Allied Travel May 24, 2024

Traveling with Dogs

When I decided to become a traveler, the first question everyone asked me was, “What about the dogs?” What did they mean, “What about the dogs?” Obviously, they were coming with me. Now that I have been traveling for almost two years, the current question I am asked is, “Is it hard to find housing with them?” The short answer is no, it’s not.

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Finding Housing

If you are like me, leaving your four-legged best friend at your mom’s or sister’s house just doesn’t feel like the way to go. The great thing about traveling these days is finding your own housing. While your recruiting office may have the option to find housing for you, many of us find our own housing to save as much of that stipend as possible. The only extra step when traveling with your dog is you first need to go to filters in Furnished Finder or AirBnB and click “pet friendly.” Admittedly, I have forgotten to hit the filter before, and it is usually cheaper to not have a pet on the road but on the flip side, I definitely feel my life is richer for having my fluffy companion at my side.

“But I’m going to the middle of nowhere and can barely find regular housing let alone pet- friendly housing!” I’m typing to you from the middle of nowhere, Kansas, in a town with a population of 3,500 people. There were zero Furnished Finders and three non-pet-friendly AirBnBs. The manager at my new hospital was nice enough to give me some phone numbers to call and a google search provided a couple more. I left some voicemails and what do you know, two of the three AirBnB owners called me and said they would make an exception for my dogs. In the past, I worked in rural North Dakota, where housing options were also limited, and I made it work. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Getting There

This happens to be a passion subject for me, so I’ll do my best to keep it to the point. You’ve found housing and now you actually have to get there. There are so many possible ways of getting from point A to point B, but the most common is driving. If you’re like me and you’ve traveled across the country, you know that some destinations can take 2-3 days. I’m all about car safety, especially with my crazy husky girl who feels she needs to be in the windshield to see what is going on. 

I’ve tried dog seat belts—a seat belt buckle with a carabiner on the end that you hook to your dog's harness—but she would step on it and unbuckle herself along with my other dog. My husband got one of those mesh screens to keep her out of the front seat (this does wonders to prevent her causing an accident but doesn’t keep her safe if an accident does occur.) When we pulled the trigger on traveling, we settled on buying crates for the car. What I love about crating the dogs while driving is:

  1. It keeps them safe in the event of an accident
  2. It prevents them from causing an accident
  3. It’s a safety net when you open the car door, they can’t dart out of the car
  4. If you need a crate for any reason you already have one
  5. You can stack more things in your car without worrying if anything is going to fall on them

 

Another common way travelers get to their faraway destinations is by plane. It’s definitely not my preferred way to travel with a dog, but depending on where you’re going, it might be your only option. If you have a teacup or extra-small dog, their carrier will probably fit under the seat, but be sure to call ahead to confirm acceptable measurements (this applies to cats as well.) 

Now, assuming that you don’t have a dog small enough to fit under the seat, your dog will most likely have to fly in cargo. Call the airline ahead of time to find out what types of crates are allowed and ask if they have brand recommendations—not all brands are created equally. If you fly with a dog you will probably have someone suggest that you slap a service vest on them so they can ride in the cabin. I would advise against that since it is illegal, and I doubt that your pet is as well behaved as a task-trained service dog (I know mine sure isn’t.) Not only is it illegal, but it also makes access difficult for people with disabilities who actually need their service dog.

If you were on the fence about traveling with pets, I hope this advice eases your mind somewhat. If you were using your dog as an excuse to skip traveling, I hope you reconsider and fulfill your travel dreams. Good luck and enjoy your next adventure on assignment with your dog!

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