Bringing your four-legged friends on your family vacation can be a lot of fun. But it can also be a lot of work and take a lot of extra planning. Right off the bat you’ll have to ensure that the place you intend to stay is pet friendly. After you confirm pets are welcome, then you can prepare your pup for the adventure.
If your dog isn’t used to traveling, you should make it a point to take them on car rides or spending time in a crate so they get comfortable. Take them to parks and walks on leashes so they can get acclimated with new places and how to properly behave. Since any new place can be overwhelming to a dog, make sure to pack things that bring the comfort of home with you on your trip. Blankets, toys and food are familiar and can help keep a dog calm during travel and the vacation.
When you arrive at your destination, take the dog for a long walk around the grounds. Give them the time to sniff around and mark their territory. When you give your dog this time to explore up front, they will be less distracted when you take them out to use the bathroom or on an excursion. The more familiar they are with their temporary surrounding the calmer and more behaved they will be throughout the duration of the trip. Dogs should never be left alone in a hotel room or cabin; they should always be with you.
Since they will be with your throughout the day, in addition to packing for the trip you should also pack for the dog each day. In a small bag make sure to bring a leash, food, treats, toys and doggy bags to clean up after your pup. Most importantly you have to bring water and a water dish. Dogs are easily dehydrated especially in warm climates or during activities like hiking or playing at the beach. To keep them healthy and comfortable, water should be accessible to them at all times.
If you intend on frequently taking your dog on vacations, you should consider getting the dog micro-chipped. Even the most well behaved dogs can get curious and get lost. In a new town, surrounded by strangers, its difficult to return dogs to their rightful owners. However, if the dog has a microchip and is taken to an animal shelter, the chip can be scanned and your dog can be returned to you safely and securely.
Bringing your dog along on vacation can make it even better, especially if your dog interacts well with others. Friendly and exploratory in nature, dogs bring with them an extra level of excitement. Whether you’re venturing to the beach or camping, as log as your dog is with you, they’ll be happy. Being correctly prepared for a four-legged travel companion is the best way to make sure that both of you have a fun, safe and healthy adventure.