Bring your furry family members with you on your next vacation! Read our travel tips for taking Fido on your next road trip.
For starters, it’s always good to ask around about the places other pet owners have visited with their four legged friend. Reading an online review from a complete stranger can never match hearing a word of mouth endorsement. However, Facebook groups, doggie play groups, and veterinarians are always a good place to seek recommendations. You can always search online and visit websites like petfriendlytravel.com and bringfido.com for suggestions and more travel tips.
No matter where you decide to visit you need to consider how you will travel with your pet. If you plan carefully, bringing your pet along on vacation can be fun for everyone.
Book Pet -Friendly Accommodations
There’s a growing trend of people vacationing with their dogs so you shouldn’t have difficulty finding accommodations, but not all hotels accept pets and many that do have restrictions. It’s best to read up on the pet policy of where you will be staying before you book a room. Even if a booking site says a hotel is dog-friendly, it’s best to call and make sure.
Planning Your Route
Once you decide your destination, the next step is to plan the route you will take. Before em-barking on your adventure, be sure your dog is comfortable riding in a car. You can start by taking them on short trips to the dog park, or even just around the block. Be sure to treat your pup after so they will have a positive association with riding in a car.
Plan extra time into your trip so you can stop about every 3 hours or so for a 15 – 30 minute break. Car rides can get boring for everyone so stop at places where your dog can eat, take a potty break, get plenty of exercise and experience a new environment. Also, take into account if your dog is used to long car rides or not when planning how many miles you are going to drive each day. Interstate rest areas are always a good choice and there are apps that can help you find dog parks and other pet friendly spots along the way.
You can avoid carsickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Never feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle. However, make sure he is getting plenty of water during your drive. Never ever ever leave your dog in a car unattended for long periods of time. Especially during the summer.
Check-in with Your Vet
If your dog is due for a check-up, now’s the time. Ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and get a copy of his medical records in case you need to visit an emergency vet (it’s always smart to be on the safe side). If your dog is on any medication be sure there will be enough to last until you return. Make sure your dogs ID is updated with your current cell phone number and you may even want to add an additional tag just for the trip with the name and phone number of where you will be staying. Be sure to have a current picture of your dog in case you get separated.
Hitting the Road
Having your pet in the car involves more than just having them hop in the backseat. Making sure your pet is not wondering around freely in the back seat and definitely not riding on your lap while driving not only reduces distraction for the driver but keeps your pet safe. A crate is a great way to keep your pet secure and safe in the back seat while the car is in motion. Make sure the crate is large enough for them to stand, turn around, and lie down. A crate should have a leak proof bottom lined with puppy training pads in case they have an accident. There should be plenty of ventilation. And, be sure to add a comfy mat and your dogs favorite toy.
If you’re not partial to using a crate there are also other options like a pet car seat or seat belt leash.
A Prepared Pup is a Happy Pup
Pack a bag just for your pet’s things and keep it easily accessible during the drive. Consider all the places you will visit along the way when packing. Items you may need include:
- Food and Food Bowl
- Water and Water Bowl (you can freeze bottled water ahead of time to ensure your pooch always has something cold to drink).
- Collar/Harness and Leash
- Toys for chewing and exercise
- Dog Safe Insect Repellent
- Poop Bags
- Grooming Items: Dog Shampoo, Towel, and Brush
- Blanket or Towel to lie on
Now that you’ve taken the time to prepare, just kick back, have fun, and enjoy the time together!