Going on a vacation is a great way to unwind from the day-to-day stress of work. If you’re a dog owner, you might want to take your pooch along with you to make the trip even more enjoyable. You might not know what you need to do to bring them along, though. So, we’ve created this guide to help you bring your dog on vacation with you!
Calculate how much dog food you need to bring to feed your pooch every day you’ll be away and don’t forget their food bowl, too! You’ll also need to bring a water bowl and if you’re planning on having lots of outdoor adventures, there are plenty of travel-specific water bowls to choose from. Pack some of your dog’s favorite toys and a dog bed to keep them calm and happy in this new environment. You might also want a travel crate to prevent them from getting into trouble while you’re away from the hotel or rental home.
Have Accurate Identification
It’s very important to have accurate identification on your dog’s collar in case they get lost. Include your pet’s name, your name, phone number, and proof of rabies vaccination. If your dog doesn’t already have a microchip, get this as well. It might be a good idea to bring a second collar and I.D. as well, in case the first one’s lost on an adventure. Finally, you should bring a photograph of your dog to distribute if they’re lost.
Go to a Vet Check-Up
Before traveling, you’ll want to make sure your dog is in good health. Schedule a check-up with your veterinarian and explain what you’re planning to do on this trip. Your vet can provide guidance for your trip and explain if there are any potential problems that could arise. When you’re at the vet, grab copies of their health records to bring with you, too. Lastly, you should look up veterinary hospitals near your destination in case an emergency arises.
Take Your Pooch on a Test Drive
If you’re not sure how your dog will respond to an extended car ride, go for a test drive. Drive around for an hour or two before returning home and see how your dog reacts. Some dogs get anxious on long drives and ending a drive at a strange location can further increase their anxiety. If they don’t do well on long drives, you might need to go for a few test drives to get them used to the car before taking them on vacation.
Book Dog-Friendly Hotels
Not all hotels and house rentals allow for pets. Before booking any accommodations, give them a call or research their website for their rules on pets. If you need some help, there are websites where you can easily look up dog-friendly hotels at your destination.
Schedule Dog-Friendly Activities
Being in a new environment, you shouldn’t leave your dogs alone for extended periods of time. That’s why you need to schedule dog-friendly activities for your vacation. Going out to dinner on your own should be fine, but they shouldn’t be alone for more than an hour or two. Many outdoor activities will be dog-friendly but many indoor activities will not. To help you, those same websites that help you book hotels also list dog-friendly activities at your destination.
Tips for Flying with Dogs
Flying to your destination with your dog has many more hoops to jump through than driving, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. First, you need to verify that your dog is healthy enough to fly. Your veterinarian can help with this and ensure that your dog has all of the required vaccinations to fly. They can also prescribe tranquilizers to sedate your dog during the flight if needed. Next, you should check the U.S. DoT pet guidelines to make sure you’re following all of the legal regulations. Then, you should check with the airline you are considering flying with. They can place additional restrictions on how you can travel with your dog. Make your reservations early, as the number of animals permitted on flights is limited and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis!
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