Planning a vacation that includes your dog? It’s fun to travel with your best friend, but it does take a little preparation before you go. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you get ready to take a trip with your dog, so you can both enjoy the experience together.
Should you take your dog with you?
Animal experts recommend that dogs who are pregnant, sick, or injured should not travel. You also might want to leave your dog at home if he gets motion sickness or becomes upset with changes to his routine. Also, make sure your dog won’t be alone in a hotel room while you’re out having fun. Your trip should include plenty of activities you can share with your dog.
See your vet before you go
Bring your dog in for a general checkup and to ensure that all vaccinations are up-to-date. It also helps to get a copy of the records to take with you…this is especially important if you travel by air. Make sure you have enough medication and prescription dog food for the trip. You might also want to have your dog microchipped, if he isn’t already.
Find the right travel crate
A crate is a must-have if you take your dog on an airplane. It’s also good to have a crate if you travel by car, it’s safer for both of you if your dog is secured in a crate in the back. Crates are also important if you’ll be staying in a hotel room. Look for one that’s big enough for your dog to easily stand up, turn around, and lie down. The crate should be leak-proof on the bottom and well-ventilated. You’ll also need an ID tag on the crate if you go on a plane.
Is your hotel dog-friendly?
Do some research on hotels to make sure that you choose one that is genuinely dog-friendly. Review each hotel’s pet policy to verify any breed or size restrictions. Be careful to follow the hotel’s rules on where to walk your dog and how to dispose of poop. It’s good form to be considerate of other hotel guests by keeping your dog on a leash in public areas and not letting him bark too much.
Camping in style with your dog
Review your campsite’s rules about pets and make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations, especially rabies and heartworm. Ask your vet about flea and tick control. Bring a supply of fresh water and make sure your dog doesn’t drink from pools of standing water. Be sure your dog’s leash and collar are in good condition and the ID tags are secure. Be considerate of other campers and don’t let your dog run loose around the campground.
Plan dog-friendly activities at your destination
There are lots of websites that list dog-friendly cities and suggest specific destinations and activities for each of them. Check out sites like DogFriendly for information and ideas. You can find out about dog-friendly beaches, parks, and restaurants in your city of choice.
- Aaron Seminoff