To many dog owners, having their four-legged friend in their family is almost like having another child! The relationship they can generate is one of mutual companionship and love. That is why for some owners, they can never consider going on a vacation without their dog. Traveling with a pet isn’t straightforward, but there are ways that you can adapt to have them come along with you instead of going into a kennel.
Transporting Your Dog
The first thing to consider is how you are going to travel on your vacation. Whether it’s by plane, car or train, you should consider how you will safely allow your dog to travel with you. If you are traveling by car, then you should invest in a dog harness that clips into the seatbelt. It will not only prevent your dog from sliding off the seat in an accident, but it will also prevent them from hurting anyone else in the car. Another option is to fit a barricade and have the dog in the trunk. However, you should make sure that there is enough room for them as well as ventilation and water. If you are traveling by plane, you should contact the airline as they have strict guidelines on pet transport. You also need an authorized crate or carrier to keep the dog in. If you are going to Europe, you might also need to obtain a pet passport before you travel.
Does Your Dog Like to Travel?
Not every dog likes traveling, although many will be ok on short trips. If you have never taken your dog on a long trip before, then it is a sensible idea to try it out first. Take them on a day trip somewhere so you can see how they react. It will also get them used to being in the car for a long period. If they are unhappy or show signs of distress, then it might not be a good idea to take them with you. If you need to take them along, then your vet can sometimes prescribe a sedative for them to take so they don’t get distressed during the trip. Although that is ok for flights and trains, it isn’t so good for road trips, especially if they are going to last a few days.
Breaks and Toilet Stops
Just as you need to take toilet breaks, so does your dog. It is easier to do if you are traveling by car as you can schedule regular breaks into your trip. The best place is to find somewhere such as a park or a fenced area where your dog can run around and stretch their legs. It can be slightly more difficult if you are traveling by train or plane, so you should ensure that your dog has been to the toilet before you travel. If you are stopping to take a break yourself or to eat, you need to make sure that you don’t leave your dog in the car, especially in hot weather. Some roadside cafes have areas that you can leave your dog while you’re inside, this is a good place if there is shade available.
Where Can You and Your Dog Stay?
To find the best places for you and your dog to stay, you should do plenty of research on the internet. You can usually find all types of dog-friendly accommodation including farms, camping sites and bed and breakfast. Farms are generally the best for your dog as they are often allowed to run around. Before you book, you should look at their rules for dogs as this can differ from place to place. For example, do they allow pets of your dog’s size and breed? Do you need to take your own bedding? Is there somewhere they can play and exercise? These things can be important, especially on a long road trip. No matter where you decide to stay, it is a great idea to make sure there are some trails nearby that you can use. You don’t want your dog to be kept inside or in a small area all the time, being able to get out for a long walk will be beneficial to you both.
Your Dogs Health
Just like you, your pet can get sick at any time, so you need to be prepared. Check for local pet hospitals near where you are staying and on the route if traveling by car. It is also a good idea for you to take your dog for a check-up before you travel, just to make sure they are in good health. If they do need to take any regular medication, then take enough with you to last longer than the length of the trip in case you lose some or get delayed. It is also important that you ensure your dog is free from fleas or ticks before you travel. If there are fleas or ticks on your dog, then you should treat them plus any other animals such as cats in your home. You should research how long before fleas die on animals so you can treat them and know they are clear before you travel. It also doesn’t hurt to take some flea treatment with you when you go, just in case there are fleas at the place you are staying.
While you are away on your holiday, there might be places where you want to go that your dog isn’t allowed. If you want to spend some time without your dog investigating these places, then see if there are any local pet sitting services nearby. Sometimes, the place where you are staying will offer this service or know a local person that does. It is a good idea to check this before you travel to make sure.
There is a lot to think about when taking your dog on vacation, although, as long as you do plenty of research before you go, you and your dog should have a great time.