On A Leash Or In A Crate: The Best Way to Travel With Your Dog

On A Leash Or In A Crate: The Best Way to Travel With Your Dog

Traveling with your dog can make the trip more memorable. It also allows your pet to explore new places with you. Depending on where you’re headed, you can opt to drive or fly to your destination. While humans are comfortable with either mode of transportation, your furry friend may not be. They can become stressed by all the movements and get sick as a result.

As a pet parent, you must make sure your pups are safe and comfortable when traveling. This may mean putting them on a leash or in a crate while you are in transit. But which one is the best option? Keeping your pet leashed allows them to comfortably move around, while putting them in a crate provides your pup with an enclosed environment they can seek refuge in. Given that both options provide your pet with specific benefits, it’s a good idea to understand when it will be most suitable to choose one over the other. 

In this article, you’ll find out when it would be best to put your dog on a leash or in a crate. 

Use A Leash For Car Trips

It’s common to use a leash to manage your dog when out on walks. As such, they’re likely to be more familiar with this accessory and associate the leash with having positive experiences. Attach the leash to your dog’s collar as normal, or use a customizable step-in dog harness to distribute the strain across the dog’s chest or back rather than putting the tension around the pet’s neck. 

Inside the car, the leash can be used to restrain your pet’s movements while allowing them some freedom and the opportunity to look out of windows. It keeps your dog from roaming around and jumping into your lap, which can distract you while driving. When keeping your pup on a leash inside the car, secure the strap to the grab handle on the ceiling or wrap it around the headrest. Make sure the leash is short enough to prevent your pet from jumping into the front seat but  loose enough for your dog to sit and stand.

For a more secure connection, use a dog car seat belt to keep your dog safe in the backseat. This is a strap that resembles a shorter leash with one end buckled to your car’s seat belt lock while the other end clips onto your pup’s collar or harness.

When To Crate Inside The Car

Sometimes, even the most durable leash or dog seat belt isn’t enough to restrain a hyperactive pup. If your pet is too excitable or energetic, it’s best to keep them in a crate in the back seat. This way, you can focus on the road with the least amount of distraction. Additionally, the crate can serve as your pup’s safe space and make them feel more at ease during car rides.  

When keeping your pup inside a crate, make sure it’s large enough to allow your pet to comfortably sit, stand, turn, and lie down. Also, pick a crate that features openings for ventilation and position the crate where air can continue to flow. In addition to the proper ventilation, provide your pup with access to fresh water while in the crate. You can attach a water dispenser to the side of the crate so they can easily drink whenever they need to.

A month before you are scheduled to travel, start allowing your dog to become familiar with the pet carrier or crate. It will help reduce their stress during travel. In addition to letting your pup get used to their crate, help them feel more comfortable during the car trip by lining the crate with a soft dog blanket and stocking it with their favorite toys.

A Crate or Carrier Is A Must When You Fly

Airline companies require pets to be in a specific type of carrier or crate when boarding a flight with their owners, whether in the passenger cabin or the cargo hold. If you’ll be traveling with your dog by plane, make a reservation for your pet. Many airlines have restrictions on how many animals are permitted on a flight, and they often do it on a first-come-first-serve basis. Also, it’s best to ask the airline about their regulations before getting a crate so you can be certain you meet the airline’s requirements. Otherwise, they may not allow you to use the crate. If your pet carrier fits under the seat in front of you, the airline may allow your pet to stay with you in the cabin. 

In case your dog is too large to join you in the cabin, they’ll need to be checked in as cargo. If this is the case, consider the weather of your travel dates as the cargo hold can be exposed to extreme temperatures in the summer and winter months. If your pet stays in an extremely hot area, they can suffer from heatstroke, while a temperature that’s too low can lead to hypothermia. Both cases can be fatal to your pup’s health. Instead, choose flights during the autumn or spring. If you must travel during the summer season, select early morning or late evening flights. If flying in the winter, book afternoon flights.

Traveling with your dog requires careful preparation. When it comes to choosing the best way to travel with your dog, you must put their safety and comfort first above all else. Whether it’s best to keep them on a leash or put them in a crate will be determined by many different factors, but making your travel decisions with your pup’s well-being in mind will help ensure that you can both enjoy the trip and have plenty more in the future. 

Photo by Emerson Peters on Unsplash  

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