Travels are exciting and wonderful experiences, and most frequently you want to share them with the ones who are closest to you. Your furry four-legged friend is also a part of your family; and unless you have a trustworthy person to take care of your dog while you are not home; it is not a bad idea to take them with you. However, this brings a whole slope of new challenges into planning and executing the trip. If you have firmly decided you want your furry companion to go with you on the trip, you need to be aware of all the difficulties you will face in every stage of the trip and learn about the ways to overcome them. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about traveling with dogs, so read on.
Essential Tips on Traveling with Dogs
Do a trial trip
If you have never before taken your pet on the road with you, you should know that the first time is always the hardest, and you can never be sure how the dog will behave when exposed to that amount of stress. That’s why it is a good idea to plan a short trip first to see how your dog is handling the transport and the unfamiliar environment. If everything goes well and the trip wasn’t a complete fiasco, you can feel safe to try again, even on a longer distance.
Choosing the transport
Depending on how far your destination is; you will need to choose the transport that meets the needs of your dog while traveling with dogs. Both air and car travel have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what you need to know:
- Traveling by car is usually the best way to travel with your dog, especially if you own your own automobile and your dog has already had the chance to ride with you when you were going to the park or to the vet. If not, you should start some short trial trips as soon as possible. You should know that anxiety over riding in car is pretty frequent in dogs, more so if they associate the ride with unpleasantness such as vet visits. Short, frequent rides to the park and the dog supply store could help. If you have decided to travel by car, take precautionary measures like getting dog medications and acquiring a dog car seat or carrier.
- Air travel with dogs has many challenges. One of the biggest ones is that they are too often considered as cargo by the airlines, which is not a very pleasant experience for the dogs. If you have a small dog, some airlines may allow you to take your pet with you in a carrier and keep it under the seat. Also, a neat alternative is to opt for a pet-only airline that allows dogs to fly in the main cabin. These small charter flights are available in limited number of cities, so you should get informed before you make your decision.
Preparation is half the battle
Preparing your dog for a trip includes a lot of things, ranging from a visit to the vet to choosing the essentials to bring with you. Here is a list of things you should pay attention to:
- Pay a visit to the vet to get some useful tips for handling the travel. The vet should also check your dog’s health and do some checkups like worm control. You should also ask for some anxiety medications if they are needed.
- If the veterinarian determines your dog has a problem with fleas, you should get a quality flea treatment for dogs. Besides treating your dog at home, you should also pack it for your travel in case of emergency.
- Pack the essentials your furry friend will need during the trip and when you get there. Those are grooming supplies, crate/kennel, water bowl, dog food and treats, one or two toys, dog bed and blanket, bags to pick up waste, first aid kit, and a leash.
- Be sure to bring your dog’s medical records and vaccine history; as well as a health certificate you can obtain from the vet.
- It is essential to make a list of veterinary hospitals and rest stops along your trip if you are driving. Also, you should learn about veterinarian hospitals near your accommodation.
Choosing where to stay
Pet-friendly accommodations are becoming more and more popular these days. However, not all resorts are equipped for dogs, so you need to check with the owners/receptionists before you arrive.
- A pet-friendly hotel is not just one that merely allows a dog to stay there, it should welcome it too. Ask the receptionist whether they have doggie day care, special dog beds and other pet commodities.
- Bed and breakfasts and inns are not normally equipped for dogs; but there are some that are pet-friendly, so it might take some research to find the right one.
- If you are planning on camping, you have a lot of freedom in adapting the accommodation to your pet. Just ask if the campground allows dogs.
Although it has its fair share of challenges, traveling with dogs isn’t impossible. This guide should help you make your trip as stress-free and pleasant as it can be.