It’s hard to leave your dog behind when you’re going on a vacation. It inconveniences friends that help you with pet sitting and shelters can be expensive. Also, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to share the experience of travel with a dog. It could be done, but it requires some preparation, depending on the breed of the dog, length of travel, and the amount of effort you’re willing to put in. Plan ahead and ask don’t be afraid of asking the vet about any concerns you might have.
Planes : The first step is to call the airline and check up on their rules about flying with pets. Some airlines simply won’t allow it, while others have detailed rules that you have to follow. This means that the dog will probably need to get a certificate from a vet and that creates aren’t negotiable. At the same time, you should start preparing the dog for the trip. It’s best to have them fast for six hours before the trip and not to travel on a full bladder. Also, don’t have a big goodbye scene before the departure – it will only confuse and upset the dog.
Car Rides: Car rides are much less stressful for a dog than plane trips, but they can get long and boring which, in turn, makes the dog restless. Prepare the dog by taking it on a couple of shorter rides before the big day. If you’re traveling abroad don’t forget to bring the dog’s veterinarian record with you. Never leave the pet alone in the car under any circumstances and make sure the vehicle is well-ventilated during the entire ride. It may seem like a good way to do it – but don’t let the dog put its head out the window.
Travel kit: It’s best to prepare a small kit of travel necessities before the trip and be ready for whatever complications that might arise. The kit should contain a bit more food than you actually might need, a couple of treats to reward good behavior, and obviously, some toys and blankets. All of these items can be ordered online using Net to Pet services. It may also be a good idea to bring a bowl and enough water because the ride itself will probably make the dog more thirsty than usual.
Safety: If passengers need to wear a seat belt, it’s only logical for dogs to be properly restrained and therefore safe during the ride. Smaller dogs should be transported in containers. However, this could be a traumatic experience for them, so make sure to put a comfort blanket in there or at least a familiar toy. For larger dogs, it’s best to purchase a harness that can be attached to the back of the driver’s seat. Make sure the harness provides enough mobility and, if you go with this type of restraints, make a few more stops to let your pet run around and slowly get used to the ride.
Hotels: Again, it’s a good idea to do a lot of preemptive research. Find out what’s the policy of your hotel regarding pets and stick to it. Take your dog for a long walk before you reach the hotel – that will keep it calm and try not to encourage barking while you’re in there – it’s rude to the other guests even if they are dog lovers as well. A pet-friendly hotel will have all the accommodations prepared.
A vacation or a short trip could be even more fun with your pet around. Just have in mind that this is stressful for the dog as well and prepare everything before the trip. After a few trips, the dog will get used to it and it and things will get easier.
Written By : Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys finding great travel deals for her and her family.