What It’s Really Like Traveling for 2 Months with 2 Dogs

french bulldogs walking on street

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, NYC, France, England (two separate trips), NYC + back to LA with my hubs. Now add two dogs to the mix and OMG. 

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 and arrange mini-trips from there. 

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 food selection in Europe is lacking!) and a place the dogs could feel at home in. 

Your Dog’s Necessities Aren’t The Same

Wherever we travel to, we make sure to find a recommended vet nearby and most important: food. We did ship some frozen food overnight to London but little did we know, it would get held up in Customs and thrown out. BOO.

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). Last year when we went to Paris with Fira, I packed some freeze-dried raw foods which worked in a pinch. 

Passports + Paperwork

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.

passport for my dog

Break Up The Flights If Possible

Los Angeles to Paris flight is 11 hours compared to 7 hours from NYC to Paris. We always stop in NYC and stay a week or more (pizza pizza pizza). Not only is it easier on the pups, it’s a must for us (humans) too! 

Read this post for more travel hacks traveling with your dog.

 

What To Do When Your Dog Gets Sick Traveling

The LAST THING you want to happen while you’re traveling! Unfortunately, Fira had some issues vomitting 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. 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. We rushed her to an emergency vet in London as it was midnight and 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 sleep 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! Our vet was AMAZING and took control of the entire situation which was SO comforting.

Since she had to stay monitored for several days, that changed our travel plans slightly resulting in staying England longer than planned.

Let your primary vet know you will be traveling before you leave.

I definitely recommend not trying any new 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 $$$$ later… 

Metros, Taxis or Ubers?

OK, 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 calling a Uber (I guess I hate getting rejected lol) and avoided it as much as I could. I got used to taking the metros which is an easier 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 incase anyone ever asked to see it. At ticketing, one woman did ask so I’m glad I got one.

Always assume the worst, be prepared to be stopped and have all required documents, materials etc.

The Good Thing: mini trips!

Getting from Paris to London isn’t exactly the easiest but it is possible. We made the trip twice. I recommend doing private car (Folkestone Taxi serivce) the whole way. Expensive but worth it. 

We wanted to do more trips like Provence and South of France with the pups but we just got so busy and were so surprised how quickly six weeks flew by!

Being able to travel with your dog 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. 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 but we wouldn’t change it for the world. 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I’m taking my 14 lb Frenchie to Paris for the first time in September. I plan on just packing canned vegetarian dog food since our airline is allowing 2 free checked bags anyways and then we can use the extra space/weight for souvenirs/shopping on the way back. I’m also worried about the transportation since I don’t want to carry a big ugly carrier around and she doesn’t like being in it. Have you tried the G7 car service? I used it on my company account when I traveled to Paris for work last year and I noticed a “pets welcome” option when booking a car so I’m going to try it when I go this time. How did you get from the airport to the apartment and what did you do when you needed to take a car with the dogs and the train wasn’t an option?

    • Hi Amy! There was a line of taxis at the airport so we were prepared to ask as many as we needed to until someone was willing to take us. Luckily, the first one was okay with the dogs. We either hired private drivers or just took our chance with a taxi. I’ve never heard of G7– that sounds interesting!

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