Traveling with an Estrela Mountain Dog can either be a pleasure or a real nightmare. It is up to you "the owner" to decide the best mode of travel for your beloved pet.
By far, travel by car is the safest and most enjoyable for both you and your Estrela. Novelist John Steinbeck once said that he would rather travel on the road with a dog than anything else. In a vehicle, you not only have an opportunity to bond with your pet, but you also have control over his safety.
First of all, it is vital that your Estrela is already used to riding in a car. If not, take him out with you often, so he gets used to it. Before you leave on your trip, make sure all your dog's vaccinations have been given and take the corresponding certificates with you. Traveling might upset your dog and require a quick visit to a vet along the way. Don't forget to bring along any medication your dog might need as well.
Other things to take on your journey include bottled water and a bowl for your pet, his regular food, collar with tags, a leash, grooming necessities, and a crate for when you might have to leave him alone in a room. Some dogs get motion sickness, so try to arrange travel before food is given or a few hours after.
If your dog is not micro chipped, it is wise to carry pictures and identifying information on your Estrela in case he runs off. Before you leave, you should also check out places to stay that allow pets. Howard Johnsons, Days Inn, Marriott's, Travel Lodge, and Super 8 are a few that have pet friendly rooms. During your stay, ensure that the dog does not bark or upset either staff or other travelers.
For the trip, you might want to use a restraining harness. There are also special dog seat belts that you can purchase. It is probably not feasible to put your Estrela in a crate because of his size but if you do, ensure that it is ventilated and padded with room for him to move around.
Along the way, be prepared to stop for potty breaks and always pick up after your dog. These stops should also include a little exercise and a drink of water. If you have children traveling with you, make sure they don't harass the dog during the trip and never leave him unattended in the vehicle, particularly if it is too hot or cold.
Traveling by air with an Estrela poses completely different challenges and risks. An Estrela is not small enough to carry on a plane with you, so he will have to go along with the luggage in the cargo area. You should purchase a crate that has been approved for air travel ahead of time, make reservations early, and plan your trip during a less busy season. Remember that like luggage, animal crates can get lost too.