Traveling With Your Dog
Bringing your dog on the family vacation can make it even more fun for everyone, if you plan properly. Let’s go over some tips to make traveling with your puppy more enjoyable.
Health And Safety First:
- Have your dog checked out by your vet before you go on an extended trip. Make sure all his vaccinations are current, also bring all shot records with you.
Health certifications are required for airline travel.
- Keeping your dog happy and healthy make sure to bring a plenty of his regular food, a combination of wet and dry. Don’t assume that you will always be able to find his food when you travel. Don’t forget to bring bottled water not only for him, but also for your family, you can never have enough water. Also, don’t forget any medications he might need.
- Always be prepared for an emergency. Not only for your dog, but for your family too. Sometimes we just don’t think that anything can happen, so it’s good to be prepared. Look up the number of the nearest 24-hour veterinary and regular emergency hospital and put it into your cell phone, along with the regular office and emergency number for your veterinarian, just in case the vets need to speak with each other.
This way, should your dog need medical attention, you are prepared for any situation with all the necessary information on hand.
A crate is one of best ways to keep your dog safe in the car, plus it is required for airline travel. It can also keep your pet from getting into trouble in your hotel room or at your host’s home. Crates can be purchased at most pet supply stores.
Look for these features when purchasing:
- Big enough to let your dog stand, turn, and lie down.
- Make sure that it’s strong, with handles and grips. and free of interior protrusions.
- Leak-proof bottom covered with absorbent material.
- Air ventilation on both sides. Make sure that there is nothing to prevent airflow.
- Have it labeled “Live Animal”, with arrows showing upright position, plus have your name, address, and phone number.
- Make sure to fill the crate with a comfy mat, his favorite toy and a water bottle, and your dog is good to go.
If your puppy gets away from you during your trip, to increase the chances of getting him back, the thing to do is make sure that he can be properly identified:
- Always have a strong leash and collar. The collar should have the necessary identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. If you are going to be away for more than a few days, also, consider purchasing a second identification tag giving the location and phone number of where you will be stay.
- Having a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip is probably the best way to go.
- Have a recent picture of your dog with you, as well as a copy of his health records listing all of his recent vaccinations.
Best Practices When Traveling With Your Dog
- Plan for potty breaks. Even before you go on vacation start teaching him to be able to go on different surfaces, not just grass! Being able go on different surfaces like, concrete and gravel will help stop the possibility of having accidents on the road. Make sure to bring a supply of potty bags to clean up.
- Have Games and toys. Making sure your puppy doesn’t get bored, is like keeps kids entertained, have a few new toys – and a few old favorites. You might want to include a puzzle-type toy to keep him occupied.
- Pack food and water. Ask your veterinarian about giving your dog only bottled water while away from home to make sure that he doesn’t get an upset stomach. Check with your veterinarian before you leave for remedies or suggestions, in case a stomach or digestive problem does occur. Also, pack a few days’ worth of your dog’s food. Plus, instead of using his usual bulky bowls, buy collapsible ones and let him get used to using them one week or so before you travel.
- Make sure to find out in advance which hotels or motels during your trip allow dogs. Many do not, or have size restrictions.
- If your dog is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect other guests, staff, and the property.
- Make sure to keep your puppy as quiet as possible.
- Do not leave the dog alone. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.
- Always ask the management where you should walk your dog, and pick up after him. Do not leave any mess behind.
- Remember that one bad experience with a dog may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.
- Puppy-proof the vacation home or room. Before you let your dog run free in his home away from home, check to make sure that there is nothing that could be potentially harmful to your dog.
Remember, it’s a vacation. Traveling can be stressful, but a calm owner usually has a calm pet. Animals pick will up on our stress, so if you’re stressed, your dog could show the same signs too.