip with a Dog?
When you drive for long hours, pleasant music and the passing scenery can make the miles go by fast. But when your dog is with you, your plans have to be arranged around its needs. You need to eat, use the bathroom, stretch, and so does your dog.
Pet experts advise you to stop every 2 to 4 hours to allow your dog to get some exercise and relieve itself. Each stop should last for about 15 to 30 minutes. If possible, try to maintain your dog’s routine for meals and potty breaks while on your road trip.
Your stops may not go as scheduled, and these are some factors that can affect them:
- Puppies and elderly dogs with little control over their bladder require more frequent stops (every 2 hours or fewer).
- Dogs with health conditions or taking medications that increase urination may need to stop more often.
- Dogs with travel anxiety and motion sickness may need more stops to accommodate their rest needs.
Stopping to exercise also helps your dog burn off restless energy and remain calm for the ride until the next stop. Always leash your dog when you stop to avoid running off and ensure your dog has an ID on its collar or a microchip for identification if it escapes.
How to Train a Dog for Traveling?
It is easiest to train a puppy for traveling. However, even adult dogs respond to the same training, and these are training points to go over:
- Crate training
Your dog might need to be in a crate during flights or even in the backseat of your SUV, and they should be familiar with the environment and comfortable enough to sit in it without fuss. You can start by leaving the crate around, placing meals in it, and rewarding them with treats when they adapt.
- Leash training
You cannot always carry your dog or leave it confined in a crate, so your dog must have leash training.
- Train your dog to bark less and go on command
Traveling involves sharing public spaces with others, and it is nice to care about their convenience when you are out with your dog. With specific commands, you can get your dog to be quiet when barking excessively.
Every second counts when you are on a timeline, and if your dog can relieve itself on command, you will save time during rest stops on road trips or at the airport.
With the right tools, lots of patience, and proven techniques, you can efficiently train your dog to be an amiable travel companion.
What Is the Optimum Amount of Days a Dog Should Travel?
As you already know, there are no definite time restrictions for a traveling dog. A comfortable travel environment with adequate rest stops is good enough to have your dog traveling for a long time.