If you’re like us, your dog is part of the family. And just like family, you want to spend as much time together as possible. That includes vacation time. Maybe every member of your furry family can’t take that Alaskan cruise or trip to Disney, but with a few extra considerations, vacation time can be just as fun and rewarding for you, your whole family, and your dog.
Before you go:
Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are all up-to-date and all tags, licenses and your current identification are attached and visible.
Ask your veterinarians for recommendations on animal hospitals at your destination or along the way.
Has your dog been microchipped? This is a great way to make sure identifying information stays with your dog even if their collar comes off. Ask your vet about this simple, painless procedure.
Does your pet get carsick? Is he an anxious traveler? If so, ask your vet about any medications or supplements that can ease queasy bellies or nerves.
Be sure your dog will have a safe, comfortable place to ride. Consider space for their kennel or a doggie seat belt if he’s the kind that likes to roam around the car. If you’re taking the kennel, make sure it’s secure and won’t roll around.
Plan ahead for a few additional stops to let your dog out of the car to stretch his legs and take care of business. And be a courteous dog owner; be prepared with some plastic bags to pick up behind him!
If you stop for lunch, refueling, refreshing, etc., don’t forget about your dog. He’ll likely need the same break, too. Now’s a good time for a small treat or the reintroduction of a toy that’s been out of circulation for a while.
When you do stop. don’t leave your dog in the car. The inside of your car can heat up to dangerous temperature levels much faster than you think it can.
If you’re camping or hiking, make sure your flea and tick prevention is up-to-date, and ask your veterinarian if any special seasonal precautions should be taken, or if there are any risk factors to consider based on the area you’ll be visiting.
When making reservations, confirm with your hotel that they are pet friendly. Check the chatrooms, reviews, etc., for the buzz on places with the best accommodations for pets.
With all that, you’ll still want to consider the following:
Will the trip or destination be ‘fun’ from your dog’s point of view? Will there be places for him to run, walk or play? Or, will he be cooped up in a hotel room all day while you’re out having all the fun? A sick or injured pet should most always stay at home. The stress of travel can prolong or worsen their condition. Be sure to check with your veterinarian.
If they can’t come along, make certain they’ll be well taken care of and stay on a healthy routine with a trusted pet-sitter, a well-known friend or relative who can spend quality time with them, or a veterinarian or kennel that will provide them with plenty of freedom and interaction.
What do you think? Do you travel with your pets? Share some of the tips you’ve picked up along the way that might make it easier for others to include their pet on their adventures or vacations!