We know that traveling with a dog can be a bit complicated. But you’ve done it! You have the travel health certificates, you have vaccination records, you have the right size carrier and you are ready to go. And then you realize your flight is delayed, or you have over an hour of layover. Here are a few ideas on how to use this time in a fun, entertaining way.
1. See if the airport where you are has a doggie park. Since 2009 airports are required by the DOT to have a pet relief area for service animals which means you are in luck! Most airports will have at least a little patch of grass or faux turf somewhere. Some airports like: Atlanta International Airport, Miami International Airport, San Diego Airport, JFK and Minneapolis Airport, have great spaces to hang out with your dog.
2. Make new friends at the airport’s doggie parks, but make sure your dog gets a quiet potty break before going in his carrier.
3. Teach your traveling dog a new trick like “hi five” or fetch.
4. Bring a fun toy with you to play fetch or tug, or just something delicious for your dog to chew on while you wait.
5. Give your dog a relaxing doggie massage. You can do it with your dog on your lap or even while he’s inside the carrier.
6. Go for a walk. Though most airports won’t let your dog out of his carrier unless he’s a service dog, nothing is stopping you from walking outside for a bit. Its a great distraction and you get some fresh air!
7. Have a training session, go through things your dog knows but haven’t tried at an airport. Start with the easy stuff and see if you can build up to the more complicated exercises.
8. Brush your dog. Hopefully it’s something he enjoys. Brushing is a great use of your time and doggies tend to shed a bit more when they get nervous, like during travel. Make sure you do it close to a trash can so you don’t leave a mess behind.
9. Teach your dog how to stretch. You know how much humans want to stretch when we travel. Most athlete dogs know how to stretch on cue. After all they are doing some pretty amazing stuff out there and we don’t want them to pull something. You can easily start by rewarding your dog when he does stretch and putting it on cue. It will be very relaxing for your traveling dog.
10. Play a nose work game. Place 3 empty, plastic cups about a foot apart from each other. Distract your dog while you hide a treat under one cup. Then see if he approaches the right one. When he does, reward him from your hand. As he gets good at the game make it harder by moving the cups (under a bench), using different objects to hide the treat (box, crumpled paper) etc.
Have fun while you and your dog travel! And if you need any help booking a trip with your dog or have any questions about traveling with a dog give us a call, our dog relocation experts are here to help.