Traveling with a dog | Tips to keep traveling with your dog easier


2/24/20244 min read

Not long ago I packed two little backpacks - one for me and one for my dog - and went to the seaside to celebrate my birthday. Yes, I celebrate my birthday with my dog looking at the sea and it was the most wholesome experience. Today, I have a few tips prepared for you while traveling with your dog. Skills that helped the most, things to pack and overall experience.

We traveled by train which adds more to the equation. In Lithuania, dogs are allowed to travel on trains, but you need to buy them a ticket if they are not small enough to travel in a crate, and consider the fact that you won't be sitting alone. Looking back now, I would probably just have booked another seat to make sure we had more space. The ticket cost 50% worth of mine and the journey took around 4 hours, so here are a few things I'm glad I packed and did:

  • long walks before each trip. I won't surprise you by saying that 4 hours is not a short trip, so think if your dog can last that much without a toilet. Due to her age, Beta is a fairly easy dog and sleeps for the most of the day but even she got a bit restless nearer the end, so making sure she got enough physical and mental exercise before the trip helped massively.

  • "pub mat". I have a separate article explaining what the "pub mat" is and why it's one of the main skills I love dogs to have, but once again it has been confirmed to be useful. Starting from the train to any café or restaurant we visited, it helped to manage Beta and made it much easier for her to not only have something she recognises, but that can also serve as a safe place to lie down and relax.

  • water bowl. This might not apply to every dog, but Beta is a little diva (as she deserves) and doesn't quite enjoy drinking from the bowls you normally find in cafes or restaurants, so this was a must. I wish, though, I had a compact traveling water bottle for dogs as it was a bit of chaos at times playing around with a bottle of water and a separate bowl.

  • comfortable Y-shaped harness, ID tag and a simple longer lead with extra rings. I'm a huge advocate for Y-shaped harness and bust all the myths about your dog becoming a puller when on them here, but this was extremely important during a longer journey as it didn't restrict Beta's movements. The reason I chose a longer lead with multiple rings on it was because I could easily attach her to the table if we stopped to eat and I could make a lead longer or shorter depending on how busy the places we walked at were.

  • higher value treats. Listen, I will always be the one who doesn't miss a chance to treat my dog, but there also is a fair argument for taking higher-value treats on road trips. Going on a trip means that you will be visiting new exciting places, seeing new people, and potentially more dogs. Your pooch will be presented with more challenging situations than normally - pay them for good behaviour accordingly!

Other things to consider when traveling with your dog

We all love our dogs and want them to have the best time when traveling with us, however, my task is to remind you about a couple of things when visiting new places with your four-legged pal:

  • teach them to relax in public places. We already spoke about a "pub mat" but, as with every skill, you will do a massive favour to your dog if you work on teaching them to relax in public places leading up to your trip. New sights, smells, sounds, and people can get overwhelming for a dog that never practiced relaxation in busier surroundings, so I highly suggest putting more effort into this before the trip.

  • allow lots of sniffing and exploring. As I mentioned above, your dog is presented with new things and smells and we already know how important it is to allow your dog to sniff on walks. Be ready that your dog might spend more time using their nose and that's okay! Trust me, this will help you to slow down too, and take in much more!

  • ensure they are sleeping enough. Dogs need a lot of sleep, especially on trips, so as excited as you might be to be active and keep walking everywhere, make sure that you give your dog longer breaks in between adventures to rest in a calm and quiet environment, so you don't end up with an overstimulated and cranky travel buddy.

Things from the backpack that SAVED the trip

Wonder what the "pub mat" is? I explain more on what that is and how to start in this video!