Traveling with dogs can be a fun experience – with the right equipment and adequate planning. Apart from the fun therein, you are also freed from every worry of what could be going on around with your buddy while you’re far away.
However, some transportation systems like planes and vehicles are not designed to accommodate dogs as passengers. This is where you need to do some research and find out what it needs when your traveling with pets.
Your vacation can be exciting, and just how you might have imagined it to be for you and your dog. Here are basically all you need to know in making your dream vacation a reality
- 1 What to Pack?
- 2 How To Travel with a Dog on a Plane
- 3 Traveling By Car
- 4 Pet-Friendly Hotels
What to Pack?
If you plan to go on a trip or a vacation with a dog, then you should know you have to bring some essential items with you. You have to consider bringing items like the dog’s food, and other treats in adequate quantity and supply – blanket, first aid kit, and wipes.
For you to be prepared that you don’t miss out on anything, I have researched on a standard checklist for the wellbeing and safety of dogs before your vacation.
Food and water
These two are the most essential to consider. You can keep your pet hungry especially when you traveling to a place you are not familiar with. It might just be difficult for you and your puppy.
It is, therefore, important for you to carry the right amount of food and water bowls. The food should be measured but mind you, measure it in advance knowing how long you will be staying there.
With the right homemade meals, your puppy can be rewarded with healthy treats that are safe and won’t make him overweight. You know puppies are very sensitive to what you give them and that’s why it is preferable that you get him bottled water. With this, you will not be worried about where the closest veterinary doctor is.
Collar and leash
It is a vacation and you have time to take your dog out but this time might not be enough to keep an eye on him. The rule of some places requires you to use a leash that is 6 feet long or shorter while some places may not place those boundaries.
This is why you should carry along extra collars just in case you plan to hike or run with your dog. Bear in mind that these collars should be of different length – say 4 to 6 feet.
First aid medications
Well, you can go along with the human first aid kit but for specific situations, it is better you add items and medications that are for dogs.
For example, the styptic powder which is used in stopping bleeding and pet bandages to cover wounds. If you have a little knowledge about this, you can see the veterinary doctor for his expertise.
Medication for diarrhea, motion sickness, allergies should be vet-approved as well as every other medication and even the veterinarian’s original prescription.
Dog comfort materials
Car upholstery and furniture can be injurious to the dog. To avoid shedding that tear when you see your dog bleeding, it is advisable to travel with something thick that could protect your dog from sharp corners.
For instance: sheets, blankets, or old towels carefully wrapped around the dog can keep him from scratching his body in bad roads or abrupt stop.
Clean up supplies and waste bag
You should not forget to carry waste pick up bags especially in parks, on dog-friendly beaches, or when flying with pets.
Get a biodegradable waste bag so it can be easily disposed of. Paper towels are also necessary as dogs can get dirty and create a mess that could be embarrassing especially if you are in a long fight. So you can take a roll or two or more of paper towels and some spray or carpet cleaner.
Clean or old towels
Swimming with your puppy can be fun especially if it’s the type that enjoys it. In this case, I advise you should pack a towel or two. This is also helpful when it rains and your dog gets wet.
Dog sleeping materials
Your dog will have an enjoyable ride in his or her own travel bed or crate having a familiar blanket. With this, he won’t feel unrest.
Your dog should have an identification tag at all times so that even if he wanders off you can easily locate him. The tag should include your cell phone number or a number with which you can be contacted while on a vacation.
Also, travel with your dog’s microchip number including the contact number of the company monitoring the dog. You probably won’t know how excited your dog could be making him wander off.
Authorities will always demand health certificates when crossing the state line. This is required to make sure that your pup is healthy and has got immunization against rabies and other dog transmitted diseases.
Anyways that’s just how it works so you shouldn’t be worried. All you need to do is get a health certificate signed by your veterinarian and should be dated ten days before departure.
Toys and treats
Pack all your dog’s favorite toys including puzzle toys that will be a good distraction when you are busy. Healthy treats can be a reward for his good behavior. For convenience, you can pack them in snack-size plastic bags.
Sunscreen and repellent
If your dog will be spending some time with you outdoors then you get pet-specific sunscreen and insect repellent
How To Travel with a Dog on a Plane
Pet lovers will definitely be happy to always bring their four-legged buddy on plane trips with them. If you get lucky to go on a trip with your pup, then you should keep in mind a few things for the safety, comfort, and well-being of your dog.
These are the best tips you can get on flying with pets with you.
Size of the dog
The size of your dog is very important because it decides whether you can take him along with on a flight.
Airlines are very strict when it comes to flying with your pet. They have strict regulations that govern the size of pet carries. These carriers must fit under the seat which is directly in front of you.
Please note that therapy dogs or service dogs are exceptions. Normally dogs that weigh around 15 pounds or less can comfortably fit in the required airline-approved size of pet carriers.
Right flying temperament
I can tell you that it very easy to travel with your dog on the plane but won’t be totally honest with you. Dogs that have high levels of anxiety or high-stress dogs might not just be the right travel companion. I wouldn’t advise you taking along dog with any of these conditions, as its simply not worth the stress for your puppy or even you.
A comfortable pet carrier
Check for the airline’s requirements on the size and the type of dog carriers that are approved to keep your dog in. Most airlines will demand that the dog carrier should be within the range of 16 to 19 inches long or even less and 10 inches tall.
Don’t inconvenient your dog by forcing him to fit into a carrier that is too small for him. This could be very stressful and discomforting.
You should know that your carrier becomes your carry-on meaning that you can only add one other personal item in your cabin. So can probably get a carry on with an extra pocket that allows you to carry your books, magazine, and other items you might want close to you.
Carry all necessities
It is important you pack enough food, treats, and toys so at least your pup can go through a few days after landing.
Be sure to carry along non-spill water, and probably a bone to keep your buddy engaged especially if it’s a long flight.
If your pooch suddenly shies away from his favorite rawhide which he usually devours, you shouldn’t be worried. It could just be caused by travel anxiety and then being in the midst of unfamiliar faces. It is similar to humans getting butterflies when the plane lifts off.
Reserving a space for your dog
Most airlines can only allow a certain number of dogs in the cabin, so you have to make sure you book way ahead of time to get a spot for a pup. You also have to make sure that there is room for him.
You are allowed to board first when flying with your dog. I can see that surprise look on your face, yes dogs are V.I.Ps. When you travel with your dog, there is every possibility that you would be given the middle seat as it is more spacious.
Note that bringing your puppy with you can be expensive, depending on the airline. Reserving a space for your dog can cost over a $100.
So you should make a budget for your trip to know if there is room for your friend to come on board with you. If you can’t afford it, he could stay back with grandma for a special week.
A health certificate from the vet
It might not be a requirement of the airline but it is advisable to carry a health certificate given to you by your vet. You should do this just to be on a safer side and it is really not expensive. The certificate shows that your pet had been given all shots and vaccinations which perfectly makes him fit to travel not just only with you but with other passengers.
A walk before the trip
On the day of travel, take your pup on a long walk before taking off. The idea is to leave your dog so tired that he sleeps during the period of the flight. You look surprised, right? A tired dog is less nasty and stays calm. Carrying them on a walk before the trip is usually a good idea, as it uses up some of the energy so he isn’t cooped up in his carry-on during flight duration.
Feeding before traveling
Don’t give your dog food that morning and you should also remove his water bowl 2 hours before takeoff. You might say it is harsh but dogs do okay without food and water for a few hours.
This measure helps to prevent accidents on the plane and also keeps him comfortable. The same way some humans don’t have heavy meals in the morning of flying is the same way it applies to some dogs.
Monitor the amount of water you to give to your dog
As much as you might prevent your dog from dehydrating, you should also avoid giving him so much to drink. Some dog owners may prefer giving the dog an ice cube to play with during a flight.
This technique doesn’t just keep them hydrated but also keeps them busy for a moment. You can as well ask for extra ice cubes from the flight attendant as they offer beverage service.
Traveling By Car
How to travel with a dog in a car
With adequate planning and the right safety measure, traveling with your dog can turn out to be the best vacation you have ever had. Usually, dogs are willing and excited when you travel with them.
Whether the dog is happy with the trip or not, you must ensure to pack all the necessary equipment, dog car travel gear and have the right attitude. This is very important because it assures you of a safe and enjoyable trip.
Before you hit the road
You should make sure you have packed all the dogs essentials to keep him healthy and happy. Below is a list of items that you should travel with.
Collar and identification tag
It is actually bad and depressing when your dog wanders far away from home but it’s worse when he is without any form of identification, for example, an identification tag
Food, water, and bowls
Carry along a sufficient amount of food that your dog really loves eating. Travel with enough water and bowls too. Giving your pup something different from what he normally consumes combined with the car’s motion can result in unpleasant reactions on his body
Blankets and baggies
A blanket can be very useful when planning a road trip with your dog. It serving as a bedding material and provides warmth to your pet in cold weather. Also travels with waste disposal baggies to pack up dog messes. To wipe muddy paws you will probably need a wipe.
Even if your dog enjoys traveling, it shouldn’t be allowed to freely move within the confinement of the vehicle. It could be very dangerous in a case of an accident which could even be caused by the dog.
It is advisable that all the body part of the dog remain inside the car always. Crates are actually very nice and safe for car travel assuming it isn’t limited by the dog’s size. When you want to purchase a crate for your puppy, ensure it is big enough to allow the dog stand up completely and turn around easily.
Note that it shouldn’t be too spacious enough that the dog can slide in response to the movement of the car. The crates have to be structurally sound and allow for good ventilation.
It is also very important to securely fasten the crate in place because a loose crate is no better than a loose dog
Use of other restraints
If crates won’t work to keep your dog behaved or in place, there are other options you might want to consider. A harness fastened to the seatbelt of the car is also a good alternative. That is why you purchase the type that can be used with the seat belt.
Barriers are also good and can be effective restraints. They can securely restrain a dog in an open area. For example, a barrier can be used in the open area of a van or in the back of an SUV or a wagon.
You should be careful when purchasing a barrier. Look for a barrier that can be securely attached to the interior framework of your car and can be trusted to restrain a dog of that weight.
Stop, refresh and survive
You might have got used to traveling for hours but your dog might not be comfortable with it. Keeping your puppy held bound for hours in your car is a way souring him and making him look dull. If it’s a long trip, plan on making stops at intervals just as you would if kids were along with you for a trip.
And if you are traveling with small children, you just succeeded in killing two birds with one stone. Frequent stops and breaks to burn off energy will help your dog be a happier traveler. Don’t ever leave your pup in the vehicle under the blazing sun even with the window slightly open.
Book an appointment with your vet
If this is going to be your first trip by car with your pooch, then suggest you might need to discuss it with your vet. Your vet can prescribe some medications that help your dog with motion and anxiety. It is also good and advisable to know which medications are available for the health and safety of your dog
Prepare for fun
You may be correct if you say dogs are best friends to man. With the proper equipment, adequate preparation, and planning, there is absolutely no reason leaving your buddy behind when you hit the road at any time.
Inquire for a pet-friendly hotel chain
It is expected that you should have done your research or have a plan for where you will stay. Well, that’s if you are not visiting a friend or a close relative. If you going to stay in a hotel, you should ask yourself if the hotel you are considering allows pets. It is always better to find out before you arrive at the place.
There are pet-welcoming hotels that you can find close to you. For instance, the Best Western hotel will always be prepared for your arrival with your pup. They can as well recommend hikes, parks, and some other dog-friendly activities that actively keep the dog busy and excited.
If you are wondering how to look for hotels that allow pets, the resources shared by herepup.com (see below) will be very useful.
“Where to Find pet-friendly hotel chains
Bringfido.com. Info on dog-friendly lodging, restaurants, events, and more. You can speak with a pet-friendly travel expert.
Fidofriendly.com. Includes a nationwide database of hotels, bed and breakfasts, rentals, inns, daycare, boutiques, pet sitters, and more.
Petfriendlytravel.com. Includes pet-friendly vacation rentals, hotels, beaches, campgrounds, restaurants and bars, airports, shopping malls, dog parks, and more.
OfficialPetHotels.com. Search more than 10,000 hotels in 35 cities.
PetsWelcome.com. Search by larger dog-friendly hotels, or by the route. Includes international options.
DogFriendly.com. Includes lists to help you plan, including the best off-leash parks.”
Handling the new environment
You can get a pet-friendly hotel chain but dog-friendly people and faces don’t usually come in handy. Your dog could be a bit nervous in the midst of new faces and awkward smiles.
At this moment, she may growl, not because she is aggressive but because she is freaked out a bit. All she needs is your reassurance that it is all under control. Taking her away from the midst of the new faces don’t solve the problem.
Instead of doing so only succeeds in indicating that there something is wrong and then she freaks out even more. In this game of familiarity, try and be calm and let your puppy know you got it all covered
Entering the hotel room
It is now time for you to enter the hotel room with your dog. Don’t be in a hurry to get all excited with your buddy so you don’t jeopardize the entire vacation. What you need to do is entering first; then get your pup to stay wherever he is.
Don’t give him that very freedom he has been waiting for by letting him wonder about if not he assumes control. Make him wait while you unpack, shower, and put every other thing in place. You should be the only one who moves first into the environment.
You don’t initiate any action until you are ready for him. These are just measures to ensure that your scent is all over the place before he comes in. By doing this, you make him feel at home
Taking your pup for a walk
If the dog starts barking and feels uncomfortable after you might have followed the above guide, then your last resort can be taking him for a walk.
It is not funny at all if the dog keeps barking or howling in his new room. When this happens, remain calm and then take him for a walk or some exercise to calm his nerves down. I suggest you go for a long work as soon as you get to the hotel as dogs that are recently exercised are in a more relaxed state.
Don’t forget to make plenty of exercises available for your pup and of course be calm and assertive in all cases. Remember, a happy dog is the travel companion you could get.
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