Traveling in your automobile with your dog can be a lot of fun, but remember your dog gets tired and bored very quickly. Try to limit your driving time to no more than 3 hours at a time. Take your dog out for a short walk to allow him/her to relieve itself. Never allow your dog to ride loose in your vehicle. Place him/her in a crate so in the event of a hard brake or accident it is enclosed in its crate. This can prevent injury to your dog by keeping it from being thrown around in the car. Never put a water dish in the crate. Most Malamutes will chew it up before your first stop. Offer your dog water each time you stop, after you exercise him/her. You might provide your dog a bone to chew on during your trip. I prefer real bones as to rawhide ones.

When you stop to let your dog exercise you might want to take advantage of State rest areas. Not only can this give your dog a break from the boredom of the trip but this also offers you a break from the road. Just a 5-10 minute rest really improves your awareness on the roadways. . At rest areas, as well as any other place you stop to exercise your dog, be sure to pay attention to plants, broken glass, standing water, and other items which could cause injury to you dog.

If you are traveling away from your home, and most particularly out of state, be sure to take a copy of your dogs rabies vacation certificate with you. If your dog should get into with another animal or bit someone during play or whatever, your rabies certificate can save you a tremendous hardship, not to mention the possibility of having your dog taken from you and place in a quarantine station until you can go back home and provide the rabies certificate to proper authorities.

When you take your dog out of your car always be sure you have a lead attached to your dog before you let it out of the crate. They are very excited and can break from you before you even know what they are doing. Once they get lose in a new place with cars and trucks moving around them they become freighted very quickly and instinctively run and more often than not they run into trouble.

My auto travel with my dogs has proven to be a very nice experience because my first thoughts are always with my dog’s comfort and safety. Regular breaks from the trip for exercise, water, and reassurance they are loved and protected from harm.

When we travel with our dogs we have to remember, we are their keepers. They depend on us to ensure their trip is one of pleasure and comfort. One last thing I might add, when your driving be sure to make slow starts and stops, make your turns as easy as possible. These guys don’t know what you’re going to do next, so we have to think for them by driving with their safety first on our mind. A happy trip only makes the next one more enjoyable for them….

Next I’ll write a bit on airline travel and share some of my experiences in the air with my dogs…


I’ve traveled all around the world with my dogs, over 250,000 miles by commercial airlines. I don’t think I’m any different from any other pet owner when it comes to taking a flight with my dog. So many questions and worries are running rampant through our minds; will my dog get on the plane with me or will he be left behind, will he get too hot or too cold, will he reach our distention safely. What if I have to change planes, will he get changed also so we get there together.

Well, having heard several horror stories about dogs in flight, getting left behind, and in some cases people letting dogs out of their crates and never being seen again, I have taken a few safe guards to protect my dogs and help ensure their arrive at our destination safe and in good shape. Don’t misread what I’ve just stated because I worry about my dogs the entire trip, until I see them brought to me when we arrive at our final destination. But maybe some of what I have to tell you about my air travel and what I do to help ensure my dogs arrive safety with me will also help you.

Most airlines require 2 food dishes in the crate. I feed my dogs 6-8 hours prior to flight time. That way they will have had time to digest their food and I can exercise them just before turning them over to the airline personnel. I never put food or water in their crates. Instead, I fill both food dishes with ice cubes I have taken from my home. This way there is no water to spell while they are be loaded on the plane and it takes awhile for the cubes to melt. That way the dogs will have water during their flight. They won’t drink much but if they should want some this is a much better chance of them having it.

If my flight is a very long flight with a stop I have my travel agent make 2 reservations for me. The first one being to, what I’ll call half way, and the second one another flight to my final destination. This way I can acquire my dog from the airline, make sure he will have water, and food if necessary, and I can exercise him. Then just prior to turning him back over to the airlines personnel, I fill his dishes with ice once again, this time I get the ice from one of the airport vendors.

I always use a crate which provides my dog enough room to turn around, but it’s not so large that in provides enough room for him to be thrown around in, in the event the plane gets into turbulent weather.

Another thing I do is to stencil my crate with my name, address, phone number, and a statement which reads " If I Should Become Lost Please Call My Folks Collect".

After so much talk lately about people letting dogs out of their crates at various airports I have drilled a hole in my crates which will allow me to place a small lock through the crate and the door. I also make sure all my screws are very tight and cannot be loosened easily. This will slow down any attempts of letting my dogs out. If the airline should need to get to my dog for medical reason they could get the dog out with little effort. Water and food can be placed through the door if they need to feed or water. I use Vari-Kennels, 400 or 500, depending on the size of my dog. But all travel kennel I’ve seen, which are approved for airline travel, can have the same modifications performed, as I have described above.

One other thing I do, and this one has saved my dog from being left behind, is to write a short letter to the Captain of each plane I’m to board asking him to assure me that my dog is in fact on this plane. When I board and get seated I give this letter to the stewardess and ask her to please get to the Captain and get back to me before we depart. One of these letters drew attention to the fact that my dog was not on board as we taxied for takeoff. The plane was stopped and my dog was brought out and placed on the plane.



Main Categories