Big dog
Dog-friendly travel

Traveling With a Big Dog

Traveling with a big dog in the US can pose challenges, especially if you encounter breed-specific bans. Here is an in-depth analysis to help you navigate these situations:

  1. Research ahead: Before starting your trip, identify the states, cities, or counties that have breed-specific legislation (BSL) in place. This will help you avoid any unwelcome surprises and plan your route accordingly.
  2. Alternative lodging: If you’re staying overnight in a location with BSL, look for alternative accommodations like pet-friendly hotels, motels, or vacation rentals. Websites like can help you find dog-friendly options.
  3. Documentation: Carry your dog’s vaccination records, proof of licensing, and a letter from your veterinarian stating your dog’s breed (if it’s not one of the banned breeds) and temperament. This will help you address any questions or concerns from authorities or accommodation providers.
  4. Dog training: Ensure your dog is well-trained and displays good behavior in public. This may help alleviate concerns from people you encounter and reduce the likelihood of any incidents.
  5. Pet insurance: Consider investing in pet insurance that covers incidents involving your dog. This can provide financial support in case of any legal or medical issues arising from breed restrictions.
  6. Know your rights: Familiarize yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if your dog is a service animal. Service dogs are exempt from breed-specific bans, but you may need to provide documentation proving your dog’s service status.
  7. Be an advocate: Speak up against breed-specific legislation by educating others about the misconceptions surrounding certain dog breeds.
  8. Build a support network: Connect with other dog owners or organizations that share your concerns about breed-specific bans. They can offer advice, support, and resources to help navigate these situations.
  9. Use social media: Share your experiences traveling with a big dog on social media platforms. This can raise awareness about breed-specific bans and their impact on responsible dog owners.
  10. Temporary rehoming: In extreme cases where you cannot avoid traveling to a location with strict breed-specific bans, consider arranging temporary care for your dog with a trusted friend or family member in a different area.
  11. Contact local authorities: If you must visit an area with BSL, reach out to the local authorities beforehand to discuss your situation and explore any potential exceptions or accommodations.
  12. Pet-friendly transportation: Choose pet-friendly transportation options, such as driving your vehicle, using pet-friendly rental cars, or booking a pet-friendly cabin on a train. Airlines typically have breed restrictions, so it’s crucial to check their policies before booking a flight.
  13. Prepare for emergencies: Have an emergency plan in place, including contact information for veterinarians, pet emergency clinics, and legal support in case you face any issues related to breed-specific bans.
  14. Stay vigilant: While traveling with your dog, always be aware of your surroundings and follow local rules and regulations. Keep your dog leashed and under control at all times to avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts.
  15. Patience and understanding: Be prepared to face challenges and questions about your dog while traveling. Maintain a calm and patient attitude, and be ready to educate others about your dog’s breed.
  16. Advocate for change: Get involved in local and national efforts to challenge and overturn breed-specific bans. Sign petitions, attend meetings, and contact lawmakers to express your concerns and share your experiences.
  17. Carry documentation: Have your dog’s medical records, vaccination information, and any breed identification paperwork readily available while traveling. This can help provide evidence of your dog’s good health and responsible ownership.
  18. Invest in training: Ensure your dog is well-trained, obedient, and socialized. A well-behaved dog is less likely to attract negative attention, making it easier to navigate areas with breed-specific bans.
  19. Stay informed: Keep up-to-date on breed-specific legislation in different areas. Regularly check for updates and changes in laws, as this information can impact your travel plans.
  20. Consider alternatives: If traveling to an area with breed-specific bans is unavoidable, explore alternative accommodation options, such as pet-friendly vacation rentals or campgrounds, which may be more lenient with their pet policies.

By following these tips, you can minimize the risks and challenges associated with traveling with a dog in areas with breed-specific bans. Always prioritize your dog’s safety and well-being, and be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary.