Dog Travel Tips From the Champions

Stay Calm and Expect the Unexpected

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We caught up with dog handlers at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City for advice on traveling with your dog.


“At the airport, remain cool and aloof when they take the dog away. Don’t make it tearful. Nothing is worse than emotion because the dog will start to wonder. I also watch them offload the plane for 2 reasons: to be sure they don’t drop the dog and to be sure the dog gets off.” --Janine Starink, handler for Gatsby the Giant Schnauzer (aka BIS Am/Can/Int CH Skansen’s Great Gatsby)

“I always pick up some bottled water so the local water doesn’t upset his stomach. You never want a Great Dane with diarrhea. For drool, I always carry a slobber rag.” --Linda Cain, handler for Barney the Great Dane (aka GCH Gracyn’s Valliant Warrior V. Lost Creek)

“It’s good to have a list of medications that your dog takes, if any, and place them on a list along with your dog’s eating schedule and routine in case something were to happen and you’re not able to care for them yourself, such as if you get into an accident.” --Holly Sundbeck, owner of Inge the Standard poodle (aka GCH Hanna’s Dam Inge Fair Sun)

“I protect my dog with Frontline flea preventative and his vaccinations are up to date, so I’m not as concerned with what my dog leaves behind but what he picks up in a hotel. I’ve heard a lot about bedbugs in the big city. The first thing I’m going to do is pull back the sheets and check.” --Marlene Palmer, owner of Gideon the Bauceron (aka CH de Joie du Chateau Rocher)

“I’d never bathe a dog at a hotel. Beagles shed, and I’d feel bad if I clogged up someone’s tub. My dogs are always bathed and groomed before I go.” --Carol Herr, handler for Runner the Beagle (aka CH Encore Rerun of Roirdan)

“Bring comfort food. Pet cooking is huge now, so if you make dog cookies or something at home, take some along to make your dog feel comfortable.” --Jerry Grymek, Doggie Concierge at the Hotel Pennsylvania

“The No. 1 thing is: Don’t be narrow-minded. Expect the unexpected. And keep your dog’s safety your first priority.” --Gail Hawksworth, owner of Cruiser the Irish Wolfhound (aka GCH CH Mysham Edoc’sil of Redwall)