Transportation and Traveling with Dogs


Traveling with dogs is becoming more widespread and they’re allowed more and more places as well. If dogs are allowed, Mr. N usually comes with us. He enjoys experiencing new things and new places. He has been on the following forms of transportation:

  • Car
  • Bus
  • Light rail
  • Trolley
  • Aerial Tram
  • Kayak/Canoe
  • Bike
  • Plane

Transportation for Mr. N is pretty much divided into two categories: riding free and riding restrained. Dogs that can fit in a carrier are allowed on local public transit (even though that rule is much flaunted). So for the bus, light rail, street car (which he hasn’t been on yet), and aerial tram, he needs to be in a carrier. In the car, he rides in a Pupsaver which is a car seat for dogs. With air travel, we use his Sleepypod Air. When biking, he goes in a backpack. We did look at a pet bike trailer but decided it took up too much space in our condo.

On the trolley, he was allowed to sit on my lap. And for boating, he rides free in the canoe or kayak with a Ruffwear life jacket. His preference would be to ride in my lap always but that isn’t always safe.

I don’t just plop Mr. N into a carrier and hope that he will be OK. He regularly rides in a when he goes to places that are too crowded for him to be underfoot. So a carrier isn’t a novel experience for him that happens just when traveling.

There are some traveling with dogs scenarios that are harder to duplicate. He has a hard time with plane landings and take-offs. I’m still not quite sure if it’s the noise (we end up sitting next to the wing a lot) or if his ears pop or something else is bothering him. I’ve talked to the vet about various calming remedies to try. It’s a tricky balance because while he doesn’t like plane rides, he also really hates being separated from me due to separation anxiety. So usually if we’re leaving for a few days and can take him, we do because an hour or so of not being happy is worth him being with us for a few days instead of being boarded. I would have to think long and hard before making the decision to take him on an international flight.

When traveling with dogs, it’s important to keep two things in mind. Your dog’s safety and stress levels, and making sure they don’t affect other people negatively. Not only is it the polite thing to do, your dog’s behavior can affect future policy decisions as well as other people’s views on allowing dogs on transportation.

So your dog should be a good canine citizen  with leash manners, not jump on people, steal food or items, and not be noisy. Being an advocate for your dog is also key. People do all sorts of things to dogs that are inadvisable. People have tried to take away food from Mr. N, stick their fingers in his month, pick him up, and boop his nose repeatedly. Especially in cramped quarters that you can’t leave, it’s essential that you stick up for them and make sure they’re feeling comfortable.

Things do happen though sometimes in the matter of seconds like the case where the little girl tried to pet a dog on a plane and was bitten. So I personally think it’s advisable that when traveling with dogs in a public setting, your dog be tolerant to a high degree. If they’re not and you must travel with them, there’s always management tools like and making sure they stay in a or .

Do you go traveling with your dog? What modes of transportation have you tried?


Welcome to First Monday’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Tenacious Little Terrier, Travels with Barley and Wag ‘n Woof Pets. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Our theme for this month is Transportation but any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. And our next hop will begin July second on loose leash walking and continues for a week.

*If you buy from the Amazon links listed on this blog, it won’t cost you extra but we will get a few pennies that go towards running the blog and Mr. N’s treat allowance!




12 Responses

  1. Pamela

    June 8, 2018 12:55 pm

    I am very envious of you being able to take Mr N on public transit. Boston is one of the few cities that allows large dogs on transit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ridden on a nearly empty bus knowing that Honey would behave better than many other riders.

    Honey has been on board many different watercraft, from kayaks to large ferries. And she used to ride in my car and my bike cart. But in the U.S. most forms of public transit are off limits to her. Since we don’t own a car, it makes things like vet visits challenging.

  2. muttsandmews

    June 8, 2018 4:07 pm

    We try to bring our dog, Misha, with us when we can when traveling. Although lately with work and life(we’re expecting our first child) we haven’t been able to do much! Our last vacation with her was in Georgia during the winter time and she loved it! Of course we made sure that she wore her doggy seat belt the whole time. Our town doesn’t have too many dog-friendly places unfortunately, other than the home improvement stores and pet stores. But she really enjoys getting out to meet new people when she can.

  3. Jana Rade

    June 9, 2018 1:48 pm

    Of course, some of these aren’t really all that applicable for large dogs. Plus Cookie like using her own legs the best for most part; she does like car rides.

  4. Beth

    June 12, 2018 8:33 pm

    Mr. N is quite the transportation expert! Soth’s been on a plane and Barley was on an old school bus that was being used to transport people and dogs from parking to a fundraising walk once, but for the most part, we all do all of our traveling in my car.

  5. Jan K

    June 14, 2018 3:23 pm

    The joys of having a small dog! Being able to take Mr. N with you so much has to be wonderful. Of course, why is it people also always think a small dog needs to be given what might be unwanted attention?
    Around here, cars are about our only mode of transportation, though in the past we also enjoyed boating with our dogs too.

  6. Ruth Epstein

    June 15, 2018 8:37 am

    I take Layla with me on public transportation and she is really good, actually LOL if she sees a bus with a door open she will try hop on. People are great as many in San Francisco travel with their dogs so there I do not worry and I do not use a carrier for her but only on occasions where I know I will need to have free hands then I use the backpack.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.