If you love animals, it can be a little heartbreaking to leave behind your dreams of travel in favor of caring for your pups. The good news is that you no longer have to choose one or the other. Whether you’re looking to go abroad or simply want some good company on road trips, there’s a dog for you that will enjoy the adventures as much as you will.
Below, we talk about which dogs are best suited to traveling with their best friend- you. Of course, a lot of this will come down to personal preference and your own traveling style, so don’t forget to check out the factors to consider to be sure that your new travel companion will be as happy as you are.
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Easy-going and comfortable around new people, the Bichon Frise is a fantastic travel companion. They are happy in small spaces and love being around their humans constantly, so they work brilliantly in close quarters and are perfectly happy on road trips or traveling with you on a plane. They are exceptionally good with boats and are actually known to be fantastic sailor’s dogs.
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They’re also unlikely to shed or drool, which is handy if you’re looking to keep your deposits when traveling from hotel room to B&B onwards. Despite their small stature, they are also very hardy dogs that can handle the changing temperature, while still remaining happy-go-lucky and very affectionate.
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While these guys aren’t so keen on the unpredictability of children or strangers, they are very much a one-person dog who they love to spend all of their time with- making them the best companion for solo adventurers. These tiny dogs have the bonus of being very likely to be able to travel with you in-cabin on flights, while also not being massive eaters, which can lighten the load on trips.
Chihuahuas aren’t so great with excessive exercise but are still happy to travel around cities with you- making them a great fit during European road trips.
Check out our guide on the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas for more info.
As one of the most adaptable breeds, the Boston Terrier is the perfect travel mate for a range of adventures- from simple trips across the country to long-haul flights to a different climate (just be sure to factor in their breathing abilities as some may struggle with their shortened nose). They are hardy, happy and always seem passionate about being out and about with their travel buddy.
They are affectionate with pretty much everyone, somewhat easy to train and are also incredibly easy to groom- these traits, combined with their overall small stature make the Boston Terrier a top choice when it comes to selecting the best breed to travel with.
You may also like our article on the Best Dog Food for Boston Terriers.
Jack Russell Terrier
Tiny but mighty, the Jack Russell Terrier is a happy-go-lucky fellow who loves to spend time with his or her human. They are surprisingly energetic for such a small breed and can be a bit of a livewire when traveling, so be sure to add in plenty of exercise stops. That said, this makes the JRT the best choice in traveling canine companion for those adventurous types who are looking to take a road trip or even go on longer hikes.
Take a look at our review of Dog Food for Jack Russell for more options.
One the most popular family dogs in the US, the Labrador Retriever is a firm favorite among many for being happy-go-lucky and having just the right amount of energy for family life. This translates perfectly when it comes to traveling with your pooch since they can handle being both laid back on calmer days, while still holding decent stamina when it comes to days that require a little more exertion.
These guys might not do so well during flights, but they are great for road trips, since they simply want to be around their family at all times. If shedding is an issue, you can always opt for a shorter haired breed and they’re also very easy to train, being both intelligent and eager to please.
For more options head over to our guide on the Best Dog Food for Labs.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A pup that is supremely laid back, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is perfect for air travel since they are unlikely to become stressed by the hectic requirements of security and checking in that flights require. Easy-going and social, they can handle being around strangers without becoming overwhelmed while still being comfortable and happy enough to take longer trips with you if you feel like going solo or maybe hiking on occasion.
These little guys are also easily trained but their small stature might not be best for very long days, as they will need frequent resting stops throughout the day in order to keep up with you on your journey.
Very much a lapdog that wants to be around their humans near-constantly, French Bulldogs are gentle, calm and make for a great travel companion. They’re also very lazy, which makes them a great choice for longer trips which can usually cause more energetic dogs to become a little stir crazy.
You’ll also be pleased to know that they’re easy to groom, since they’re unlikely to shed and their coats are short but almost velvet-like- perfect for snuggling up in tight quarters. Better yet, they’re surprisingly easy to train and can be quite intelligent, although this usually comes with a healthy dose of mischief, so you’ll need to remain firm but fair throughout your travels to keep them in their place.
Head over to our review of the Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs for more choices.
With lots of stamina and a relaxed demeanor, Dalmatians are fantastic companions, wherever you’re looking to go in life. Happiest when with their masters, these dogs can handle both cold and hot temperatures without getting too stressed and are super easy to train thanks to their high intelligence.
You should be aware that these pups do require a fair amount of socialization from a young age before they are thrown into a busy city, to make sure that they will be as happy as you are on your adventures.
If you’re not going to be doing a lot of miles on foot, a Shih Tzu is a cozy, lazy, lap dog that makes for a great traveler. They are cute, quiet and very eager to please their owners, while remaining friendly with strangers and other animals which is ideal if you’re looking to travel around a busy city.
Be aware that their breeding makes them less suitable for travel in warmer climates, where breathing can become problematic for this toy breed. They also require a little grooming, roughly every other day, to ensure that their longer hair doesn’t get in the way and they don’t shed all over you and your stuff.
You may also like our guide on the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu.
Perfect for those who suffer from allergies, since these dogs have hypoallergenic fur, they are also incredibly adaptable and happy both in the house and on the road, making them the ideal companion for sporadic travelers. Being great with both children and strangers, while being just aloof enough to prefer their own family, they are happy to be taken pretty much anywhere.
They’re also very easy to train and the toy variety of the poodle is just the right size, in that they can handle both decent walks and lazier days- making them one of the most adaptable breeds and therefore the perfect traveling canine companion.
Factors to Consider When Travelling with Dogs
Naturally, the size of the dog you’re traveling with will affect how enjoyable the trips will be for both you and canine companion. Smaller dogs and toy breeds are better for airplane travel since they are more likely to be accepted for travel in the cabin- something that can save a lot of stress for everyone.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that larger dogs should be written off completely. Depending on where you travel, it can sometimes be better to opt for dogs that have greater energy and endurance, mostly when considering adventure-based traveling that requires more hiking, for example.
Whether large or small, it’s important to consider the personality of your dog. If you’re looking to undertake a lot of your travels on foot, it’s important to bring along an energetic dog with plenty of endurance so that your new pet doesn’t become stressed and ill.
However, if your travels are more about settling down in one area at a time, lap dogs who require less physical stimulation would be a better choice, since these breeds won’t be nagging for long walks when you’re more interested in sightseeing. Thus, there’s less stress for you and a happier dog that won’t be driven stir crazy by the lack of movement.
Similarly, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in busy cities, taking a dog that is accustomed to people and happy to stick by your side means you’re less likely to have a dog that becomes stressed by commutes or being surrounded by strangers.
Since you’re going to be in close quarters with your dog for an extended period, it’s worth taking a look at just how often you’ll need to groom your pooch. Having a pup that is likely to shed- especially in warmer climates- can cause havoc if you’re looking into road trips, since that fur will end up everywhere- your bed, your food, your mouth…everywhere.
Choosing a dog that doesn’t require so much grooming can make your traveling all the easier, so check into the brushing habits your dog requires.
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Tips for Travelling with Your Dog
No matter which breed you choose, being prepared will make your trips all the more enjoyable, so read on to find out the best tips for traveling with your pup and ensure all your memories are filled with love and joy (as opposed to dog sick and fur-related catastrophes).
- Never travel with dogs who are sick, injured or pregnant
- If you’re going to be spending a lot of time away from your new furry friend, it might be best to not bring a dog along at all. Staying in a hotel room while you go off white water rafting is not as much fun for them as it would be for you.
- Work on your training before you leave- most notably your “leave”, “come” and “wait” commands, since these can stop bad things in their tracks before they ever become an issue.
- Make an appointment with your vet before leaving, so you can give your pup a good check over and make sure there’s nothing lying in wait- ready to rear its ugly head the second you step on the gas.
- Don’t forget to bring a steady supply of the right food that your pups’ stomach is accustomed to. Changing this part-way through your travels can result in stomach upsets that translate to accidents and a stressed dog.
- Ideally, your pup will already be crate trained, since this can make long-haul trips much easier. If not, try to bring up some positive associations with the crate, so your dog isn’t too nervous or stressed.
- Always keep your dog’s collar and tag on- should the worst happen, and your pup decide to take on a Great Escape, having a tag with your number engraved can stop a bad scenario before it occurs. In the same vein, microchips are pretty much essential- as well as a legal requirement in some states and countries.
- Bring plenty of toys and games for your pup. Especially if you’re looking to undertake a road trip, which can become pretty boring for any dog who doesn’t love popping their head out of the window for hours on end.
- If you’re traveling in your car, bring along a leash designed to keep your dog safe, should an accident occur.
- Finally, plan bathroom breaks in advance. Aside from the obvious benefits, it’s a good excuse to stop off, play some games stretch both the legs of you and your canine companion.
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- Laura Cross, Best Dog Breeds for People Who Like to Travel, VetStreet
- Traveling with Pets: Tips for Travel and Vacations with a Dog or Cat, Best Friends Animal Society