As a member of your family, it is only natural that you want to bring your dog along when vacationing. This list will make that trip easier and more fun for yourself, your family, and your four legged friend.
Are all vaccinations up to date?
A health check before leaving on any trip is always a good idea. Vaccines should be brought up to date, if necessary.
Make sure all of the associated certificates are on your person while you travel. Make sure any vaccination tags are attached to your dog’s collar.
Proper dog identification tags.
Speaking of tags…
Besides your dog’s name, any ID tags should include your cell phone number (and/or the phone number of someone who can reach you) and your home address if possible.
Microchipping your dog is also a good idea if he is stolen or the collar gets removed/lost.
Think about car safety.
If you are traveling by car you should consider crating your dog. The crate should be well ventilated and roomy enough to allow your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down.
If crating is not possible, special seat belts for dogs are readily available. Rover may not like being strapped in, but the possible alternatives can be much worse.
Heat stroke is a major problem for dogs, especially in hot weather. Never leave your alone in an un-ventilated car while on the road.
Bring snacks and food.
Bring along your dog’s regular food, snacks, fresh water, and food/water bowls.
Buying and feeding unfamiliar food on the road can lead to indigestion, diarrhea, and gas (which is not much fun in an enclosed vehicle).
Leash and collar.
Include a sturdy leash and collar – and use them. In fact, bring extras of each, just in case.
Plan frequent stops to give your dog time to relieve himself and enjoy some activity. Short exploratory walks
There’s nothing worse than a bored dog while travelling, especially if the dog is confined to a small hotel room part of the time.
Regardless of where you go, you and your dog will come in contact with other people. Be sure to always clean up after your dog, and make every attempt to prevent your dog from being a bother (barking, whining) to other folks.
Plan your accommodations.
Here is a real stickler for most travelers – finding the best pet friendly hotels and motels. The good news is that there are plenty of online sites that can help.
For instance, suppose you are travelling with your dog to the UK, and you plan to visit Dorset. You can check out a site like Pet friendly hotels in Dorset while in the planning phase, and make arrangements for you and your dog.
Make sure you thoroughly understand the motel’s or campground’s rules about pets when making reservations. Sometimes the rules are clear, other times you have to do a bit of digging to get all of the necessary information.
Once you reach your destination, scope out all available spaces where you can walk or play with your dog. Check to see if there are nearby dog parks.
Dog sitting services.
Want to do a little shopping or sight-seeing while on vacation? You might have to leave your dog alone in a motel room (which could cause… uhm… problems).
Check beforehand if there is a doggy daycare available, or even dog-sitting services in the area you are visiting. It would be good for your dog, and give you some peace of mind.
Be sure to bring along your dog’s favorite toys. Familiar items help keep your dog from getting too stressed out while travelling.
Bring grooming supplies (dog brush, scissors, shampoo, towel) based on your dog’s requirements and the area you are visiting. You might have to clean up your pup after some sort of “adventure”.
Planes, trains, and automobiles.
Trains are generally dog friendly. However, it could be worth considering to take your dog on a shorter train trip before taking a longer one.
There are many rules for pets on planes that change frequently. So, make sure you are up to date on them when making reservations.
Some airlines allow you to bring your dog on the flight. Others want them crated and confined to the plane’s luggage compartment. Make sure you understand the requirement, and determine whether it suits you and your dog.
Most countries require some sort of documentation before you can enter. Be sure you understand what’s required, including all vaccination certificates. Check to see if any special local rules might apply.
Here’s a video with some additional suggestions. Enjoy!