As the seasons are changing and holidays are fast approaching, travel plans are on the rise. Many pet parents are faced with the dilemma of what to do with their best friend while they travel. Do they leave their beloved dog at home and have someone come and check on them? Do they board them? Or do they take them with them? It can be stressful trying to travel with your dog.
However, with these 8 tips and tricks for travelling with your dog, you will find that travelling with your best friend is much more rewarding than leaving them behind.
8 Tips & Tricks To Travel With Your Dog
Tip 1 – Research
Before you make arrangements, do your research. This is one of the most important things that cannot be skipped in our 8 tips & tricks to travel with your dog. Check and make sure that your hotel is pet friendly and what their deposits may or may or not be required. It is a good idea to look for hotels that do not require a pet deposit. Oftentimes hotels require a pet deposit per night.
Pay close attention to this as these can create a large expense quite quickly. Hotels also may have specific rules as to if pets may be left in the room or not. It is also important to research your location of travel. It is also important to research your desired location to ensure they have pet friendly activities for you and your dog. A great app you can use for this is Bring Fido, which was created to help locate hotels, restaurants and attractions that are pet friendly.
Tip 2 – Make Copies of Pet Records
Keeping multiple copies of your pet’s records can come in handy in the event of an emergency. In addition to needing to provide pet records to the hotel if required, you may need this information for international travel as well. In the event of an emergency with your dog, you would also be able to provide proof of shot records and a local vet with valuable information in regards to the care of your dog.
A great app to have on hand is Pet First Aid, an app created by the American Red Cross that will help you locate the nearest animal emergency center and provides instructions for many common pet emergencies.
Tip 3 – Bring A Carrier
Make sure you bring a pet carrier or their crate. Depending on the size of your dog and your type of travel, a dog carrier may already be on your radar. Many airlines require pets to be transported in a carrier in the cabin. A soft carrier may be suitable; however, if they are in the cargo hold, you will want to make sure you have a sturdy carrier. It is also important to ensure all rules and regulations are met.
If you are traveling by car it is still very important to have a pet carrier or crate that can allow them to feel comfortable in the vehicle. It is also important to make sure that your dog feels comfortable where you are staying and they have a safe place to sleep.
Make sure the carrier or crate is padded, and add your dog’s favourite toy and/or blanket to make them comfortable. You may also want to add a shirt of yours with your scent on it to create maximum comfort.
Tip 4 – Don’t Forget To Pack Your Dog’s Bag
It is important to pack a specific bag for your dog. Having a separate bag just for your beloved pooch ensures that you can easily find all the items they may need and that everything has been packed. This is also a great location to store the copies of your dog’s records as well. The following are items you may want to pack:
- Collapsible food and water dishes
- Plenty of dog food
- Leash and harness
- Grooming supplies
- Waste disposal bags
- Any medication your dog may be taking
Tip 5 – Make Frequent Stops
Not only is it important to allow them to go for a potty break. But it also provides a great time to check and make sure they are still comfortable. Planning pet-accessible spots will make this easier. In addition, this is a great time to allow your dog to move around freely and get much-needed exercise during a long journey.
It is important to keep outside toys easily accessible. In addition, search for local dog parks to allow your dog to socialise with others as well. Taking these measures will allow your dog to release any pent-up energy, relax, and sleep the rest of the journey.
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Tip 6 – Make Sure Your Dog Is Trained
Even if it is a basic command such as “sit” or “stay,” having a well-trained dog will make all travelling easier. If your dog must be left in a hotel room for a couple of hours, you need not worry about your dog causing damage.
This is also important when it comes to barking. If you’re staying in a hotel, you do not want to have your neighbours complain to the front desk. It is also more likely that people and locations will be more willing to allow your dog access if they have good behavior.
Tip 7 – Greet People
Being polite and showing kindness to others can go a long way. Oftentimes people who are dog fans are willing to exchange conversation from tips and tricks to great locations to take your dog. Locals can share great advice on the local area.
This is also a great opportunity that if they have dogs that you may be able to arrange social playdates. This can enhance and enrich both your dog and your experiences while on vacation.
Tip 8: What To Do In Case of Emergency
Traveling with your dog can be a delightful experience, but it’s crucial to be prepared for emergencies. Despite our best efforts, accidents and illnesses can happen. Knowing what to do in an emergency can make all the difference. Here’s a guide on what you should know and have at your disposal for such situations:
- Research Ahead: Before embarking on your trip, it’s wise to compile a list of local veterinary clinics at your destination. Knowing where to go in an emergency will save you crucial time.
- 24/7 Emergency Services: Make sure at least one vet on your list provides 24/7 emergency services.
- Why It’s Beneficial: Pet insurance can offer peace of mind, especially when traveling. It can cover unexpected expenses related to accidents or illnesses that might occur during your trip.
- Know the Details: Before you leave, clarify what your pet insurance covers. Some policies might not extend to travel, or there could be specific conditions.
First Aid Kit
- Essentials: Always travel with a basic pet first aid kit. This should include items like gauze, antiseptics, tweezers, and a digital thermometer.
- Pet First Aid App: Consider downloading a pet first aid app on your phone for quick, practical advice.
After an adventurous trip with your furry friend, you’re probably excited to get back to the comfort of your own home. However, transitioning from travel mode back to everyday life can present its own set of challenges for both you and your pet. Here are some tips to make the process as smooth as possible:
- Ease Into Routine: Try not to rush back into your regular schedule. Give your dog some time to adjust by gradually reintroducing home routines.
- Limited Activity: Your dog might be tired after the journey. Keep activities low-key for a day or two to allow for adequate rest.
- Inspect for Parasites: After any trip, especially if it involved nature hikes or beach visits, check your dog thoroughly for ticks, fleas, or any other parasites.
- Post-Trip Vet Visit: Depending on where you’ve traveled, a vet check-up might be a good idea to rule out any travel-related illnesses or issues.
- Dog Gear: Wash all of your dog’s travel items—bedding, toys, dishes—as soon as possible to remove any unfamiliar scents or potential germs.
- Restock First Aid Kit: If you used any items from the pet first aid kit, now is a good time to restock.
- Observe for Changes: Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and physical condition for a few days after you return. Any significant changes may warrant a vet visit.
- Re-establish Rules: It’s common for rules to get a little lax on vacation. Re-establish any boundaries or guidelines as soon as you’re back.
Returning home with your dog from a trip requires a slight adjustment period. By taking these steps, you can ensure that both you and your dog shift back into your normal routines safely and comfortably. Happy homecoming!
Traveling with your dog can be an incredible bonding experience that provides lasting memories for both of you. From preparing the essentials to knowing what to do in case of an emergency, a successful journey requires thoughtful planning and flexibility. However, the trip doesn’t end when you get back to your doorstep; a smooth return home is equally important. We hope these tips & tricks to travel with your dog have equipped you with the know-how to make every phase of your journey—before, during, and after—as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Safe travels and happy returns!