Traveling With Your Chihuahua
It is important to plan in advance if you are traveling with your Chihuahua by car or by airplane. All vaccinations should be current and it is wise to have a veterinarian physically examine your dog before a trip. Many states and airlines require proof of vaccinations particularly rabies. So it is wise to carry this information with you as well as your own vet's phone number. Some dogs are on medications or may have existing conditions wherein one may need to contact their dog's vet. Familiarize yourself with travel requirements and hotel/motel policies in advance. Prior dog reservations are usually required. Some hotel s do not allow animals. Travel can be stressful to your Chihuahua as well as to you.
Travel By Vehicle
For safety reasons confine your Chihuahua to a crate, which can securely be seat, belted into your vehicle. Be aware of the weather conditions for proper temperature and ventilation. In extreme heat or cold the dog must be properly monitored to avoid heat stroke, hypothermia, or dehydration. It is beneficial to carry regular water for your dog as different water may affect the dog's stomach. Accustom your dog to traveling by taking the Chihuahua on short trips confined to the pet carrier that you will use. Take along a leash or harness but never leave your dog leashed within a carrier nor unconfined in the car. It is wise to take along an exercise pen.
- If traveling on a lengthy trip, allow your dog to exercise and relieve itself at 4-5 hour intervals. Attach the leash it your dog before vehicle doors are opened. Dogs may become nervous in strange surroundings or startled by unfamiliar sounds. Some people use a seatbelt harness.
- Do not allow your Chihuahua to be loose in a vehicle with open windows. Each dog should have its own carrier.
- Dogs traveling in larger vehicles (suv's or campers) still need to be confined in a crate with the crate securely fastened within the vehicle using seatbelts or bungee cords, etc.
- Some Chihuahuas become carsick if they are unaccustomed to traveling. Be prepared with paper towels, disposable plastic bags, extra newspapers and bedding.
- It is best not to allow strangers to pet or handle your dog.
- In packing for your dog, be certain to include your pet's usual food, water, a carrier and x-pen, bedding, favorite toys, disinfectant, a dog first aid kit (the American Red Cross recommends specifications), cleaning supplies, medications if needed, copies of vaccinations and a current photo of your dog. It is pertinent to have your dog micro-chipped (know the number) and provide the dog a collar with id tags attached.
- Respect the rules of your hotel or lodging as some charge pet fees. Pets should be leashed at all times. The management should be aware that there is a dog in your room. Do not allow your Chihuahua to bark incessantly.
- Allow your Chihuahua to eliminate in the outdoor designated area and clean up after the dog.
- Never use hotel towels or bedding for your dog. Provide your own.
- The television or radio left on often helps your pet relax when you are out of the room. Some hotels have "pet sitters". Do not allow your dog free access in the room. The Chihuahua should be confined to its crate. Utilize the "do not disturb" sign when you leave the room.
- Volunteer to pay for any damage your Chihuahua may cause, if necessary.
Travel by Airline
Rules and fees may vary by airline and must be checked in advance. A reservation for the dog should be made at the time you book your flight. You are to check the dog in earlier at a predetermined time. Normally a certain size of carrier meeting air specifications is required as well as a signed veterinarian health certificate acquired within a 10-day departure period. A direct flight is the best option.
- Fees are contingent on the weight of the carrier and dog. It is possible to carry on your dog in an approved pet carrier, which can be placed under the seat. Let the flight attendant know that you have a dog with you.
- The dog must be taken out of the carrier when passing through the radar check. Be careful it doesn't escape.
- Another option is to transport the dog in the cargo area, which places the cage in the hold of the airplane.
Plan ahead, be organized, prepare your Chihuahua for your excursion and there will be more enjoyment