It's almost Christmas eve, and you have decided to go back home for a few days. Easy ! What's new this year ? You are planning to take your doggie with you. Which transport to favor rather than another? And how does it work ? Here are all Raymond's tips:
How to choose between car plane and train
Before planning your vacation, it is necessary to define your mode of transportation with your dog. Car or carpooling, train, plane, bus, pedal boat, ferry, space rocket ... Let's make a point of all advantages and disadvantages of each possibility, in order to choose the one that suits you best.
In addition to this non-exhaustive list, you will of course have to take into account external factors such as your lifestyle or possible means of transport. We won't consider the car if we do not have a license, for example!
Car: traveling in complete freedom
- Autonomy in your journey.
When travelling with you dog, the car is the most common and convenient form of transport, especially for short trips. It does not impose any extra-time or constraints. You leave, arrive and stop whenever you want. To travel freely, this is the ideal solution.
- More freedom for your dog.
Your dog will be able to choose his spot according to his preferences and habits. You can either put him in a transport cage (in the backseat or in the trunk), safety harness, or transport basket. Remember to have the appropriate equipment. Whether it's in the trunk, in the backseat, or in the front next to you, you won't need the same gear.
In addition, your pooch can bark or grumble, more freely, since he will only disturb you.
- Last minute possibility
With the car, you can decide at the last minute. Ideal for unforeseen events. If you can not take your own car, know that traveling with your dog by carpooling. Carpooling with dog is now possible! Blablacar / Co-voiturage application have added a feature specifing if travelers accept dogs.
- Duration of the journey is not retractable.
For long distance, the journey can be very long for your companion, especially since it will be necessary to multiply the time of breaks.
- Some dogs do not support the car well and may be sick or anxious.
Just like us, some dogs do not cope with car journeys. Gather all conditions to reassure your companion as much as possible. You can see your vet who can prescribe medication. Prepare a pleasant environment for him (toy, basket, blanket with your scent). And adjust your driving! Avoid a sporty driving style!
>> Read article dedicated to car "6 Solutions imparables pour occuper votre chien en voiture"
Plane: go faster and further
- The speed.
We are not going to lie to each other, if it is a question of crossing a country, the plane remains the fastest and most practical solution.
- Can be a source of anxiety for you and/or your dog.
Relax ! Look foor advice and feedback from other dogs owners, and get the right information beforehand (next point). Your veterinarian can, like the car, prescribe medication for your dog.
- Get the right equipment
You will need an IATA certified transport crate suitable for your dog's size to be able to fly. If it does not meet these standards, the airline may refuse to board your pet. Before D-Day, get your dog used to spending time in his crate before his first flight (several weeks are recommended)
- Inform beforehand, as conditions will vary from company and country to another
Find out about the flight conditions, as they are specific to each company. Some are more flexible than others. Indeed, the sizes and races accepted, the number of places in the hold, the price may differ depending on the airline.
Also pay attention to local regulations if you are going abroad. At a minimum, your dog must be microchipped, hold a European passport and have his vaccination record up to date.
- Some airlines simply refuse to transport dogs.
Here is a non-exhaustive list below:
- Additional costs to be expected.
In cabin, additional cost generally equals to baggage price (between 20 and 50 euros per flight on average).
In the hold, expect on average 40 to 80 euros.
>> Please note it can go up quickly depending on the surcharges applied by the companies, also depending on the destination.
Train: the most direct
- The speed.
Ideal for a long trip, or when you simply don't have a car.
- Straightforward, no wasting time.
Unlike the plane, it's more direct, you don't waste time before getting on the train. No security or customs to go through. No need to arrive in advance, queue for check-in, or wait for boarding. You will save time for yourself and your doggie.
- Breaks flexibility.
You can easily take him for a walk or have him defecate. Especially just before entering your car, you can easily and quickly get out of the station for a last walk before hitting the road.
- Not dog-friendly
Trains are not equipped for our four-legged friends. There is no location provided for them.
- Additional costs to be expected.
You have to buy a train ticket for your companion, which can add up depending on the route.
A few more tips to apply, whatever the transportation mode
For a peaceful trip, whether by car, plane or train, here are some tips:
Exercise your dog beforehand. A good walk prior you leave will tire him out and asleep him more during the journey.
Get toys. From the simplest like a bone to chew, to the more sophisticated like the Kong games, it will keep your companion just as busy.
>> Read my article on occupation games
A blanket with your scent. Prepare a blanket or clothing for him with your scent, especially if he is not near you during the trip. It will reassure him.
Use a basket or transport cage that he is used to have. If it's one of the first trips he takes, do not hesitate to get him used to it before at home so that he can get his bearings.