Taking your dog on a vacation with you has a lot of things that you have to worry about. One of them is constantly thinking about your bellowed pet and where you left it behind. On the other hand, places, cars and other vehicles have not been built to cater to animal’s needs that much. So thinking about everything is highly important. First of all, you will have a lot more fun and will get more memorable moments if you decide to bring your pet. Secondly, you have to be smart about it and do your homework. Planning ahead with these best dog travel tips is the only way for both you and your dog to enjoy a great family vacation.
Best Dog Travel Tips for a Great Family Vacation
Generally speaking, all dogs act similarly when going on a trip. But there are some situations deepening on the type of breed and the individual characteristics of a dog. A Coton de Tulear will have different needs than another dog for instance. All in all, here are some tips that you have to consider when going on a trip with your family pet.
Crating Your Dog
This is probably the last thing that you would want to do. But in some situations it is necessary. It particularly goes when you are going on a trip with a plane and you have to put the dog in the cargo with other animals. But, some dogs really do not mind being crated and research shows that a lot of them actually feel safer that way. Yet there are some things that you can consider to make them feel relaxed and allow them to enjoy a better trip.
Make sure that your dog has plenty of exercise before going into the crate. If they are warned out, they will rest and enjoy the trip better. Make sure to remove all the things from the crate that can harm a dog. This specifically goes for leashes that the dogs carry. Present the crate to the dog in a positive manner so they adapt to it in an easier way. Then come back in about 15 minutes to check on them. This will not create separation anxiety and will cater to the dog’s needs.
Driving With a Dog
While it is still preferable to crate your dog while driving, sometimes you will not be able to do that. But if you can, it will prevent your dog from jumping around and moving and also falling down if you have to make a sudden stop. Whatever the case might be there are certain things that you have to watch for. One of them is not to feed the dog before the drive nor during the drive. Dogs are generally prone to motion sickness and it might make them nauseous during the drive if they ate a lot.
If you do give them snacks, make sure that you give them low calorie treats. Frequent breaks are also necessary. The dog will probably get nervous during a long drive, and by all accounts so will you. In order to let your dog relax a bit, make frequent stops and take the dog out for a walk and even play around with it for a little bit. It is also recommended that you do this because of bathroom breaks so your dog does not go on the seats of your car.
Taking a Dog on an Airplane
If you are forced to travel in an airplane and you still need to bring your pet, the most important thing to do is to check all the rules and regulations of the airline company. Different airlines will have different rules so before you embark on a journey make sure that you check them thoroughly. Some of them even require health certificates and there are additional fees that are payed. On the other hand, some of them do not really have a lot of requirements. Either way, check everything out before your start.
As for the dog’s needs, they are similar for when you take them in a car. Make sure that their blenders are empty before you go and do not feed them close to the take off. The same goes with exercise, make sure that you allow them to walk or run. It is best when they are tuckered up and they will most likely spend the whole trip laying down and resting.
To Medicate or not to Medicate
There are different kinds of sedatives and pharmaceuticals available for your dog’s needs. A lot of people use this when they go on a plane and a lot of them prefer doing this to their dogs to keep them calm. But there are two sides of this story and one of them is that you might start a chain of even which will not boast well for your dog. Your pet might start to depend on the pills too much, even when they are not traveling. There are other healthy ways to do this and you should try and avoid medicating your dog as much as possible.
Staying in a Hotel with a Dog
Traveling is one thing, but you also need to consider what happens when you get to your destination. If you are staying in a hotel, there are bunch of rules that hotels usually have about pets. Each hotel has a different policy and some of them do not even allow them. So the same as you are doing with an airline company you have to do with a hotel. You should research their rules or ask in advance, probably when you are booking a hotel. That way you will not have any unwanted situations on your hands and will be able to provide a good stay for you and your pet.
How to Keep your Dog Calm During a Trip
Dogs can sometime get distracted. This can easy if you trained your dog or if you know your dog. They usually have some favorite toys, blankets or various things that will keep them occupied during a trip. You can bring some of their favorite items and occupy them during the drive. Playing with them will make them cheerful and less anxious. It is the best way to make them calm and provide them with their needs.
Some Additional Tips
Dogs can be very territorial and are usually tied to the place where they live or where they are born. Once you reach the destination that you desired you have to introduce them to it. This means that you have to allow them to adapt to the new environment and let them explore a bit. This is why it is recommended that you go on a long walk with your dog just after you reach the hotel. It will ease their transition and allow them to understand the new place that they are in. Allow them to explore the place that they are going to stay in and the room where the family is going to be. All of this will allow them to adapt and to easily understand the new surroundings.