Bringing your dog along for a family vacation can be fun for everyone, and reduces the guilt of leaving your beloved pooch behind. That being said, it complicates the logistics of your trip slightly and will require some extra planning.
If you’re planning on taking Fido with you on your next adventure, you’ll need to plan around his needs. Here are the five top tips for traveling with a dog.
Find Dog-Friendly Accommodations
Travelers perceive finding dog-friendly accommodations as one of the most significant challenges of taking a trip with a pet. Fortunately, there are a lot of accommodations providers who see this challenge as a business opportunity and other pet owners who relate to the struggle.
Josh Williams knows the struggle of finding dog-friendly accommodations all too well. That’s why he started Dog Friendly Retreats. “ I always remember the difficulty my parents would have trying to find accommodation accepting dogs,” says Williams, “so much so that we often ended up camping instead” (Source: Dog Friendly Cottages in Devon | Dog Friendly Retreats). Using a listing resource like Dog Friendly Retreats can help you find the perfect place to relax with your pooch.
Know the Legalities
If you’re planning on traveling across borders or via commercial travel methods, there may be regulations and legal issues to consider. Many countries and airlines require health certificates from licensed veterinarians, indicating that the dog is healthy enough to travel and up to date on their vaccinations. Some countries, unfortunately, have breed bans to watch out for as well.
Take some time to understand the rules about traveling with your dog, and what that process will entail. You’ll also need to understand an airline’s policies on crate quality and measurements, and connecting flights if applicable.
Invest in Proper Identification
If your dog isn’t microchipped, consider having this done before they go. Additionally, make sure that they have a sturdy collar with proper identification and contact information. It can be scary to think of these things, but it’s better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario when venturing far from home with your pet.
Pack a Bag for Them
Your canine travel companion should have a bag of their own. For one, they’ll need food and dishes. They’ll also need some things to keep them entertained, such as chew-toys. Bring along treats to help encourage them throughout the journey, especially when they’ll be cooped up for a while during transport.
Make this trip a unique experience for them by buying new toys to keep them entertained. From Kongs to snuffle mats, there are some great toys for doggos that will keep them occupied. You’ll also want to include a blanket or t-shirt from home to provide a comforting scent that will help them stay calm.
Plan for Bathroom Breaks
If you have an older dog, you may have thought your potty training days were over. However, traveling adds unique challenges, even with the most well-trained pooch. Take time to teach your dog to relieve itself on puppy pads, especially if they’ll be cooped up for extended periods during transport.
If you’re traveling by car, plan to take bathroom breaks accordingly. Never withhold water from your dog to try and offset the need for breaks – everyone, both human and canine, will benefit from adequate hydration and the chance to stretch their legs. Additionally, if your dog is used to roaming free and has come to value their privacy, get them used to taking bathroom breaks while on a leash.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to travel, that’s not the case. With time, your pet will become an experienced traveler and a valuable part of the memories you make while on vacation.