I am dog lover. The crazy about dogs kind of person. I also love traveling. Now a lot of people would say those two things are incompatible. I disagree.
It is possible to travel the world with your pet – And easier than it looks like.
My whole life I had dogs, many dogs, stray dogs that I would adopt from the streets and bring home. But than my home was in Brazil and I had a big farm with a lot of space for animals to run free. Besides dogs I had cats, horses, cows, sheep, ducks, chickens, even a monkey. Living in a small apartment in the city turned that into memories, but I couldn`t imagine my life without pets, so my mom gave me the best gift I ever received: My dog Chilli! #chillithedog
When I decided to live in Barcelona, I had to leave Chilli with my mom until I got settled here. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do and I was counting the days until I could bring him, and as soon as I did, I went back for him. Since that day, whenever I visit my family in Brazil (once a year), he comes with me, on the airplane. He also goes with me everywhere: Sailing, hiking, road tripping, even riding a motorcycle!
What I want to show you here is that there is no excuse to abandon – or even to leave – your dog behind when you travel.
Safety is the first thing to consider when traveling with your dog. The second would be regulations. Each country has its own. For example, to bring him from Brazil to Europe, besides having all the shots up to date, he needed an anti rabies certificate that you have to do 30 days after his last vaccination and 90 days before the travel day. Also a health certificate written no more then 3 days before the departing day. And the right carrier bag. No quarantine was needed for Spain.
It is important to pay attention to the rules of each country and airline in relation to travel with animals. Here in Barcelona dogs of all sizes can travel in the metro, but they need to be on the leash and the bigger ones needs to wear a muzzle. For buses, only small dogs are allowed in, and they need to be inside a dog carrier (I put Chilli inside a normal bag, a big one, and for the buses here that`s enough).
Always remember to bring water and some food for your pet. Some pets may get sick in cars or trains, so it is better not to feed them too much right before traveling. And stop every few hours if possible so he can go to the “toilet”.
Airplanes are usually the most complicated ones, it`s good to check each company`s rules as to carrier sizes and acceptance of animals, not all companies accepts animals. Since Chilli is small, he can travel on board with me, inside his carrier bag. The bag + the animal must weight no more than 8kg. It is forbidden to sedate the animal, but I do give him a vet medicine to make him a little sleepy since is a really long flight – that always makes him look like a Japanese dog, with sleepy eyes! So funny!
From Lisbon to Porto Alegre it is an 11 hours flight, so I sometimes take him out of the bag and put him in my lap, under the covers, and he stays there, quiet. Some companies will let you do that (which means that some flight attendants will choose to ignore Chilli being out of this bag – even if it is theoretically forbidden). Other don`t… It is kind of a lucky chance.
Traveling with your best furry friend is one of the best things there is. Seeing how happy he is exploring a new environment, drinking water from a river, running along with the waves in the beach, catching wind out of the car window or even just being inside my backpack with me is the most compensating feeling. I feel so proud of him for behaving so well… And for him it is a natural thing, he sees me happy with him for being a good dog, so he wants to be a good dog to see me happy. Reward, is called, one of the number 1 rules of doggy life. Everybody should try!!!
And if you are thinking “Oh, but it`s easy to travel when you have a small dog…”, well, it is EASIER. But everything is possible, and if you need some inspiration, please check the adventures of my friend Pablo and Hippie, from Bikecanine, a guy and a german shepherd mix traveling the world on a bike!
So next time you are planning a trip, why not include your pet on it? I can assure you you both are going to have a lot of fun and create the most special memories…!