Traveling with your furry friend on your planned holiday vacation is the best way of ensuring it’s not left out of your fun activities. Remember, if you have them in your house, they’re like one of your kids and hence part of the family. Thus, bringing them along is fair enough instead of leaving them at a friend’s house or a shelter. However, getting your dog on your trip requires adequate preparations since they’ve unique requirements different from yours. So, read further for a complete guide with practical tips for taking your dog on holiday:
- Look For A Dog-Friendly Cottage
A getaway is enjoyable if you find a holiday home that allows you to bring pets. This way, you ensure it’s also happy instead of leaving it at home bored. Firstly, check for information online on dog-friendly cabins where you plan to take your trip. Most reliable websites usually give lists of pet retreat places. Indeed, finding a dog-friendly cottage transforms your dog’s vacation to the next page. Just make sure to book your room as early as possible.
In addition, check for the number of pets you’re allowed to have in your room. Some only accept one dog per guest, while others may allow two or more. So, if you have several dogs, search for a compatible cottage. You wouldn’t want to get to show up at a place only to realize your furry friends can’t be allowed in.
- Take Your Dog For Health Check-Ups
Before traveling, you must ascertain your dog is in good shape. You wouldn’t want your pet to fall sick during your vacation when you’re in the middle of nowhere with no vet clinics around. Thus, conducting health checks beforehand helps you avoid encountering preventable problems. Here are some of the measure health measures to put in place when journeying with pets:
- Ensure vaccinations are up to date: Check their vaccination schedule to determine how long it’s been since your dog had its last vaccine. If it’s long overdue, you must take it for one immediately before you travel. It’ll help prevent diseases they may get from insects like fleas or ticks.
- Confirm if they’re in good shape to travel: Some diseases usually take time before they can show signs. Thus, ask your vet to check your dog regularly to treat any hidden illnesses they may have before traveling.
- Obtain pet passports: Some countries may require carrying a pet passport if crossing borders. It’s a document with information on your dog’s health records, vaccinations, your pieces of information, and microchip information.
Overall, you must ensure that these things are checked. This way, you and your dog can have a stress-free holiday vacation anywhere you may be.
- Prepare Your Dog’s Travel Essentials
You must prepare your dog’s essentials beforehand as you’re planning to travel. These items will make their traveling venture seamless and happy, and it’s also hassle-free for you. There are many dog essentials you can bring, but below are some of them:
- A crate for your dog: Having a crate while traveling enables you to keep your dog safe. You can always buy one from pet shops within your locality. If you have a large dog, consider buying one that’s spacious, strong, and adequately ventilated. Or, if you have a small pet, buy one according to its size. If traveling by plane, you should know it’s a mandatory requirement.
- An identification item for your dog: When traveling with your dog, chances are high that you might lose your dog, especially in crowded areas. Therefore, you must purchase a leash or collar with your dog’s name, phone number, and name printed so anyone who finds your dog can contact you. Alternatively, you can take many pictures of your dog and store them in your bag. If it gets lost and you share the photos, someone who finds your dog can return them to you. Lastly, you can consider going for permanent identification markers like a microchip. If your dog gets lost, you can locate it through your phone.
- Ensure you have a dog seat belt: A dog seat belt can help keep your dog safe, especially when traveling by car. You’re sure they’ll always be safe no matter how rugged the road you’re traveling is.
- Pack enough dog food and water: Ensure you purchase enough dog food to last the trip. Of course, you might top up the reserves from local pet stores around your destination, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, carry enough water since they’ll need to stay hydrated.
- Carry water and food bowls: Once you’ve bought enough food, you should also have their drinking and food bowls. Remember, if your dog is used to eating from a bowl, it may be challenging to change the routine to something else. They may not eat well as they’re used to.
- Toys: If you’ve bought any toys for your dog at home, you should pack them in preparation for your trip. They’ll have something reminding them of the scent from home when traveling.
- First aid kit: A first aid kit helps you prepare for the accidents you may encounter during your trip, especially if you’re hiking, where you may face a lot of insects. You can speak to your vet to list all the first aid supplies you need when traveling with a dog.
- Poop pick-up bags: It’s always good practice to pick up after your dog. You wouldn’t want to have a problem with the locals where you’re planning to travel to. So, ensure you have enough poop pick-up bags to last your stay.
These are essential items you must have when planning to take your dog on holiday. Having them beforehand helps you avoid looking for the nearest pet shop whenever you realize you don’t have something.
- Practice With Short Trips
As you’re planning your big holiday, try to take short trips with your dog so it gets accustomed to traveling. You can take short trips around your neighborhood to assess your dog’s behavior. If you see they’re comfortable, you can increase the duration you’re with them in the car. However, if they can’t hold still, you can be sure they won’t handle the long trips.
- Plan For Bathroom Breaks
It’s always advisable to ensure your dog doesn’t consume food minutes or a few hours before the trip. If they eat a lot of food, they may feel like throwing up and defecating because of the vigorous shaking on bumpy roads. On the other hand, if you give them food before the trip, you should plan for poop breaks to prevent them from feeling uncomfortable.
You can schedule the approximate time they feel like going for poop breaks or notice if they’re agitated. Then, if you’re driving, take short breaks and walk until they feel comfortable enough to ease themselves, and you can continue with your trip.
- Know The Precautions To Take
Depending on the means of transport you’re planning to use on your holiday trip, you must be aware of all the precautions, rules, and regulations when traveling with a pet. The following are some of the things you must know when traveling by car, train, plane, or boat:
Car: When taking your dog on holiday by car, you should follow the measures below:
- Carry your dog’s medicine and administer it when they feel sick.
- Keep the car ventilated. Cars generally emit pungent smells, especially if the windows are rolled up. So, lower the windows to allow fresh air in the vehicle and avoid car sickness.
- Don’t let your dog drive in the back of an open truck; doing this helps to prevent any accidents that may occur to your furry animals.
- Don’t leave your dog inside a closed vehicle.
- Have a dog seat belt.
Train or Boat: Most trains, buses, and boats may have different rules on bringing along a pet. So, ask before you can get on one with your furry friend.
Airplanes: Different airlines have rules on what it takes to travel in their planes. Some of the items you may require are:
- Vaccination certificate: Most airlines require rabies vaccination certificates before you can travel with your pet on their plane.
- Some may require you to take responsibility for your dog.
- Know the number of pets you’re allowed to have.
- Check the plane’s temperature: It enables you to ensure your dog is comfortable; sometimes, it may be too hot or cold, which can be unfavorable to your furry friend.
You wouldn’t know what could happen to your dog during your trip. So, regardless of what means of transportation you’ll use, always come prepared by taking note of the points above.
- Search For Information On The Nearest Vet
It helps to look up information on the nearest vet clinics where you plan to spend your holiday. Some may be located far from the cottage you’re staying in, which may cause inconvenience. But if you find ones close to you, you can always take your dog to the vet if they get sick during your stay.
- Plan For Fun Activities When You Arrive
It’d be best to plan the activities you and your furry friend will undertake depending on where you plan to go. If it’s in an area with a beach, take a walk along the coast and play catch with it using a ball. Walking will also give your dog a relaxing environment if they experience any car sickness along the way.
Also, if you visit a site with other dogs, allow it to play and run around to enjoy itself. Alternatively, if you’re going hiking, don’t leave your dog behind in fear; something terrible may happen to it. They may also enjoy running around with you.
- Keep Your Dog’s Daily Routine
Continuing your dog’s daily routine is another way to enjoy the holiday. If you take a walk every morning with them, continue the norm even during your holiday. This way, your dog will not find it strange that you’re not doing your daily routine even when on a holiday trip. It’ll make them feel comfortable even when you’re in a different place.
Taking your dog on holiday gives you peace of mind since you’ll not constantly worry about whether they’re fine back at home. To make your travel experience seamless, look into dog-friendly cottages around the place you place you’re planning to visit. Also, ensure you carry all the doggy essentials needed for their comfort and fun. And you’re bound to enjoy your holiday.