Ten Tips For Traveling With Your Dog

Whenever possible, it is nice to include your dog during a family holiday. There can be no doubt that a dog-friendly vacation is far preferable to finding boarding accommodation. However, before setting off, it is advisable to make some provisions and you may wish to consider a few things. Below are ten tips for traveling with the four-legged member of your family.

1. Before taking your dog on any trip, it is advisable to have him, or her, reasonably well trained. To avoid a runaway dog in a strange place, it is essential that he, or she, understands the basic commands, such as come, stay and sit.

2. It is recommended that you take your dog to the veterinarian at least two weeks before you plan to travel. Your vet can ensure that your dog is in good health and has all necessary vaccinations.

3. Once you have established that your dog is in the picture of health, you should take all of his, or her, paperwork. In other words, ensure that you have your dog’s license, health certificate and proof of vaccinations.

4. If your dog suffers from carsickness or travel anxiety, it is a good idea to acclimatize him, or her, before you plan to travel. At first, you may choose to let your dog become accustomed to the car while it is motionless. Then start with small journeys of approximately 10 minutes. Make sure that you take your dog somewhere fun, like the park or beach. If he, or she, associates car journeys with a treat there will be less reluctance to travel. Never make your dog’s first car journey a trip to the vet.

5. Ensure that your dog is always wearing a sturdy collar with his, or her, identification attached. Your dog’s ID should have all the necessary contact details. Additionally, you may choose to include contact information for the hotel, motel or house that you are staying in while on vacation.

6. If you plan to stay in a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast, it is always wise to book well in advance. It can be hard to find residences that will allow pets and places for dogs can be limited.

7. On a long car journey, make sure to bring plenty of clean water and make sufficient stops for exercise. Whenever you let a dog out of the car to relieve itself, ensure that you clean up afterwards.

8. Never leave your dog alone in the car, especially in the summer. It only takes a matter of minutes for a dog to suffer life-threatening hypothermia. If your dog must be left in the car, ensure that one member of the family stays with him, or her.

9. Your dog may experience anxiety while away from its usual environment. Subsequently, it is a good idea to recreate ‘home’ whenever possible. In other words, feed your dog at the same time with his, or her, regular food. Take a walk at the normal time and, if possible, bring the dog’s bed. These familiarities will all help to relax your pet.

10. It is always advisable to take your veterinarian’s telephone number with you. In a non-emergency situation, this could prevent you from having to make an expensive trip to an unfamiliar vet.

Many dogs find journeys exciting and enjoyable experiences, but for some it can be anxiety-ridden and stressful. A vacation can be a wonderful time for the entire family, but it is important to ensure that your dog is safe, healthy and happy while traveling.