Traveling With A Golden Retriever? Here are 10 Tips For You!

Traveling with a golden retriever dog

Planning for an adventurous trip with your Goldie dog? This post contains everything you need to know about traveling with a Golden Retriever by car or plane.

Traveling with a golden retriever dog

Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and across the globe. The breed gained popularity because of its fun-loving and affectionate temperaments.

You might be planning for a trip by car or plane, but unsure how you will manage your pup throughout the trip. Should you even bother taking your dog along? Should you leave your dog alone at home while you are on vacation?

As you might already know, Golden Retrievers are people-oriented; thus, leaving them home alone is the worst thing one can do. Staying alone for longer durations can lead to separation anxiety in them.

Golden Retriever can be a good companion for the trip. Obviously, traveling with a dog isn’t going to be super easy. However, with some research and beforehand planning, you won’t have difficulty traveling with your Goldie.

This post contains everything you need to know for a hassle-free traveling experience with your Golden Retriever.

Travel Tips With Golden Retrievers

Traveling with a dog might be a new experience for you. To avoid hassles during the trip, advance planning is essential. To help you properly plan a vacation with your dog, here I have shared the 10 best tips for traveling with a Golden Retriever by plane or car:

Take To The Vet

First things first, before taking your Goldie on the trip (no matter whether by car or airplane), it needs to be checked. There are two reasons you need your pup to be checked by the vet: first, to ensure he/she is healthy; second, to get an acclimation certificate/statement.

The vet will run a health checkup and let you know whether your dog is healthy enough for traveling or not

Once the health checkup is completed and everything goes well, the veterinarian will give you an acclimation certificate, which mentions your Golden’s readiness to travel.

The Health and Acclimation certificate must be signed by a verified veterinarian within 10 days before the travel date.

You must not forget to bring all the paperwork you receive from the vet. This becomes more important when traveling by plane.

Paperwork requirements may change from one airline to another. What you can do is, contact your airline and check its paperwork requirements. This way, you will have all the required paperwork when taking the flight.

Get A Car Carrier/Travel Crate

A good quality crate is all you need to transport your dog from one location to another. No matter whether you are traveling with a Golden Retriever by car or fly by plane, a crate will ensure the safety and security of your pup.

You will come across different types of dog carriers, starting from soft-sided carriers to wheeled carriers. If you are traveling with your dog by car, get a durable, lightweight, and well-ventilated dog carrier.

And, if you are traveling with your dog by plane, you will still require a crate. Your canine won’t be allowed to roam freely in the cargo area of the plane.

If your Goldie is still small, then you might be allowed to take him/her to the cabin. It is best to confirm this with your airline, as the in-cabin pet weight limit varies from one airline to another.

Get an IATA airline-approved travel crate when flying with Golden Retriever on a plane.

Check out this guide on travel crates for Golden Retrievers.

Ensure Safety

When traveling by car, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to ensure the safety of your canine:

  • Firstly, the dog shouldn’t be set free to roam around in the car. Put your pup in a carrier and attach that carrier to a seatbelt. In the above section, I have already mentioned the best car carrier for Goldies.
  • Keep your pup in the back seat of the car. When in the front seat, the deployment of an airbag can injure your pup, even if it’s inside the crate.
  • Take more rest stops. Have the collar (with a leash attached) and ID tag on your pup’s neck before he/she leaves the car. Golden Retrievers are energetic dogs. In the rest stops, you can fulfill the exercise needs of your canine.
  • Never leave your dog alone in the car. You might want to take a small break of maybe 20-30 minutes. But, leaving alone has its dangers. The car can heat real quick and it can badly impact the dog’s health.

Essential Training

Before going on a trip with a Golden Retriever, it is important to provide all essential training. With proper training, traveling would be less stressful for you as well as your canine.

First of all, you need to crate train your Goldie so that you can travel safely with him. In crate training, he will learn how to get in and out of the crate.

Besides crate training, you should also provide bathroom training to your dog. When your pup is trained to go to the toilet on your command, it will make your trip less stressful. To train faster, you can reward your pup with treats every time he obeys your command.

golden retriever training

Get A Collar, Leash, ID Tag

Your Goldie might not be wearing a collar at home, but when traveling, he should definitely wear it. Whether traveling by plane or by car, your canine should be totally safe, but still, it’s best to consider the worst-case scenario and prepare accordingly.

Putting on a collar and ID tag (with your contact information) on your pup’s neck will help you find him faster if he gets lost.

Traveling by plane, if your Goldie is still small and allowed to travel in-cabin, you need to put on a collar on his neck with the leash attached.

Provide Exercise Before Leaving

As close to leaving for the trip, give your pup plenty of exercise. As Golden Retrievers are highly energetic dogs, they need daily moderate exercise. The lack of enough exercise can result in destructive behavior or aggression.

A few hours before leaving, involve your canine in different physical activities like tug-of-war, fetch, long walks, etc. When your Golden’s excess energy is released with these activities, he would be relaxed and it is very less likely that he will develop destructive behavior during the travel.

If you are traveling by car, it is a good idea to take frequent rest breaks and involve your doggy in physical activities.

Advance Hotel Booking

If your plan is to stay with your Golden in a hotel or guest house, consider booking in advance. While it may seem that you can book a hotel or guest house on the spot, it’s still advisable to book in advance because you want to book a hotel that is pet-friendly.

Book it only after confirming with the hotel whether they allow pets or not. You can also ask about the pet amenities it offers.

Is Your Golden Retriever Travel Anxious?

For some dogs, trips are exciting and joyful, while for some, they can be stressful. Some dogs get anxious when they are exposed to a new environment. Some signs of travel anxiety in dogs are:

  • Lip licking/lip smacking
  • Excessive yawning
  • Shaking
  • Shivering
  • Pacing

If your pup has never traveled in a car or plane before, you might notice the sign(s) mentioned above. When traveling by car, there are certain things you can do to help your dog with travel anxiety.

Desensitization and counter-conditioning are the training methods used for preventing car anxiety in dogs. With these techniques, your purpose is to make car travel as comfortable as possible for your pup.

Don’t forget to bring your vet’s contact number. This would be a savior in an emergency situation. This way, you can also avoid an expensive visit to any unknown veterinarian.

Pack All Essentials

Don’t forget to pack all the essential items your Goldie will need during the trip. If your bag has limited space, it’s a good idea to pack a separate bag for the dog. The dog bag will include treats, food, a first aid kit, medication (if your dog is taking any), food & water bowls, etc. This way, you do not have to rush for buying anything during the adventure.


As Goldens are active and demand more physical activities, it’s important to have the right toys with you. They are social dogs and cannot be left alone for long periods. Doing so can lead to anxiety and destructive behavior. With the right toys, you can keep your canine busy and provide physical & mental stimulation.

Related Questions

Are Golden Retrievers good for traveling?

Yes, Golden Retrievers are good for traveling. Just make sure you are well-prepared and bring all the essential stuff you will need during the trip.

Can I take my Golden Retriever puppy on a plane?

Yes, you can take your Golden Retriever puppy on a plane. Your puppy will be able to travel with you in the passenger cabin. It is a good idea to check with the airline about the rules, as they change from one airline to another.

Which airline is the most pet-friendly?

Some pet-friendly international airlines are American Airlines, JetBlue, Air Canada, Delta, Air India, and Air France.

Can my dog sit on my lap during a flight?

No, your pup cannot sit on your lap during the flight. Even if you have a small puppy and you are allowed to take it to the cabin, the pup cannot sit on your lap. It needs to be inside the carrier.

How much do airlines charge for traveling with a dog?

The domestic airline can cost around $125 each to take the dog in the cabin. The pricing varies from one airline to another.

Final Thoughts

Be it a car or plane, a trip with a dog can be exciting as well as stressful at the same time. There’s so much goes into preparation, starting from basic accessories to medications. To help you prepare for the trip in advance, here I have shared 10 tips for traveling with a Golden Retriever.

Also Read: How Fast Can Golden Retrievers Run?


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Brandon Dickinson

Brandon Dickinson

I love playing and spending time with pups. On RetrieverPaws, I share tips, guides, and my experiences with retriever dogs (Labrador and Golden Retrievers mainly).

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