Traveling with your dog can make any vacation more special and memorable. Having a successful, pleasurable trip with your dog requires careful planning to eliminate any problems or accidents. Since dogs are part of the family, it’s only natural to want them to come along during vacations as long as we can provide them with the safety and comfort that they deserve.
We’ve done the work for you by creating a comprehensive guide covering the essential information on traveling with dogs:
Is Your Dog Fit To Travel?
Just because you have all the resources to travel with your pooch doesn’t always mean that they should come along for the ride. If your dog is pregnant, sick, or injured, it’s best that they stay behind under close supervision of a trusted sitter. Alternatively, it’s also an option to entrust your dog to daycare centers as well as clinics that can give them the care they need while you’re away.
Some dogs become easily agitated, overwhelmed, or afraid when they constantly have to deal with new environments and people. Likewise, some dogs also suffer emotionally when they have to face disruptions in their routine. If you feel that your dog exhibits these characteristics, it’s in their best interest to stay home instead.
Before deciding to take your dog on vacation with you it’s also important to consider their comfort and security. Will they have to be locked up in a hotel room all day while you go out, or will they be coming along to enjoy the outdoors with you? Your dog also deserves to be placed where they will be most comfortable, so these things should be carefully thought out.
If you’re sure that your dog will be enjoying the vacation as much as you but you’re less than confident about their manners, this is the time to let your pup catch up on training. It’s recommended that dog owners send their dogs to training school before a trip since improper canine behavior may get you in trouble.
Crating your dog is highly recommended if you are going on a road trip. Crates will give your dog a safe environment to relax while minimizing any distractions during the drive. In the event that you have to brake suddenly, a crate also prevents your pup from rolling around.
Dogs are more vulnerable to motion sickness, so it’s best to avoid feeding them too much before or during a car ride. Short breaks are ideal for feeding your dog with small snacks, preferably those that are high in protein. Breaks while on the road are also a good time to let your dog out of the car so that they are encouraged to walk a little to release energy and stretch their muscles. Never leave your dog alone in a parked car especially in warm temperatures. Car interiors heat up easily, causing dogs to suffer from dehydration if left inside.
Airlines aren’t designed to accommodate traveling dogs, but these days many already have programs in place that allow owners to take their pets along. Before booking a ticket, we recommend dog owners do research to inquire about airline regulations for traveling with dogs. The last thing you want is to arrive at the airport and be surprised about additional requirements that you weren’t prepared for, which can cause a serious obstacle to your vacation plans.
Some airlines will require a health certificate and will also have other rules to comply with. It’s likely that your dog will travel in a crate. Great travel dog crates are made by an array of good brands. Most people care more about having a great luggage brand for themselves instead of caring about the brand of the travel crate – and that’s OK. Just be sure to check product reviews to make sure buyers are happy before you purchase.
Just like with road travel it isn’t advisable to let your dog travel on an airplane with a full stomach; ideally they should fast for 6 hours before getting on the airplane. It’s also important that your dog has access to clean drinking water for the duration of the flight.
Just like with airlines, you’ll need to do some research to find hotels and accommodation options that allow pets. Traveling with pets is already considered common, so it shouldn’t be an issue to find a decent hotel which will welcome both you and your dog. Hotels that welcome pets can also provide recommendations on sights and activities that you can enjoy together with your dog.
While On Vacation
Upon arrival to your accommodations, take your dog out on a long walk. Doing so will calm them down, but if you find them growling at people, remember that this is normal behavior from dogs who are in a new environment.
Remember that dogs will always be creatures of habit, and this means that they will thrive on the same routine that they had back home even if they’re traveling with you. Make sure that you allocate time to take them out on walks, give them fresh water and good food, and allow them to play. It’s recommended to feed your dog the same food they eat at home as much as possible to avoid upsetting their stomach.
Keep an eye out on your dog while you’re exploring new places. There will be a lot of new smells, sights, sounds, and things that your pooch will be curious about. To avoid having them accidentally swallow things that aren’t good, it’s best to be diligent about your surroundings at all times.
Be a good example by always following leash laws, picking up after your dog, and never leaving your dog alone in a hotel room if they bark a lot.
Traveling with your dog can be great fun, but it’s always best to be as prepared as possible wherever you go. The more research you do before a trip, the more likely you’ll have a seamless and enjoyable vacation.