Travel With Dogs

The only thing better than long-term, overland travel is long-term, overland travel with man’s best friend.  Sure, it puts some limitations on your journey, but the benefits of travelling with your dog far outweigh the negatives.  We’ve talked about why you should overland with your dog, and now we’re going to explain how.

General Tips

  1. Do ensure your dog is healthy enough to travel
    For your own peace of mind, and because most countries will require (at the least) a certificate of good health, you should have your dog clinically examined by your veterinarian.  If necessary, your pet’s shots will be brought up to date and they’ll be issued a prescription of flea and worm prevention meds.  Documents you may need include a Certificate of Good Health, a Certificate of Good Health for Air Travel, and a Vaccination Certificate.  All docs should be printed on office letterhead and signed by the vet, and may need to be notarized and stamped by your country’s Food Inspection Agency and/or Foreign Affairs.  There is typically a time limit on how long this documentation is recognized for (in many countries 10 days), but these rules tend to be really lax.
  2. Don’t stock up on dog food
    Many countries will not allow more than a day’s worth of dog food across the border.  You can find high quality dog food everywhere – either at pet stores or veterinary offices – so there’s no need to overstock.  DO bring collapsible food and water dishes.  They’re easy to clean, impossible to break, great for saving space, and awesome for going on long treks with your dog.
  3. Do ensure your pet will be comfortable
    When you’re on the road, you want space to sit comfortably, nap, and many even get a solid night’s sleep.  You dog wants the same.  Ensure you’ve left enough space for your pet, and bring a collapsible travel carrier for them as well.  Not only will this become your pet’s comfy safe zone, but it could make the difference between a hotel taking you in or not (your dog may not be the type to chew up a room, but the receptionist doesn’t know that).  If you’re crossing borders, don’t bring a big, plush doggy bed – most countries will not allow them in.  You can bring a toy, though!
  4. Don’t worry about finding a vet
    Good pet health care if easy to find throughout North and South America.  There are as many compassionate, educated veterinarians in the south as up north, and their rates are typically way lower.  Mexico is a great place to have your pet spayed or neutered, as well as have their pearly whites cleaned.
  5. Do ensure your pet’s health and safety
    Between traffic, stray dogs, random fireworks, and even other pets, there are a lot of things that could startle your dog.  It’s best to keep them on a leash and collar when you can.  Also, be very diligent about checking for ticks, especially after going to the beach or walking through high grass or jungle.  Ticks are rampant in warm climates and can cause your dog a lost of discomfort.  Sand and other bugs like ants can cause your pet discomfort when they’re lodged in their pads as well – help them out check their paws daily.

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Dog Travel Checklist

Search for a dog travel checklist online and most will be much longer than ours.  The thing is, you can find most things everywhere and travelling with them is a waste of space.  Dog food, shampoo, treats, and most things can be found in any city or town.

[half]Documenation

  • Certificate of Good Health
  • Certificate of Good Health for Air Travel
  • Vaccination Certificate
  • Health Passport (to keep records)
  • Prescriptions for any medication
  • ID tag[/half]

[half]Other

  • Food, water and a collapsible dish
  • Leash, collar and/or harness
  • Collapsible dog bed
  • Doggy bags
  • Brush, nail clippers, hair clipper
  • A toy[half]

Requirements by Country

Check back soon – we have a lot of country-specific info coming your way.

2 Comments

  1. Looking forward to country-specific info and crossing borders with dog from US to S. America.

    • Hi Marcelle, thanks for your comment! Please look forward to updates at travelen.org in the coming weeks with country-specific border crossing info.

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