Your vacation won’t be perfect if you know that your Dog at home or your friend’s house is sitting on the front door and looking for you and your family to come back. Why don’t we spend a little time to research, prepare then make the happy trip for your whole family. Here are some tips we would share:
- HEALTH AND SAFETY :
- Bring your dog to the vet’s for a check up before going on an extended trip. Make sure all his vaccinations are up to date; shot records with you. Health certifications are required for airline travel.
- To keep your dog healthy as you travel, bring along a supply of his regular food and some local, or bottled, water. Be sure to bring any medications he needs.
2. GETTY READY:
- Check your tags: Before leaving on a trip, be sure your dog’s collar with name and contact information are ready to go. If you haven’t already, consider getting a microchip. Prepare for the worst, and bringing a recent picture of your dog along just in case you get separated.
- Get some exercise: Make sure your dog has been well-exercised before he goes into the car or crate so that he’ll be ready to rest during travel time.
- Skip a meal: Dogs are prone to motion sickness so it’s best not feed your dog much before going on a trip. Likewise, try to avoid snacks during the trip, but plan to stop for water breaks. For long road trips where snacking may be unavoidable, plan in a break time to play or walk your dog to burn off extra energy.
- Find Pet-friendly accommodations:Check and find find dog-friendly hotels and other accommodations. Most campgrounds allow pets, but you should do your homework to be sure you understand any restrictions.
3. TRAVELLING BY CAR:
- Use a crate or harness in the car: If you will be traveling by car, plan to use a crate or dog harness as a precaution that will keep your dog and family safe. For first-timers, spend the days and weeks leading up to the trip helping your dog to get used to traveling this way.
- Get your dog used to the car by letting him sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides.
- Avoid car sickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure he has plenty of water at all times.
- Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
- Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries.
- Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death.
- Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog.
- Car rides are boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or annoy the dog in the car.
- Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. If you must leave the car, designate a member of the family to stay with the dog.
4. TRAVELLING BY PLANE
- Each airline has its own set of rules for canine air travel. You should call for information and make arrangements well in advance of your trip.
- All airlines require health certifications and proof of vaccinations.
- Some airlines will not transport animals when it is extremely hot or cold.
- Dogs must be in an airline-approved crate when transported as cargo. Small dogs may ride under the seat in a crate or carrier.
- Don’t eat before flying: Like car travel, you should not feed your dog for at least 6 hours before he flies and plan for a bathroom break as close to departure time as you can manage.
- Say goodbye without a scene: If your dog won’t be with you in the main cabin, be ready to let him go quickly and calmly, so he’ll be calm too.
5. ARRIVING YOUR DESTINATION:
- Take charge of your temporary home: When you arrive at your accommodation, enter and take charge of the new scene before your dog thinks he’s running the show. Be extra attentive about making your dog wait for your command while you look around, unpack or begin any start of activity, teaching him to understand that you are still in charge in this new environment.
- Get some exercise: As soon as you can, go for a walk to burn off energy and to familiarize your dog with his new surroundings. Continue to take walks as close to your regular schedule as possible throughout your trip.
- Refuel: Feed your dog right away and then keep following your regular feeding schedule.
- Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.
- 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 guest 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.
Resources: runthosedogs.com and akc.org