Dogs are a part of the family, so when you’re headed on vacation, it’s only natural for your dog to come too! Traveling with your pet can be a fun experience for you both, but there’s also a lot that can go wrong if you’re not careful.
Take these steps to avoid problems on your next dog-friendly getaway.
There’s not much point traveling with your dog if he’s going to be stuck in a hotel room the whole time! So, look for destinations with plenty to do — whether they have two legs or four. Public lands are a perfect choice if you’re eager to get outdoors. While not all state and national parks allow pets, many do, as do all national forests and Bureau of Land Management lands.
Don’t forget to check hotel and restaurant pet policies before booking. More and more places accept pets, but you shouldn’t assume Fido is welcome without asking.
Traveling in the cargo hold can be dangerous for dogs, especially short-nosed breeds like pugs. Always opt to fly your pet in the cabin if possible. Each airline has its own pet regulations, so you’ll want to research airline policies before purchasing a ticket and notify the airline that you’re traveling with a dog. Keep in mind that airlines require a certificate of health and proof of vaccination before permitting a dog onboard, so schedule a visit to your vet before the trip.
Driving is almost always better than flying when traveling with dogs. Instead of spending hours in cramped, crowded quarters, your dog can ride comfortably in the backseat and enjoy regular stops along the route. When traveling by car, secure your pet in the backseat instead of letting it roam free. As cute as it may be, a dog riding shotgun isn’t safe.
A pet-friendly getaway requires the same supplies you use at home: a leash, food and treats, bowls (collapsible bowls are a lifesaver while traveling), a toy for entertainment. You also need gear specific to your vacation. Dog boots protect paws on snowy trails and city streets, a dog backpack lets your pup carry his supplies in the backcountry, and a canine first aid kit prepares you for minor mishaps. Learn more about the must-have adventure gear for your pup here.
Strange environments can turn the calmest of dogs squirrelly. To prevent an escape away from home, take extra care to secure your dog while traveling. Leash your pet before opening car doors, crate your dog when leaving him in a hotel room, and don’t let your dog off-leash unless in a fenced area. If your car has power windows, use the childproof lock function to prevent your pup’s paws from lowering a window enough to jump out.
Dogs adore exploring, but even the most enthusiastic adventurers get stressed out after a few nights of sleeping in strange places. Soothe your pet’s nerves while traveling by maintaining routines as much as possible. Feed your dog at the same time as usual, take walks, and pack a dog bed that smells like home. If you have to leave your dog alone for an extended period, exercise first so your dog is tired and calm.
Whether you’re traveling near or far, going by car or by plane, vacationing with a dog requires more planning than traveling alone. Don’t let that scare you away from planning a dog-friendly vacation! As long as you follow these tips, you’ll enjoy a fantastic trip with your dog by your side.
Article by Nick Burton Ourbestdoggo.com
Image via Unsplash