4 min read

5 Things Frequent Travelers Need to Consider Before Getting a Dog


Written by Kim Rain

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 05/06/2021, edited: 10/05/2022


Are you considering becoming a pet parent to a furbulous pooch? It’s easy to see why! Dogs provide emotional support and unconditional love, as well as several health benefits like lowered blood pressure and a fun reason to exercise. Plus, dogs are cute, and just plain pawsome to have around!

But what if you travel a lot for work or pleasure? Is dog ownership still a possibility? While you may think you can’t have both, we are here to tell you that you can! A lot goes into choosing the right dog for your lifestyle, and if you are a frequent traveler, you’ll have a few more variables to add to that equation. But with some planning and foresight, you can still enjoy sharing your life with a happy, adorable pup.

Here are the top 5 things you’ll need to consider when looking to add a new furry furiend into your life.

1. Are You Going to Take Your Dog With You?

Do you want a companion on your travels, or a loving furiend for when you return? This decision will affect what breed or size of dog you choose, and how you need to plan for each journey away from home.

You certainly don’t want a Velcro dog if you are planning to leave them home a lot. And if you want to travel with your dog, you’ll need one that can easily adapt to changing environments and situations, and isn’t highly territorial or vocal. There are certainly some dog breeds who are quieter, calmer or friendlier by nature, and even some that are couch potatoes and wouldn’t mind lounging around until you return. 

2. If Your Dog Stays Home, How Long Will You Be Gone?

While you certainly don’t want to be absent during a growing puppy’s first year, or the first few months with a new dog, you will need to calculate how much time you will be leaving them home. Often, frequent travelers underestimate how long that really is, but remember, you’ll need to find someone to look after your furry pal while you are away.

Finding care that is safe, reliable and doesn’t scare your dog is important. Kennels, dog boarders and veterinary stays can work for some dogs, but may not be as comfortable for your furbaby as having a pet sitter stay in your home, or a stay at a dog boarder’s home. Plan on spending some time finding the right care that fits your dog’s needs and temperament.

3. How Will You Travel With Your Dog?

If your dog is going to travel with you, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll travel, as there might be limitations that may affect which breed or size of dog you get.

If you fly a lot, you may want to consider a smaller dog that can travel in the cabin with you. Medium, large and giant breeds are always relegated to the cargo area, where its noisy, confined, and can be quite scary for pooches. Plus, most airlines who allow dogs have restrictions, such as prohibiting snub-nosed dogs, and those with breathing or other health problems.

If traveling by car or RV, you’ll have a lot more wiggle room in terms of size and breed, and can even take along a dog who may have some health issues. You’ll also want to spend some time training your dog to travel, including teaching them how to go into their crate, to be less territorial, and to curb their barking

4. What’s Happening at the Destination?

Will you be gone most of the day at conferences, or sight-seeing on vacation? Will your dog be joining you, or be confined to the hotel? Whatever happens, it’s important to make sure your dog’s physical and mental needs are always met.

Note the pet policies wherever you stay, as many hotels don’t allow you to leave your dog in the room alone. Those that do often require they be crated, and if you are gone all day, your dog will be alone and confined in a strange place that whole time. While this situation isn’t for anxious dogs, even calm, lazy dogs need exercise and some mental stimulation. Be sure to give them enough playtime and walks, or hire a local dog walker to get them moving and sniffing while you are out.

If you want your dog to join you on your adventures, you’ll want a breed who can keep up with you, acts polite in public, and is comfortable around strangers. Keep an eye out for dog-friendly trails, parks and beaches for a truly puptastic expereince for your pal.

5. Traveling Budget Considerations

Whether your dog tags along or stays home, you’ll need to add in some additional costs above those of regular dog ownership. If you travel without your dog, you’ll need to pay for dog sitters, boarders or kennels every time you leave. Costs usually include a daily or nightly fee, plus added fees for extras such as more walks, playtimes, or medication administration.

If flying with your dog, you’ll need to purchase a separate pet airline ticket and an airline approved crate, and have a health certificate completed by your veterinarian. There may also be more fees for larger dogs, or crossing borders. Hotels always charge additional pet fees, and some activities may have added pet costs too. And don’t furget about supplies like reliable harnesses, leashes, carriers, car seats or seatbelts, and anxiety or motion sickness medications.

And with either choice, you’ll also need your dog to stay up to date on their vaccinations, ID and rabies tags, and heartworm and parasite preventatives.

Traveling a lot doesn’t mean you can’t share your life with a wagging tail. With a little extra consideration, you can find the pawfect dog that fits your busy traveling lifestyle. Bon Voyage!

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