As a loving pet parent, taking a vacation hardly seems fun without bringing along your furry family member. But bringing your dog on a trip can cause him stress or discomfort that you definitely want to avoid. Follow these tips to make sure that you and Fido have a great time while traveling the world.
Air Travel Safety
If you are flying to your destination, smaller dogs can ride beneath your seat. The proximity to you makes your pup feel less stressed, although the changing pressure might be uncomfortable. Try to book a direct flight to avoid excessive moving of your dog’s kennel, and make sure it has current ID and info for when you might become separated. If you have a bigger dog, make sure to buy a kennel that allows him to stand, turn around, and sit. Include a blanket and toys that smell familiar for reduced stress, and pack a frozen water dish for fresh water.
Get On the Open Road
If you can drive to your destination, this method of transportation is less stressful for dogs. Pack a travel kit for your pup that includes his favorite kind of food, a water dish, plastic bags, any medications that he takes, a first-aid kit, and his favorite toy or blanket. Plan to stop at least once every few hours for a potty break and to feed him, since eating in a moving vehicle could give him a stomach ache. When you do stop for gas and breaks for yourself, don’t leave him alone in the car.
Prepare Your Dog
If your dog only takes rides in the car to the vet, she could feel stressed as soon as you open the door. Start prepping her for the trip by going on short drives to more fun destinations, like dog parks or pet stores, and increase the lengths of the drives slowly. If you plan to put her in a kennel or carrier during the trip, get it out and keep it available in your house so she can explore it and become more familiar with being inside it.
Plan Ahead for Possible Emergencies
Before you leave on your trip, make sure you have a first-aid kit packed with essentials if something happens while you are on vacation. Include bandages that stretch and stick to themselves (instead of adhesive bandages that pull out pet fur), leash, muzzle, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, ice packs, blunt scissors, tweezers, saline solution, hydrogen peroxide, and latex-free disposable gloves. If something happens and you aren’t sure what to do, you can try calling your vet, but many aren’t available after hours. Kuddly.co is another alternative where pet parents can speak to licensed veterinarians at any time, day or night.
With a bit of preparation, you can enjoy a fun family getaway without having to leave your beloved furry companion behind. Be aware that change is often hard on animals, so do everything you can to keep a sense of normalcy, like sticking to his daily feeding and potty schedule.