If you are planning a trip, have you considered whether or not your Frenchie gets to come along? Traveling with your Frenchie can be tons of fun if you make all the right arrangements. However, poor planning can really ruin the vacation for everyone.
If you think it would be best for your Frenchie to stay behind, then look for a pet sitter or find a kennel where you can board them. If you have decided that your furry companion should be part of your trip, let the planning begin. Start by getting a collar with current identification for your Frenchie. A microchip may also be beneficial for extra security. Your Frenchie should have basic training prior to the trip, so he/she is well-behaved. Then, plan the transportation, accommodations, and daily activities. Learning how to travel with your dog can make the experience less stressful and a lot of fun!
Air travel for dogs is not always a great idea. Luckily for French Bulldogs, most are small enough to travel in a carrier rather than put in the cargo section of the plane. Some airlines will allow you to bring your pet in a carrier if it can fit under the seat in front of you. Learn the finer details of air travel with dogs so you can be fully informed before you book a flight.
Pet-loving entrepreneurs have been developing pet-friendly airlines that may actually be affordable. One such company is Pet Airways, a pet-only (no human passengers) airline that allows pets to fly in the main cabin rather than cargo. However, these small charter flights are only available in a limited number of cities. Until these types of airlines are more accessible, many of us will have to make do with the rules or find another mode of transportation.
The automobile is usually the best way to travel with dogs. If you own a vehicle, chances are your Frenchie has ridden in it for trips to the vets, the park and so on. If not, now is the time to start. Some French Bulldogs have anxiety about riding in cars, and puppy training for car travel may be necessary.
The more positive the experiences are, the more likely your Frenchie will enjoy the rides. If your Frenchie only has car rides to the vet, the anxiety is understandable. Try taking him for short, frequent car rides that end up at the park, dog supply store (where he will get a toy or treat), or another pleasant place. If your Frenchie does not adjust to the car, then a road trip is not a good option. If you must bring your Frenchie for a long car ride, ask your vet about possible anti-anxiety medications that can make the trip a bit easier on everyone. Otherwise, you should seek out other options. Remember, medications should be used sparingly.
If you’ve decided that your Frenchie can handle the long car trip, be sure to take all the necessary car safety precautions.
Plot rest stops along the way while traveling with your French Bulldog, and plan to stop every 3-5 hours to allow them to potty, drink water, and stretch. Make a list of several veterinary hospitals that are easily accessible from your route in case of an emergency.
Part of planning ahead is accounting for accidents that may unexpectedly happen. You might want to consider getting pet insurance. If you want to better understand how pet insurance works, read our blog Pet Insurance for Frenchies: Is it Worth it?
If you will be staying at a hotel while traveling with your Frenchie, cover all your bases in advance. A pet-friendly hotel is more than just one that allows pets; it is one that welcomes them. Some hotels offer special dog beds, turndown service (down to the treat on the pillow), dog spa services and doggie daycare. Ask what amenities are available for your Frenchie but remember to find out what cost is involved. Many hotels charge a non-refundable pet deposit upon arrival, then a daily pet fee. Some even tack on a special cleaning fee. Bottom line, before you choose, do your research about pet-friendly hotels.
Emergencies do not only happen close to home; they can also happen while traveling with your Frenchie. Advance planning can make these emergencies less stressful. Making a list of veterinary hospitals in the area where you will be staying is crucial. If your Frenchie shows sudden signs of illness, that list can help save your Frenchie’s life. Before you leave for your trip, make sure you have not forgotten anything. Use this list as a guide while you are packing. Add your own personal touch as needed.
- Lists of rest stops and veterinary hospitals along your trip (if driving)
- List of veterinary hospitals near the location where you are staying
- Crate or kennel
- Water and Bowls
- Dog Food
- One or two toys
- Blankets and/or dog bed
- Bags to pick up waste
- First Aid Kit
- Grooming supplies, if necessary
- Medications, if applicable
- Your dog’s medical records (including vaccine history)
- Health Certificate (obtain from your vet)
While traveling with your Frenchie can sometimes be stressful, it makes it easier on you and your pup when they are properly crate trained. Check out our post about How To Crate Train Your French