Tips for Traveling with Your Dog
Your dog is an important member of your family, so why is it that when you go on vacation, you leave your pups behind? Most dog owners will board their pets in kennels while they travel. This can be an expensive option, and if you do not research the kennel prior to boarding the animal, your beloved canine could end up being in a cage while you are on vacation. Have you ever considered traveling with your dog? Here are some tips to make traveling with your dog a reality that both of you can enjoy!
What to Do Before the Trip
Before you take a trip with your dog, make sure he is accustomed to riding in the car. Many dogs only go in the car when they are headed to the vet. This makes them nervous about the car, because they do not enjoy their twice-a-year checkups.
Take your dog around town with you when you run short errands. Are you running to the drive through to get some take-out? Take your pup with you! Drive your dog to the park for a long walk from time to time. This will accustom your dog to riding in the car, and will also teach your dog that car rides can be fun. Just remember not to leave your dog alone in a hot car.
Make sure you buy enough food for the trip. Traveling can be stressful on dogs, and if you cannot find the right dog food while you are gone, this can add to the stress, and even lead to illness. Buy a large sealed container to keep the food in, which will keep it from spilling or being eaten by your dog while in transit.
Choose Your Hotel Carefully
If you are going to be staying in a hotel, choose carefully. Call ahead to find out if pets are welcome. Also, find out if there is an area near the hotel where you can walk your dog. If there is not, find a different hotel. If you are staying with family or friends, make sure that your dog is welcome. Do not assume that your beloved pooch will be beloved by your family members!
As You Travel
When you are ready for the big trip, make sure you provide your dog with a space to lie down in the car. He will want to look out the window, so consider placing a pillow or dog bed on the seat near a window. This makes a good place for your pup to travel.
Dogs who are traveling can dehydrate easily. When you stop for your restroom breaks, give your dog some time to walk around. Remember, he will be distracted by the sights and smells around him in the new place where you stop, so give him time to explore before putting down water. Offer him water at every stop, and try to offer him food at his normal eating times. Remember, your dog will need a restroom break around an hour after he eats.
Keep your dog away from the driver. A dog in the driver's lap is distracting and dangerous. There are harnesses you can buy to keep your dog in the seat you want him in. These are not always necessary, if your dog listens well to commands. A good rule of thumb is to keep animals in the back seat.
When You Arrive
When you arrive at your destination, give your dog a chance to get accustomed to his new surroundings. If there are other dogs present, keep a close eye on all of the dogs. Remember, your dog may try to mark his territory, so it might be best to have doggy introductions take place outside, rather than on your friends' carpet.
Once you are settled into your new place, keep things as close to normal for your dog as possible. Keep the routine in place that he is used to. With these tips, you will enjoy having your pup on your trip with you, and he will be thankful for not having to be boarded while you are gone.
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