Tips For Traveling With A Golden Retriever By Car Or Plane

Updated: October 13th, 2022

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traveling with a golden retriever

Are you on the fence about traveling with your golden retriever? Taking a large pooch on a family vacation might seem like an impossible feat! But do you really want to leave your golden home alone with a pet sitter or board them in an overcrowded kennel?

Despite what you’ve heard, with research, some extra planning, and good organization, your golden retriever can follow you along on your adventures. While not exactly easy peasy lemon squeezy, traveling with a dog is now easier than ever!

In this article, I’ll share my tried and tested tips for traveling with a golden retriever! Stay with me until the end of this article, and you’ll be ready to embark on your next adventure with your goldie in tow!

At A Glance: Must-Have Products For Traveling With A Golden Retriever

Simple Tips For Traveling With A Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are one of the friendliest and most people-oriented dog breeds, so it comes as no surprise that they like to be involved in all family activities. If you aren’t still completely sure whether you want to take your golden to your next trip, you should know that they tend to develop separation anxiety when left alone a lot.

While your golden might be the best-behaved pooch when you are around, they may resort to destructive chewing, barking, and digging when left to their own devices. Leaving your golden home is bound to make them miserable, and hopefully, that’s enough to convince you to embark on a trip with your pooch!

Without further ado, here are some simple tips for traveling with your golden retriever:

1. Take Your Dog To The Vet First

Simple Tips For Traveling With A Golden Retriever

Whether your golden retriever is going to travel by car or fly in a plane, they will need to be checked by a vet beforehand. Ideally, you should take your golden to the vet at least around 10 days before the trip so there is time to fix any issues. If everything checks out, your vet will give you paperwork stating that your golden is healthy and up-to-date with their shots and all other checkups.

If you and your golden retriever are traveling by plane, you should get all of this paperwork as close to the flight as possible. While most airlines require all paperwork to be within 10 days of the flight, you should call your airline and check to be on the safe side. This will probably add to the stress of traveling with your golden retriever, but having all the necessary paperwork will make boarding and the actual flight much easier.

2. Get A Travel Crate

Your golden retriever shouldn’t travel unrestrained in the car, nor will they be allowed to explore the cargo area of the plane freely. Therefore, you will need a sturdy and comfortable plastic or wire dog crate that will keep your golden safe and secure during the trip.

If your golden retriever is already crate trained, then great! That just means you’ll have one less thing to worry about before your trip. However, if your golden isn’t crate trained yet, you should start crate training them now. Teach your golden how to get in and out of the crate, and help them feel safe and comfortable within a crate.

The last thing you want to do is to stress out your golden by forcing them into the crate for the first time on the travel day. Traveling with a golden retriever – and any other dog, for that matter – requires planning and good organization, so start using a crate early on.

3. Pack All Doggy Essentials

When traveling with your golden, you’ll need to pack all the things they need to feel comfortable and happy. Since you will be working with a limited amount of space within your suitcases, you’ll need to get extra creative and super organized to pack everything your golden retriever needs.

If possible, pack a separate doggy bag that will contain all of your golden’s stuff. This way, you’ll know where everything is, and you will have easy access to your pup’s things if you need something during the trip.

When it comes to doggy essentials, you’ll need to pack the following things:

  • Food
  • Treats
  • Collapsible water and food bowls
  • Any type of medication your golden is currently taking
  • A first aid kit
  • Toys
  • An extra leash and/or a harness

Additionally, depending on where you’re traveling and the time of year, you might need to pack sunscreen and bug repellant, or a doggy jacket and doggy boots for golden retrievers.

4. Exercise Your Golden Before The Trip

Allow your golden retriever to release as much pent-up energy as close to your departure time as possible. If you need to travel a few hours to the airport, make sure there is enough time for your golden to get some exercise before the flight.

Although it’s exciting in so many ways, traveling can also be extremely stressful for your pooch, so don’t think that they will just sit still and behave nicely the entire trip. Your golden retriever will need to release all that pent-up energy caused by excitement and anxiety before being placed in a traveling crate.

Take your golden for a longer walk than usual, play fetch, tug-of-war, and get them moving as much as you can before the trip. Tiring your pup out before the trip will help them stay relaxed and calm during the flight and adjust to the new situation even if they haven’t traveled before.

5. Put A Collar And Tags On Your Golden

Put A Collar And Tags On Your Golden

Even if your golden retriever doesn’t usually wear a collar at home, they should wear one while traveling. Having a comfortable and secure collar on your golden along with a tag with your name and contact information is a must!

While your pooch should be perfectly safe while traveling by plane or car, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and be prepared for the worst.

If your golden manages to escape or gets lost, it will be much easier for people to get ahold of your pooch if they are wearing a collar. Having extra tags with your name and contact information can also be very helpful in case your beloved pup gets lost or manages to lose the first set of tags.

If your golden isn’t used to wearing a collar, give them enough time to adjust to wearing one before the trip. This way, your pooch won’t panic and try to bolt when you try to put a collar around their neck.

FAQs About Traveling With A Golden Retriever

Can I fly with a golden retriever?

Yes, you can fly on a plane with your golden retriever. If your golden retriever is a certified service animal, they will even be able to travel with you in the passenger cabin! Pet golden retrievers can travel in the cargo hold as long as they are properly crated.

Are golden retrievers good for traveling?

Golden retrievers are one of the easiest breeds to travel with since they are very adaptable and easy to train. As long as you start training your golden from a young age and get them used to a dog crate and wearing a collar or a harness, you shouldn’t have any major problems taking your pooch with you for short or long trips.

Can golden retrievers travel in a car?

Yes, most golden retrievers can safely travel in a car as long as they are properly crated and unable to distract you while driving. Most goldens enjoy car rides, and if your pooch is already used to being in a car, they will probably enjoy taking a longer car trip. With that being said, you should never leave your golden retriever alone inside the car, especially during the summer.

On a hot summer day, it takes just a few minutes for the inside of the car to become  dangerously hot and put your golden retriever at risk of deadly heatstroke.

Which airlines allow golden retrievers?

The majority of airlines allow crated golden retrievers to fly as cargo. If your golden retriever is a certified service animal, all airlines are required by law to allow your dog to travel with you in the passenger cabin. If you decide to fly with your golden retriever, call your airline directly and inquire about any specific pet travel policies they may have.

Safe Travels!

With some planning and proper organization, you won’t have to postpone traveling with your golden retriever indefinitely. Whether you are planning to fly your golden on a plane or go for a road trip, there are many things you’ll need to do to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling with a golden retriever, don’t forget to:

  • Get the necessary paperwork from your vet
  • Invest in a sturdy travel crate
  • Let your golden burn excess energy right before the trip

Have you traveled with your golden retriever recently? Where did you go, and how did your golden behave during the trip? Share your adventures with us and our readers in the comment section below!

Written By

Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two, life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.

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