Tips for traveling with your Labrador

Often, when traveling, you wonder how you will effortlessly tag your pooch along. Traveling with a dog has its set of challenges and pleasures. Because dogs are, unlike humans, travel companies have different policies for their travel. In this article, we give you the tips and tricks of making your travel adventures fun for your pooch. Grab your bag, and let’s go!

As a note, traveling with a Labrador retriever is not like traveling with a Chihuahua. The lab’s size sells it out. Unless you are moving with a puppy, you will realize that the big body build distinguishes it from others.

1.Reviewing regulations on dog travel

When traveling with your pooch, you have to be considerate of the area rules that you’ll be visiting. Countries are either rabies-free or rabies-controlled areas. Moving from a rabies-controlled country to a free one is harder. This is because these places do not want to alter the balance they already have.

Find out whether your Labrador is a banned breed in the place you’ll be visiting. Many places ban some dogs that are considered aggressive. Since labs are super-friendly, they may pass. It is always better to consult before making the move to avoid disappointment.

You need to have the following;


Have up to date vaccinations from your vet. They need to contain rabies shots and tapeworm treatment. Your dog will need to have a blood test that is valid for the past year. This is a requirement to prevent your lab from being quarantined for 10 days or more.

Pet passport

Some countries, especially in Europe, have this inclusion. Yes, even your dog’s picture is on their passport. It has an updated database of the dog’s shots and records.

Microchip the dog

You will need to microchip your pet so as to track their movement. This helps in case your lab gets missing.

2. Equipment needed

Leash and collar

The collar should have identification tags with your name and that of your lab. Include your home phone number and proof of rabies shots. You would not want strangers to fret from your dog and harm it thinking it is a threat. You can also include the vacation spot’s contacts.

Dog harness

Invest in a waist harness that can be attached to your suitcase. This can even give you some time to view the map or hail a taxi without worrying your pooch will outrun you.

Dog crate

Although a lab is big, you need to have a crate to put it. The crate will have to be comfortable to lie in. It should be big enough to allow room for your pooch to stand, lie down and turn. Be sure it has a strong handle and grips and has a leak-proof cover. This bottom should be covered with absorbent material. It should also be well ventilated on opposite sides. Remember to have it marked with your name and address.

Warm dog coats and shoes

If you intend to travel to a cold area, consider having some warm doggy coats. Carry some shoes for your dog which they can wear. The shoes come in handy to protect their paw area from scotching by the hot surfaces during hot weather. Carry some warm shawls to cover the dog during the nights.

Food bowl

This comes in handy to serve the dog food in.

Dog toys

Carry some of the favorite lab’s toys with you as you travel. It will ensure your dog is stimulated and not bored during the trip. Carry some dog chews to keep your dog from chewing around the furniture in the car, airplane, or hotel.

Emergency first aid kit

Your pooch will be excited to try out a new environment. With this comes some exposure to injuries from the jumping. A first aid kit with some clippers, bandage and cotton wool can come in handy before you arrive at the new vet if need be.

3. Preparation

  • Know the nearby vet centers which can be approached in the case of an emergency.
  • Ensure your dog is crate trained.
  • Train your dog to pee on other surfaces apart from the grass. They can pee on concrete, soil, and other surfaces.
  • Carry enough food and water. When traveling, using canned food can be a better option as you do not have to mix things when using homemade food. Check for food with probiotics, which will prevent your dog from diarrhea. This only applies if you are traveling within a country. If your travels are abroad, find a pet store where you can buy lab food. The import policy may limit you from carrying food from a different country.
  • If you have an insurance provider for your lab, notify the agency before traveling. This way, they can expect any emergencies and know how to help you.

4. Traveling by car

  • Make sure your dog is used sitting in the car. Your lab should be able to sit without leaving the driveway.
  • Prevent your dog from riding with his head sticking out of an open window. This way, you will prevent eye injuries.
  • Keep the car well ventilated. Having the car overheat with a dog inside can make the dog pant excessively. This can lead to issues like heart stroke.
  • Ensure your dog travels when they have an empty stomach. This saves the dog from car sickness.
  • Frequently have stopovers to allow for potty breaks and exercise.
  • Do not ride with your dog behind in an open truck. 

5. Traveling by air

  • Provide the dog’s certification from the vet 10 days before your flight. The attendants will have to verify the dog health documents from your vet.
  • Make sure you book the flight some days before your travel date. Some airlines have a specific number of pets allowed, which could limit your lab if the spaces are full. Booking your space earlier secures you more space.
  • Check whether the temperature of the place you are traveling to is going to be okay for your lab. Labs have short coats that need little exposure to cold weather. The warm coats can come in handy.
  • Federal regulations prohibit shipping live animals as excess baggage or cargo if an animal is exposed to temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is if the flight is for more than four hours during departure, arrival, or while making connections. Following this, be sure to check with your desired airline.

The journey could be meant to take longer than 18 hours. The airline may lack the option to let your dog travel as extra baggage. If so, book your lab’s transport through a cargo company specialized in pet travel. Remember, like people, your lab can get jet-lagged. Cover this up by exercising your dog once you reach your destination. 

6. Traveling by train/ boat

Some dogs like Labradors, which are over 50 pounds, can be restricted from using some trains. For the ones allowing the dogs, have your pooch on a leash at all times. 

Some trains charge extra for having a pet on board. Carry some money to aid you in this.

Some cruise ships have good packages that accommodate dogs. Communicate with them about your dog breed in advance to help them prepare.

7. Arrival at your destination

  • Dog proof your vacation room by checking for any harmful areas and sorting them out. Go around the room first. You will be able to notice any queer things like open electric wires or slippery floor areas.
  • Make sure you keep your dog close by. This is to prevent your curious lab from ruining anything it finds its way. Room management may use that scenario to disallow dogs in the future.
  • Keep your dog quiet. Make sure your lab can respond to commands. It will ease the burden for you and other guests when your pooch wants to overstep on other people.
  • Clean up any mess that the lab causes. Don’t wait for the staff to be the ones cleaning after your dog. This shows a high sense of responsibility as a doggy parent.
  • Avoid giving your lab leftovers of the different place’s food. Even as you try different cuisines, keep it to yourself. Changing your dog’s diet drastically can cause your dog to bloat or diarrhea. You would not want any self-inflicted illnesses now, would you?
  • Keep off pet-free zones. Some areas are specific to disallowing any dogs around. Follow the simple rules and be in areas that others don’t mind.
  • Take lots of pictures. You only get to experience some things for the first time once. Imagine your dog seeing snow for the first time! Take stock of your travels by taking pictures and enjoying your time.

Traveling with your Labrador can be a hassle at first. Once you master it, you and your dog will become champions in chasing new adventures. Carry the essentials, prepare your dog in advance, and enjoy every moment of the time away from home!

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