If you like to travel, it can be really difficult to do so when you have to leave your dog behind. Dogs are an important part of our lives, part of our families, and leaving them somewhere for a week or so, especially if you don’t know the place, can take some of the fun out of your trip. That is why it is becoming more and more common for people to take their dogs with them. However, you do have to be concerned about the health and safety of your dog when you are traveling.
When you take your pup on the road, you have to plan for everything, including where you will stay, how you will keep your dog busy, and where he will sleep at night.
Instead of finding a pet sitter or boarding your dog, try to include him in the choices that you make when it comes to travel.
Know That It Takes Time
It is important to understand that planning for your trip will take longer when you have to take your pet into consideration. You will have to do more research into everything you do, from where you stay to where you eat. Even if something says that it is animal friendly online, you may want to call and make sure that your dog is welcomed there – especially if you have a bigger dog. It is worth it to take this extra step rather than get somewhere and find out that your dog isn’t welcome.
Take Care of Small Details First
If you want to take your dog with you on a trip, you need to take care of some of the small details first. They include:
- Going to the vet to get a clean bill of health
- Updating any vaccinations
- Microchipping your dog
- Ensuring his collar has your information
- Attend basic training classes
By taking care of these little details, you will be able to enjoy yourself that much more.
Getting Where You Are Going
If you travel by air, you are going to have to go through a bunch of hoops – and there are tons of horror stories out there about taking your dog on planes. Some airlines will allow you to take your dog onto the plane with you, especially if you have a service dog or a small dog. However, large dogs almost always have to fly under the plane, which is not a great trip for them.
Often, the best choice will be taking your dog by car. Most dogs have at least ridden in a car a few times, even if it is just to go to the vet. Some dogs will have anxiety when in the car, so taking short trips for a few weeks before your main trip will be helpful. There are some medicines that you can take with you to help calm your dog down, but you should look into more natural options.
One thing you do have to ensure that you have is a dog car seat. This will keep the dog safe (and make him feel secure) and keep you safe as well. When your dog gets bored or anxious, he might want to roam around the car. A dog car seat will keep him in place.
Make a Pack
If you are ready to travel, especially by car, you can pack up everything you need in advance so that you don’t have to make your dog spend anymore time in the car than he needs to spend there. Some of the things you want to include in your pack are: toys, food, treats, blankets, doggy waste bags, crate, medications, medical records, and anything else that will make a hotel room feel like your home.
Stick to the Plan
Before you go on your trip, there are some things you want to plan for – namely, bathroom breaks, water breaks, and some time for your dog to run off some of the energy that he built up while sitting down. You can plan this for rest stops or even parking lots, just make sure that you are careful about other cars and dogs in the area.
Another thing to look for? Animal hospitals or vets along your pathway. You never know when something might go wrong.
The most important thing about traveling with your dog is that you always plan and stay prepared, no matter what. Advanced planning will make it so that you can handle any situation that life throws at you.
The other most important thing that you can do is buy from pre-approved, crash-tested car seats for doggies, no matter where you go or how you travel.