They’re loving, loyal members of the family and most people choose to travel with their dog. Traveling with a canine can be a smooth, stress free experience if you know what to expect up front and can avoid any pitfalls.

Depending on the method of transportation that you’re using, the steps that you need to take will vary.

If you plan on heading out in a car or truck with your faithful friend, you need to be aware that dogs should not be allowed to have access to move around the vehicle.

The reason for this is because it’s too easy to take your eyes off the road and get involved in accident if your furry family member nudges your arm or suddenly leaps toward you.

For his safety and yours, the dog needs to be restrained. Dogs can sit comfortably in specially designed seat belts or harnesses. Some pet owners prefer to keep their dogs crated as they travel.

If you bring your pet along in a crate or carrier, then whatever he’s secured in should be in a seatbelt so that it doesn’t slide around. Don’t allow your dog to ride in the front passenger seat.

In the event of an accident, with the force of the air bag deploying, it could seriously harm and even be fatal for the dog. Remember that your dog will need to stop to stretch his legs as well as answer nature’s call.

Some pet owners take this time to feed their dog, but remember if you do feed him, he’s going to need to go to the bathroom again soon. It’s best to stop often when you’re traveling with a dog.

If you plan to take a trip and want to get there by airplane along with your dog, make sure you allow some extra time and make sure you understand the hazards involved in flying with pets.

Because the oxygen level is diminished, certain types of dogs are more likely to suffer problems. Many airlines welcome passengers traveling with dogs and you check the in-cabin policy of the airline if you want your dog to stay with you during the flight.

There will be an additional fee and the dog will have to fit certain size restrictions and remain in a kennel for the entire length of the flight. Most airlines will only allow passengers to travel in-cabin with one dog.

You’ll need proof of immunizations. Use the cargo area of a plane for traveling with your dog only if it’s absolutely necessary. This is not the best means of travel for a pet. If you plan to travel by ship, your dog can come along, depending in which cruise line you’re using.

There are many pet friendly cruise lines that will gladly accommodate your dog. Regardless of what method you use to travel with your dog, watch for signs of anxiety or stress.

If you see your dog with his head lowered but his eyes raised or his tail tucked between his legs, or he’s whining without ceasing, those are some common signs that he’s not happy or experiencing discomfort.