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Making Sure Your Dog Enjoys Their First Family Vacation

40% of dog owners take their pet pooch with them when they go on their travels, according to the American Pet Products Association. As a brand new dog owner, you’re sure to want to take your new furry friend on vacation with you rather than leaving them home alone. But to ensure that your dog has just a great a time as the rest of your family on your trip, it’s crucial that you take these following factors into consideration.

Prepare for the trip

Whether you’re traveling by plane or by car, you need to spend time preparing your dog for the long journey ahead. For safety purposes, your dog will likely need to spend the journey in a carrier. You can get them used to the carrier by leaving it in your sitting room with the door open and your dog’s favorite blanket in it so that they can go in and out of it as he pleases. If you’re traveling by plane, try to find an airline that will allow you to travel with your dog in the cabin. Shelter dogs are prone to separation anxiety, so it’s best to keep your furry companion by your side in the plane if you’re permitted to do so.

Pack their prized possessions 

Your dog will be most comfortable with his own belongings around him, so when you’re packing your bags, don’t forget to pack goodies for your dog, too. Their bed, favorite toy, blanket, food bowl, treats, and normal brand of food are a must. However, it’s important to remember to keep all of your dog’s food items separate from your other family member’s belongings, to avoid cross-contamination.

Millions of children have food allergies and the smallest amount of an allergen can trigger an allergic reaction in them. Kids are already at increased risk of an allergen-flare up when they’re on vacation due to the different foods on offer. To keep your family safe on vacation, it’s best to store your dog’s food in a sealed container out of reach of your kids—  as it’s common for allergens like wheat, gluten, and corn to be mixed into dog food.

Book dog-friendly accommodation

There’s no point traveling all the way to your vacation destination if you’re dog isn’t permitted in your room with you. Many hotels allow dogs to stay but they often have restrictions on the size of the dog and number of pets allowed. To avoid any problems when you arrive, do your homework and make sure your dog will be welcome in your final selection of accommodation. It’s also worth booking a dog-friendly hotel that offers special doggy services such as playdates, and pamper sessions so that if you want to pop out without your hound for an hour or two, you know they’re in good hands.

Your first family vacation with your newly adopted dog is going to be an exciting time for you all. But to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible, you should spend a little time getting everything in perfect order before you head off on your trip.

Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash