So, you’re planning a monumental trip, and you’d love nothing more than to bring along your favorite canine companion to share in your adventures. Should you do it?
Image Via: Les Kelso
Taking your dog along can make the family vacation more fun for everyone, if you plan carefully. Here are some trip tips to make traveling with your dog enjoyable.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Health Checks. Bring your dog to the vet’s for a check up before going on an extended trip. Make sure all his vaccinations are up to date; shot records with you. Health certifications are required for airline travel.
- To keep your dog healthy as you travel, bring along a supply of his regular food and some local, or bottled, water. Be sure to bring any medications he needs.
- Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.
Keeping Your Dog Happy on the Road
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- Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots.
- Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip.
- Keep your dog safe while driving. According to the Whole Dog Journal, the safest place in the car for your dog is within a secure crate or a doggy seat belt harness.
- Chew toys make car rides a lot more fun. Dogs are like toddlers sometimes — they can get bored and antsy in the back seat. Protect your sanity, and perhaps your seat cushions, by investing in a stash of chew toys for the trip. Whether your dog loves real bones, nylabones, or kongs stuffed with peanut butter, you can keep a stash of his favorites hidden away.
- Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog.
Traveling By Plane
- Each airline has its own set of rules for canine air travel. You should call for information and make arrangements well in advance of your trip.
- All airlines require health certifications and proof of vaccinations.
- Some airlines will not transport animals when it is extremely hot or cold.
- Dogs must be in an airline-approved crate when transported as cargo. Small dogs may ride under the seat in a crate or carrier.
Where to Stay with Your Dog
- Find out in advance which hotels or motels at your destination or on your route allow dogs. Many do not, or have size or breed restrictions.
- If your dog is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect other guests, staff and the property.
- Keep your dog as quiet as possible.
- Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.
- Ask the management where you should walk your dog, and pick up after him. Do not leave any mess behind.
- Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.
Final Thoughts on Traveling with Dogs
Traveling with your dog is a truly rewarding experience. he important thing is to make accommodations that reflect your pup’s needs. A trip that focuses on outdoor adventure will probably garner the most tail-wagging, but when it comes down to it, your dog just wants to be by your side.