If you share your life with a dog, it’s hard to leave him to go halfway around the world. Many of you are wondering if it is possible to go on a long trip with your companion. That is entirely possible, but there are, of course, constraints. In this article, we give you all the information you will need to travel with your dog.
Do you have to travel with your dog?
Should you travel with your dog or should you leave him with someone before you leave? It is impossible to answer this question categorically. Each option has advantages and disadvantages:
Benefits for you
Having a travel buddy
If you are traveling alone, your dog will certainly be pleasant company. Especially when you’re planning backpacking with your dog, you’ll appreciate having him by your side, even more, when you’re feeling down in the dumps, away from your loved ones. Besides, it’s still a wonderful adventure to be able to travel with him, isn’t it?
It helps meeting people
Whether with other travelers or with locals, your dog’s presence will attract curiosity. I’m sure you’ll meet even more people. That can be a big plus if you’re pretty shy. People who love animals will come to you spontaneously.
It’s nice to be able to share one’s adventure
The presence of your dog will give you a sense of protection. Well, if it’s a Chihuahua, it’s going be a little different, that’s for sure. That said, it’s not just size that matters. Regardless of his breed, your dog will be able to alert you in case of danger.
(Re)discovering your dog
As you travel with your dog, you will rediscover him and develop even stronger bonds. Traveling together will allow you to better understand his behavior and to enrich your complicity.
Avoid pet sitter or rehoming him
By leaving with him, you won’t have to look for or pay someone to look after him while you’re away. This will save you money and give you peace of mind on your journey.
Help you choose your destinations
As dogs are not accepted everywhere and some countries are stricter than others, your furry friend will be a great help in choosing your destinations. You will select your route according to the countries that will accept him without being too restrictive for you or him.
When you travel, it is often difficult to find the motivation or the ideal conditions to get exercise. Having your dog with you on your journey, you will at least have to go for walks with him. So you’ll have a little activity.
Benefits for your dog
Getting some fresh air
Your dog is not meant to spend his time indoors (and neither are you). If you travel with him, he will spend much more time outdoors than usual. He will be able to exercise, run in the great outdoors and will constantly be stimulated.
Discover something else
At home, your dog has his landmarks. While traveling, he will need some time to adapt, but it will be a unique opportunity to make him discover something else at your side. He will be able to meet other dogs, other humans, other smells, other landscapes, other playgrounds.
Learning to adapt
When traveling with you, your dog will learn to get to know not only places but also people and animals he’s not used to seeing. This will be of great benefit to him when he comes across other people and animals in his usual environment.
Disadvantages for you
Prevent you from visiting certain countries
Some countries strictly control the import of animals, while others categorically refuse it. If you dream, for example, of discovering Jamaica (if you’re not coming from Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland), you won’t be able to go there with your dog, the same goes for Bali.
Complicate the trip
Most round the worlders travel mainly by bus in the countries they visit. However, many companies and accommodations do not allow animals on board. That’s why most people who travel with a dog have their own vehicle and sleep in it.
Increase your budget
Traveling with your dog requires you to plan everything (or almost everything) for two. You will have to buy two airline tickets rather than one and perhaps pay extra for accommodation. You will also have unexpected expenses, such as treating him if he is injured or sick. You will also need a budget for feeding him.
Restricting access to certain areas
Your dog will not be accepted everywhere, whether it is for visits, restaurants, etc. You’re not going to leave him alone. You will, therefore, have to find alternatives, either by having him a pet sitter during your visit or by drawing a line on this activity.
Disadvantages for your dog
Have health problems
Your dog may be exposed to more or less serious diseases. It’s possible he could get sick. It can also have difficulty with the climate.
Having trouble adapting
Your dog has his habits when he is with you, at home, in his environment. When traveling, he may have varying degrees of difficulty adapting. You will have to reassure him and help him to adapt little by little, without rushing him.