With summer right around the corner, families all over the country are planning fun vacations. Having your pet come along on the journey is a great way to strengthen your bond and spend time with your best furry friend. Before you go, you will need to take into consideration the pets themselves: their age, disposition, and daily routine all factor into whether or not you take them with you.
Here is a helpful breakdown of some things to consider so you can have a fun-filled, happy vacation that includes your dog!
Know Your Location
Once you know where you will be headed on vacation, it is time to get all the facts about the location you have selected. A little research can save you a lot of stress later! The good thing about traveling with pets is hotels and vacation rentals are more animal-friendly. A quick call to your lodging destination can help you determine whether the location just tolerates dogs or is truly pet-friendly You can also ask if there are any pet deposits you need to make.
What you can do on your trip will be determined by the places that your pet can go. This means that you will need to seek out activities that allow your dog or cat to be outside. This will also help you explore your vacation destination. Look for pet-friendly opportunities like restaurants with outdoor seating, parks, and light hikes. It will be more fun at the end of the day because you get to experience your vacation with your pet.
Getting Your Pup Prepped
The first thing you need to do if you are traveling by plane is to check out what your airline’s rules are regarding pet travel. You may be required to have a health certificate or other documentation, so it is a good idea to look into it before so you aren’t surprised. Also, talk to your vet to make sure they are healthy enough to travel by air. Your dog will most likely need to have a crate to travel in, so it is a good idea to crate your dog before you enter the craziness of the airport.
If your destination is abroad you need to check with that country for requirements specific to their region. On most airlines, only dogs that can fit under the seat are allowed to travel in the cabin. Larger dogs will have to travel in the cargo hold. Be sure to check with the airline before you book to make sure you are fully prepared.
If you can’t take your pet along on the plane with you, you can always bring along a custom stuffed plush that looks just like them. Companies like Petsies are creating these adorable cuddly stuffed animals that you can always take on the plane! This is a great option for young children that miss their pets while on the road as well.
Pack Up Your Pooch
So you have decided to bring your pet on the road with you, that’s great!
Make sure that you have all the basics packed like their beds, crates, leash, toys, water bowls, food, prescriptions, and bags to pick up after your pooch. Before you head out on your trip, make sure all of your pet’s tags, including his identification and rabies, are completely up-to-date. It is important to be prepared for anything. If an emergency happens you will want to have copies of medical records and vaccinations on hand. Bringing along a photo of what your pooch looks like is also a good idea.
Your dog is out of their comfort zone so remember to bring along items that are familiar to them. If they have a favorite toy that they always play with or a warm cozy blanket they like to sleep with be sure to bring those along. Simple things that feel like home can reassure your dog that everything is okay.
Another essential to prep your pup with is a microchip. If you haven’t already, having your dog microchipped can help you easily find your dog if they get lost on the trip. It is always good to prepare for the worst.
On the Road
Think about it this way, humans usually need a break every two and a half hours on a road trip, and the same rule applies to your pet. Make sure they have adequate breaks so they don’t get agitated or overtired. If you’re in a car it’s also good to spend a little time playing or walking during the break to get rid of some of that pent-up energy.
You’re away from home and that means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, and things your pet can get in to. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings wherever you go and scan your new environment for things your animals could ingest. Make sure you bring along plenty of toys to keep your pet entertained so he doesn’t chew on the furniture at the hotel. Observe them as you go and reward him for good behavior.
Another way to avoid discomfort for Fido is to stop feeding your pet within three to four hours of travel and give them plenty of water. You might wonder if it is a good idea to medicate your pet on the road but it actually can harm them. There are a lot of different factors that go into medicating your pet during travel, like air pressurization and temperature and it is better for their health not to. Always consult your vet for health information.
Have a Fantastic Trip
As a member of your family, your dogs love to be around you. Just because you are going on a trip doesn’t mean that your dog can’t. Use common sense and you and your family will love the addition of your pup as your new travel buddy!
Have you taken a pet on vacation? What was your favorite part? Leave us a comment below!