When travel season is upon us, boarding facilities often fill up with dogs whose owners are going on vacation. What you might not know is that dogs make great travel companions, and with the influx of retirees traveling with their canine companions, many destinations are becoming more and more dog friendly. Follow these tips to have a successful vacation with every member of your family.
Start Your Trip at the Veterinarian
Before you begin your trip, your dog must be up to date on his vaccinations and have a current health certificate. If you’re traveling by car, having current vaccinations is of the utmost importance because you’ll be stopping at rest stops and potentially exposing your dog to many unknown diseases. If you’re traveling by air, your dog will not be permitted to board the plane without proof of vaccinations and the health certificate. Ensure your dog has a current kennel cough vaccine as well, especially if you plan to drop him off at doggy daycare while you’re away. Remember that vaccines don’t provide immunity for at least two weeks after injection, so plan ahead and get everything updated a few weeks ahead of time.
Find Pet Friendly Accommodations
There is nothing worse than hitting your destination at 11 pm and being unable to find a hotel that will allow you to have your dog. Schedule out ahead of your trip and have a list of hotels that are pet friendly. Try different websites learn about the hotel’s pet policies. Also remember that most hotels don’t allow you to leave your dog unattended in the room so have alternate plans if you’re planning on an excursion your dog can’t join in on.
Embrace Local Businesses That Are Pet Friendly
Websites such as BringFido.com and DogFriendly.com are complete resources for traveling with your dog. Look for dog beaches, dog friendly eateries, and even attractions that your dog is welcome at. The search engines encompass the United States, Canada and even Europe for the globe-trotting pooches. Forums and Facebook groups are also a great way to find out what’s in the area for you and your dog.
Make Safety a Priority
Airline safety is mandatory because of federal regulations, but you shouldn’t let safety slack when you’re traveling in your car. The safest place for your pet to be is in the backseat or the cargo area if you have an SUV. Front seats are the most unsafe place in the vehicle for your dog because of the airbags. Keep your dog confined to the backseat with a seat barrier (you can purchase them online or at any major retailer) or in their crate. Never let your dog hang his head out of the window as flying debris can cause serious injury to the eyes.
Traveling with your dog can be a fun experience. There’s nothing like taking a road trip and hitting the open road with your four-legged friend. Planning ahead is the most important step in having a trip free of obstacles and unexpected costs and will ensure you have a memorable trip free of hassles and unnecessary stress.