Going on vacation with your dog can be broken down into 6 steps: 3 things to consider before you travel, and 3 while tanning.
1. What is the best for your dog?
If you want to vacation with your dog as part of the family, researching where you’ll be staying should be at the top of your priorities. Your dog’s happiness and well-being should be the focus of your vacation plans. All the “dog-friendly” notices on the myriad of websites you come across may not always allude to the actual reality you’ll eventually encounter. It is essential to always call ahead before any reservation to confirm your pet policy and if it really fits your requirements. You can discuss any questions you may have that relate specifically to your dog’s needs, which can be discussed with the hotel owner. You can get an idea of how “dog friendly” they really are before you commit. Do they have dogs themselves?
2. Visit the vet before traveling.
A general check-up of your dog’s health is essential before going on vacation. In fact, a ‘one-over’ is recommended at least once a year. Ensuring this visit to the vet before a trip is extremely important, as your dog could come into contact with other dogs that may be carrying some type of pest. Staying up to date on your treatments and vaccinations for your pet will go a long way in keeping your pet happy and healthy. It is highly recommended that you have your dog microchipped (if you have not already done so). The cost ranges from £10 to £40 at a vet practice, or if you live near a Dogs Trust you can have the procedure done for free. Pet insurance is also another good idea to consider. If unfortunately your dog gets sick, he will not have to pay out of pocket.
3. Plan your itinerary in detail before departure
When you find a dog-friendly accommodation, that’s just the beginning of your task. Then comes the filling in of the blanks to reveal the big picture. While you’re still sitting at the kitchen table, make a list of places you intend to visit and things you’re going to do. Research is the key. Consider all the restaurants and cafes that cater to your canine friend. Here, Internet resources are the key to making your life easier. Making a list of everything your dog will need is the next step. Essential items you will need such as: leash, feeder and waterer, collar, dog poop bags, dog tags, bed, shampoo, and an old towel; all these things are obvious but worth writing about. It may not be the end of the world to buy the things you forget to pack, but there are some things that are vital that you don’t forget. These will include a photograph of your dog and any medications your dog is taking. Write all this down in your diary and you will be able to enjoy your vacation without worries. Preparation and organization will be the reason for your successful trip.
While you’re on vacation with your dog
4. Travel with your dog
Whether you’re traveling by car or bus, make sure your dog is acclimated to the experience before you leave. If your dog is not used to long trips, take him out for shorter trips to prepare for the day of travel. Safety is paramount in all cases. For your dog’s sake and his own, they must be insured. A crate can be a good and safe solution because it restricts a dog’s movement and minimizes driver distraction. Dog harnesses offer another travel aid solution. It is strongly recommended that dogs be positioned away from air bags in case of accidents. A comfort stop every two hours is recommended to allow your dog to stretch their legs. For those finicky dogs that may suffer from motion sickness, it would be wise to keep the remedies in the car. (This is another good item to write to your inventory list) and avoid feeding them close to travel time.
5. Home away from home, for your dog
A familiarization walk is recommended as soon as you arrive at your vacation destination. A nice long walk will allow your dog to quickly get used to his new surroundings. Exercise will help de-stress them and get them out of the way after a long car or bus ride. Try not to leave your dog alone for long periods of time. This can really disturb the animals. Left alone, feelings of confusion can lead them to fear the worst. This can lead to frantic scratching and furniture destruction, which could end up being costly.
6. Be attentive to the safety of your dog
Having arrived safely and beginning to enjoy your vacation, you have had time to unpack and your dog has fully acclimated. At this point, it’s all too easy to tune out the potential dangers around the corner as he begins to slip into vacation mode. Constant vigilance regarding your dog’s safety should always be at the forefront of his mind. Remember, he should never be complacent or naive just because he has left normal life behind for a few weeks. Most dog breeds adapt extremely quickly to any new environment. Drastically changing your routine can also have an unsettling effect. Your pup’s favorite toy or blanket can serve as a reminder of home and provides just enough distraction to help him calm down in an unfamiliar environment. It is advisable to keep meal times around the same time as at home.