Traveling with a pet can be a rewarding experience for the entire family. But, like any great adventure, it takes a little extra planning and footwork to make that happen.
The Barking Lot lists nine tips below that can help eliminate common trip-taking pitfalls and ensure this trip is enjoyable for the whole family.
Can Your Dog Handle the Trip
Sometimes when planning for a vacation, in an effort to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s, we forget to evaluate whether our four-legged friend is ready for the trip.
If you’re traveling by car, you should be aware of a few basic things: how long can your pet stay comfortably inside his crate, how often he needs to stop for bathroom breaks and if he’s prone to car sickness.
To help, experts suggest taking your dog on short car trips before you leave, bringing along his favorite toys and minimizing any stress and anxiety about the trip.
Take a Quick Trip to the Vet
It’s always a good idea to make sure your dog is cleared for travel by the vet. Your pet might be getting routine check-ups anyway, but it’s especially important to have them done before going out of town. This usually includes a physical exam, vaccination and health screening.
Check His Tags
One other detail that often gets overlooked is the renewal of tags. Unfortunately, dogs wander off or need to be identified by you during travel. Make sure your pooch’s tags have up-to-date information prior to leaving and that their microchip is registered and current.
Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations
This is probably one of the most important things you can do minimize stress and frustration when traveling with a pet. Research hotels that are known to be pet friendly, check reviews, ask friends. Some places charge additional fees for pets. If you’re not taking advantage of dog boarding services, be prepared to shell out a little more cash to make Fido feel at home.
Pack What’s Necessary
If your pet is on a special diet, bring extra food along so you don’t run out on the trip. Include items that remind him of home like his water bowl or doggie bed. Don’t forget to pack medication, if he needs it.
Bring Along Puppy Pads
These are great if you plan to be on the road for a while. Use puppy pads to line your dog’s crate to contain any accidents.
Invest in a Doggy Car Seat or Harness
If you’re driving and don’t want to use a crate, a doggy car seat or harness helps keep your dog seated and secure during the ride.
Find a Vet That’s Local
It might seem like overkill, but in the event of an accident, you should be able to take your dog to a safe, reliable facility.
Never Leave Your Pet Unattended
The last thing you want for your dog to be lost in a city you don’t know. Keep your dog on a leash and remember to never leave him in a hot car.