How to travel long-term with two dogs.
We traveled for two months with two dogs…
Traveling abroad by yourself can be hectic, let alone with a friend or partner with the amount of travel logistics and planning. Our total trip was from LA to Boston, to NYC, then France, over to England (two separate trips), and then NYC and back to LA with my hubs. Now add two dogs to the mix and OMG. You really have to know what you’re doing when traveling long-term with two dogs.
A lot can go wrong.
Let’s start from the beginning. We set out on this trip with one homebase in mind: Paris. We rented a beautiful furnished apartment from a friend for six weeks and knew this was where we would unload our luggage + clothes, make the dogs feel comfortable and then arrange mini-trips from there. If you’re traveling long-term with your dogs, an AirBnB would be best versus a hotel, especially so you have your own kitchen!
It’s nice to be able to have a place to “live” so you have somewhere to leave your belongings, a kitchen to cook in (I definitely had to resort to cooking homemade dog food majority of the time as the dog food selection in Europe is lacking!) and a safe place the dogs could feel at home in. This way, traveling long-term with two dogs becomes wayyyy easier.
But what else? Dive into more tips on how to take on two months abroad with two dogs:
Your Dog’s Necessities Aren’t The Same When You Travel Abroad Long-Term
Wherever we travel abroad long-term, we make sure to find a recommended vet nearby and most importantly: food. We did ship some frozen food overnight to London but little did we know, it would get held up in Customs and then thrown out — an expensive mistake.
In California, we’re quite spoiled with a huge selection of human-grade and raw dog foods. In France, not so much. I ended up cooking dog food and mixing it with some Lily’s Kitchen wet food or kibble (we did find an Italian-brand kibble that was as close to natural as possible). When we went to Paris with Fira previously, I packed some freeze-dried raw foods which worked in a pinch.
When you take your pups abroad long-term, be sure to spend some time in advance researching the nearest vet in the area you’re staying in. You might want to look at reviews, which can help give you an idea if the office has an English-speaking staff, too.
Pet Passports + Paperwork While Traveling Long-term with Two Dogs
Fira already had her French passport from last year but this was Weston’s first time to Europe, so I had to get all of his international health certificates + USDA stamps. I slip all their paperwork and passport(s) into a laptop sleeve so it’s handy in one place.
Break Up The Flights Into Shorter Segments, If Possible
The Los Angeles to Paris flight is 11 hours, compared to 7 hours from NYC to Paris. Because it’s such a long journey to Paris from LA, we always stop in NYC and do a pizza stop, of course. Not only is it easier on the pups, it’s a must for us (humans), too!
What To Do When Your Dog Gets Sick Traveling Abroad Long Term
The LAST THING you want to happen is your dog getting sick while you’re traveling abroad! Unfortunately, Fira had some issues vomiting from a raw venison marrow bone. We think that was the catalyst — we can’t be 100% sure but that was the only “new” thing that was introduced to her during our trip.
Weston and Fira only chew Nylabones or Benebones at home. She choked on some of her vomit which also went into her lungs = a bad case of aspiration pneumonia. So scary when you’re far away from home and traveling with two dogs.
We rushed her to an emergency vet in London as it was midnight. She ended up staying hooked up to IVs for four nights. It was terrifying and we don’t even want to think about what could have happened if we weren’t able to get to the vet on time. We’ve never seen her so weak.
It’s scary when you go to a brand new vet who doesn’t know the history of your dog, especially if you have a sensitive breed like French bulldogs. We had a rough time sleeping and went straight back to see Fira bright and early in the morning, all while waiting for our vet back home to wake up on the West Coast! The time change can really get you. Our vet was AMAZING and took control of the entire situation which was SO comforting.
Since Fira had to stay monitored for several days, that changed our travel plans slightly and we ended up staying in England longer than planned.
If you’re traveling long-term with one or more dogs, Let your primary vet know you will be out of the country before you leave.
I definitely recommend not trying any new dog toys or foods in a new country. You just never know how your pup will react. Pack your pup’s favorite toys from home.
So, a whole lot of vet bills later…
Metros, Taxis or Ubers with dogs? My experience taking public transit with our two pups in France:
If you’re traveling long term with two dogs, it’s likely you’ll have to take an Uber or taxi more than once. Here’s a tip: Dogs in cars in France is definitely a THING. Meaning, not a good thing. I would say 90% of the Ubers or taxis denied us, even when we tried to talk to them.
That is, if we had a chance to talk to them — many Uber drivers took one look at us with the dogs, shook their heads “no” and just kept driving. It started to get a bit comical.
But because of that, I had anxiety about calling an Uber and avoided it as much as I could. I got used to taking the metros with both dogs which is an easier and economical way to travel anyway.
Metros in France don’t mind pups on leashes. If you’re taking the train, dogs must be in a carrier bag. If your dog weighs more than 13 lbs, on leash is okay as long as they have a muzzle on. I know.
Ridiculous, but of course I bought a muzzle and brought it with me in case anyone ever asked to see it. At ticketing, one woman did ask so I’m glad I got one.
Too much to travel long term with two dogs? Need a pet sitter?
I just discovered Trusted House Sitters. I haven’t had to use them yet but it looks like they have great reviews. There is a large trusted database of people who can watch your pup and house-sit while you’re traveling! A great way to keep your pups safe if you’re looking to travel abroad for a while.
Always assume the worst, be prepared to be stopped and have all required documents, materials etc. when you travel with your pup!
The Good Thing: Mini trips with your two pups!
Getting from Paris to London isn’t exactly the easiest, but it is possible. We made the trip twice. I recommend taking the journey by private car (use the Folkestone Taxi service) the whole way. Expensive but worth it. More details in my blog post on the whole experience here.
We wanted to do more trips with both dogs around Europe, like Provence and the South of France, but we just got so busy and were so surprised how quickly six weeks flew by!
Being able to travel long term with your two dogs is definitely a privilege and not everyone around you is going to be happy about it. I try to make sure rules are followed and that we are not in the way or inconveniencing anyone.
Overall, we had an amazing, unforgettable trip. With two dogs, it’s two times the trouble at times but two times the fun. 🙂 Everything costs a lot more than you think, sometimes a bit more stress and time but it was worth every penny.
If you have more questions about traveling for two months with two dogs, leave a comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram!
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