6 Safe Urban Pet Travel Tips from a Traveling Animal Doctor

6 Safe Urban Pet Travel Tips from a Traveling Animal Doctor

These 6 Safe Urban Pet Travel Tips from a traveling animal doctor will make your next pet-friendly visit to Washington D.C. a delightful experience. 

My husband and I decided to take our dog, Jade, to see the national monuments. It was extremely busy and made me realize the importance of preparation when taking pets to a populated event.

I have brainstormed and compiled some tips to try for safe city travel with your pet.

1) Buckle up.

City driving is very hectic, and often there is intense traffic.
  • Safe pet transport is important to avoid stress on your pet, yourself, and ensure that you get to your destination safely.
  • There are many seat belts for dogs that are relatively cheap (as little as $20).
  • If you have a small pet a pet carrier can work as well.
  • With quick stop and go driving, your pet may get hurt or hurt someone else if he or she is not secured appropriately.

2) Bring water.

There are many dog friendly places that may have accessible water for your pet.
  • With the proper research you may be able to find pet friendly places with water sources.
  • Remember that you never know when a pet friendly water source may be in need of repair.  
  • Even if you are able to buy a water bottle not every pet knows how to drink from one.
  • There are keychain collapsible water bowls that can fit on or in a travel bag quite easily.
  • Additionally, there are bottles with lids that fold out to form a bowl for your pet to drink from.
These are just a few ideas of things to carry with you for your pet.

Your pet can get overheated just like you.

  • This problem is heightened by the fur coat.
  • If your pet’s tongue is lolly gagging or if you notice panting it is time to get your pet some water. 
  • Remember the veterinary golden rule of travel: Bring water with you for your pet.

3) Communicable diseases.

This is especially important as of recently, with rampant cases of the dog flu being reported.
  • Just because you are informed it does not mean other pet owners are.
  • If you are passing other pets remember to restrain your pet.
  • You can still give a friendly nod to fellow dog walkers but it is best to avoid contact with other animals, especially when a disease that affects animals has been in the news.
  • It is important to be aware of your pet at all times and conscious of possible contagions.
Additionally when outbreaks do occur close to home consider taking your pet on a walk close to home instead of going to populated pet hubs like dog parks.

4) Consider alternatives to a leash and neck collar for more control.

If your pet pulls on a leash and you are walking in a populated area it may be preferential to walk using a gentle head collar.
It is of utmost importance to be the one in control especially when a place is swirling with activity like a city.
  • Cars and people are passing and even the most well trained pet can sometimes forget things or not pay attention to commands during commotion such as that found in the regular hustle and bustle of a city.
  • Try a harness. Breeds with a short nose and pushed in face (ex. chows, pomeranians, english bull dogs, pugs) especially should wear harnesses on walks rather than a leash and collar for their health and safety.
  • Keep the leash short. This gives you more control over your pet when you are surrounded by strangers.
  • Make sure the fit of whatever you are using is correct for your pet. Neck collars are easy to slip off when they are too loose. This is the last thing you want to happen in a busy city with traffic on every street.
    Traveling Animal Doctor

    Remember these 6 safe urban animal travel tips straight from an animal doctor next time you plan on going to the city with your pet.

5) Pet anxiety.

It is important to pay close attention to how your pet is acting.
Your pet can be overwhelmed when encountering a situation for the first time.
  • If your pet has not been socialized or your pet is a rescue with an unknown history it is important to keep this in mind before going to an event with a lot of people.
  • Pet anxiety appears as follows: Stooped pet with head down, tail tucked between legs, shifty eyes, or excessive panting without being tired.
  • Even if you are in control of your pet, you are not in control of other people and children.
  • Keep your pet out of danger by paying attention to your pet’s body cues.
  • The best way to prevent anxious behavior is to work with your pet through proper socialization techniques.
Get a trainer, consult a veterinarian, or grab a book written by a reputable dog trainer and read up. Training can be fun and rewarding for all who are involved.

6) Consider a basket muzzle.

A basket muzzle can be used during walks if you are worried about your dog snapping at people or picking up gross or potentially toxic objects (plant parts, cigarette butts, chewed up gum wads, etc) from the ground.
  • Your dog needs to pant in order to cool off so make sure you are using a muzzle that is safe for walking with your pet.
  • Remember positive reinforcement and giving your pet treats regularly after s/he wears a muzzle. It needs to be a positive experience for your pet.

I hope these 6 Safe Urban Pet Travel Tips are helpful. -Travel Animal Doctor

The tips are important to try when taking your pet to a big event. My most memorable time in Washington D.C. was the first time I went into the city with my dog, Jade.
Extra Tid Bits
  • Remember to bring treats as rewards for good behavior.
  • If your pet seems overwhelmed try to relax somewhere where there are not a bunch of crowds.
  • In celebration of Arbor Day on April 24, 2015 I also wanted to show our love for forests with Jade and #Hugatree in awareness of the importance of forests with WWF.
traveling animal doctor

Jade takes a walk with a traveling animal doctor.

This traveling animal doctor wishes you and your pet a fun and safe pet-friendly adventure!


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Jessica Claudio, DVM




  1. Wow, you made a lot of effort to this post! I think you’re giving great advise!

  2. Great tips, she looks like a cool dog!
    Thanks for visiting this week on Oh My Heartsie Girl.
    Enjoy the rest of your week!

    • Thank you, and thanks for stopping by! You have a great week as well.

  3. Great tip! That first photo is so funny! Rita doesn’t do well with big crowds so we have to take her places that aren’t too crazy busy. But that works for me – I don’t really like to go places that are crazy busy either. 🙂
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Less Wordy Wednesday: Yard-Saling DogsMy Profile

    • Lol thanks, we got a few good shots of her, I lucked out with that goofy face. I feel you about those busy places. I would rather stick to taking Jade on hikes.

  4. I loved your ideas, Jessica! The tip about watching for anxiety is really important. When Haley was younger, she would get a little overwhelmed in crowded places and often wouldn’t drink water unless we found a quieter setting for a short timeout from the action. Now, we always work these timeouts into the schedule to sit and relax with her for a few minutes, then she’s ready to enjoy the crowds again.

    I also have a two foot leash that’s perfect for walking in super crowded areas. It keeps Haley right beside me and I don’t have to worry about wrapping a longer leash around my hand. I’ll take both the two and six foot leashes with me, so I can alternate depending on how open or crowded areas might be.
    Elaine recently posted…Searching for the Best Dog Ball – One World Futbol ReviewMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Elaine. The idea to bring a two foot and a six foot leash is genius! We really had no idea how packed it would be when we went with Jade, and the amount of people really took us by surprise. It is great that you found a scheduled solution for Haley’s anxiety.


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