Unleashing Adventure (or Not): Travel Nursing with Your Canine Companion


Chloe’ Sizer | March 9th, 2024

The world beckons, travel nurse friend! But while you’re packing your bags and dreaming of new destinations, a furry face might be gazing up at you with hopeful (or perhaps anxious) eyes. Can your canine companion join you on your nomadic healthcare adventures, or is staying home a better option? Let’s explore both scenarios:

Hitting the road with your dog:

Free Brown and White Dog Looking Out the Window Stock Photo

  • Pros: Having your dog by your side can provide companionship and emotional support during long assignments, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. Daily walks and playtime can also be a great way to de-stress after a challenging shift.
  • Cons: Finding pet-friendly housing can be difficult, with additional fees and restrictions often in place. Travel, especially flying, can be stressful for dogs, and frequent adjustments could disrupt their routine and cause anxiety.

Leaving your dog at home:

  • Pros: They’ll have a familiar environment and established routines, reducing stress. Trusted friends, family, or professional pet sitters can provide care and ensure their needs are met.
  • Cons: You’ll miss daily walks, cuddles, and the unconditional love only a dog can offer. Regular calls and video chats might not be enough to fully address their potential separation anxiety.

Making the best choice:

The decision ultimately depends on several factors:

  • Your dog’s personality: Are they adaptable and comfortable with travel, or are they prone to anxiety in new environments?
  • The length of your assignments: Short assignments might be easier to manage with a pet sitter at home, while longer stints could benefit from having your dog accompany you.
  • Your living situation: Will you be living in pet-friendly housing with adequate space for your dog to adjust and feel comfortable?

Tips for success:

  • If traveling with your dog:
    • Invest in a comfortable and secure crate for travel and overnight stays.
    • Gradually acclimate your dog to the crate well before your journey.
    • Plan for regular bathroom breaks and walks during long trips.
    • Consider using calming aids recommended by your veterinarian. 
  • If your dog stays home:
    • Choose a reliable pet sitter, boarding facility, or dog walker familiar with your dog’s needs.
    • Schedule regular video calls or have your sitter send updates and pictures.
    • Leave familiar items like your worn T-shirt or a blanket to help your dog feel comforted.


Remember, a happy dog, whether they’re trotting beside you or waiting patiently at home, makes for a happier travel nurse too. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, consider your dog’s individual needs, and prioritize their well-being throughout the process.

If you aren’t already heading to your next assignment, let’s chat! 😊

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