Travel Tips for Senior and Special Needs Dogs

dog laying in a suitcase

Traveling with a Senior or Special Dog

The holiday season is a time for joy and family gatherings, and for pet owners in Orange County and beyond, this often includes their four-legged family members. However, when those pets are either senior dogs or special needs dogs, traveling often requires extra consideration and care. This guide offers essential travel tips for senior dogs and special dogs, ensuring your holidays are memorable and stress-free for you and your dog.

  1. Prioritize Health Before Travel

Before embarking on any trip, a check-up with the vet is crucial. This is especially important for senior dogs and special dogs, as they may have specific health issues. Discuss personalized travel tips with your vet and ensure all vaccinations are up to date and prescriptions are filled.

  1. Comfortable and Safe Accommodations

When you’re planning your trip, prioritize pet-friendly accommodations. Many hotels and Airbnbs offer special amenities for pets. Ensure the space is safe and comfortable, with areas for your dog to go potty, relax and play.

  1. Packing for Your Pet

A dedicated travel kit for your dog should include their regular food, medications, toys, and any necessary mobility aids. Remember to pack a pet first-aid kit and essentials like collapsible bowls and waste bags too. This is a key part of dog travel preparation.

  1. Transportation Considerations

Whether traveling by car or plane, ensure your dog is safe and comfortable. If they need to be in a carrier, make sure it is secure and well-ventilated. For air travel, familiarize yourself with the airline’s pet policy, which is a critical aspect of holiday travel with dogs.

If your dog has car anxiety, make sure you take the steps necessary beforehand to prepare them and ease their nervousness!

  1. Regular Breaks and Exercise

If you’re driving, plan to make frequent stops. This allows your senior or special dog to stretch, hydrate, and relieve themselves, and is a fundamental travel tip for senior and special needs dogs.

  1. Stick to Routine

Maintaining a regular routine is essential, particularly for senior and special pets. Keep consistent feeding, walking, and medication schedules to minimize their stress and help them feel more at home.

  1. Emergency Preparedness

Before you leave, look up the locations of the veterinary clinics near your destination. Make note of their holiday hours and their availability during your stay. You can also keep a list of emergency contacts, including your regular vet, in your phone. 

  1. Alternatives to Travel

If traveling seems like too daunting of a task with your senior or special needs dog, you can consider a professional pet sitter or a boarding facility instead. This can be a sensible choice for pets who require specific care that is difficult to provide while traveling. 

Make the Holiday Season Enjoyable

Traveling with senior and special dogs can be a smooth experience with proper planning and consideration. By following these travel tips for senior and special needs dogs, you can make the holiday season enjoyable for every member of your family, including your cherished dog. 


Skip to content