Guest Blog by Katie Conroy
There is nothing quite as rewarding as traveling, yet leaving your pup behind for extended periods of time can be difficult. For your next journey, why not bring him along for the ride and give him the trip of a lifetime? Here are some smart ways you can avoid any issues and have a smooth and fun vacation with your pooch.
Prep Your Pup
In a perfect world, taking your dog on a flight would be easy and inexpensive, but there are hurdles you must overcome. Some airlines, for instance, don’t allow pets at all and those that do, according to BringFido.com, have requirements such as a health certificate from a vet. In fact, you’ll need to ensure that your dog can stay calm during the situation, as an airline may refuse your pet if he is overly anxious. Thankfully, you can get medication from your vet to help your pup relax, but you could also help him along by getting him familiar with his carrier. This can be useful, even if you’re traveling by car or train, as you want them to feel comfortable during transit.
Pick a Destination
When you travel, you want to ensure the environment is good for both you and your dog. That means you need to research a destination ahead of time, not only to see if it’s somewhere you would enjoy but is an area that welcomes dogs. Typically, coastal areas are a safe bet, but look at specific towns. Unfortunately, some cities have breed restrictions, and you don’t want to find that out after you show up with your road-weary companion. Look for things like walkability, availability of vets, and other pet services, as well as pet-friendly accommodations.
Plan Your Route
If you’re not flying, you’ll need to take time to plan out how you’ll drive to your destination. This will require taking extra precautions, such as getting your dog microchipped or confirming his tags are up-to-date, as Fido may be tempted to bolt at a rest stop. While driving, you should take precautions as well. A larger dog can do well with a harness, while smaller pups can use a booster seat. Likewise, you’ll need treats and toys on hand to keep your pup calm and to reward him for good behavior. You can visit sites like Pet News Daily for helpful product reviews and tips for caring for your pet. As you plan, place special emphasis on taking stops since both of you will need bathroom breaks and a chance to stretch your legs.
It goes without saying that you’ll have to look up hotels or vacation rentals to make sure they accept pets, and what extra fees you can expect to pay. Doing this avoids any possible surprises when you look at your bill.
Look for Fun Things to Do
Part of the fun of travel is doing things you don’t get to do when you’re home. As Care.com notes, there are many things you can do together with your pet, like playing at the beach or lake, visiting a dog-friendly café, or even going for a boat ride. Just make sure it’s safe to bring your pup and that he actually enjoys the activity you’ve chosen.
Get Your Exercise
You and your pooch are both going to need exercise even when exploring a new town. To get your buddy running around and using his lungs, think about taking him to a local dog park. Of course, you need to be a responsible owner, and you can start by making sure his vaccines are updated before you leave town. Also, keep some waste bags handy to clean up any messes. And no matter how well things are going, don’t take your eyes off of him.
Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime. By bringing your dog with you on your next trip, you’ll have fond memories to cherish for a lifetime. It’s time to step out of your comfort zones, and do something new and exciting!