Visiting new shops, sightseeing, and relaxing on the beach are vacation activities that can leave lasting memories for you and your dog. Many dogs take the opportunity for new adventures, but for some dogs, traveling can be stressful. Before you include your dog in your vacation plans, here are some considerations.
Will your dog love to travel?
Does it make him wag his tail, meet new people, stay in a new place, and experience new sights and smells? Or does he get nervous in new surroundings? Do new people and sights drop his cock and add to his wheezing?
If you find that your dog gets nervous in new situations, a trip full of new things is likely to be overwhelming and stressful. Do not worry about it! Activities prior to the trip such as scent work courses or trick training can boost your dog’s self-confidence.
If you’re out on the open road together, make sure your pet is comfortable in the car. Accidents can happen anytime, so buckle up using a crash-tested and certified harness or seat belt like the Sleepypod’s.
Start by acclimatizing your pup to travel short car trips to fun places like the park, and work your way up to longer practice drives. Once the adventure begins, take a break for walks so everyone can stretch their legs.
Do practice runs, such as eating out or sitting in an outdoor cafe. These rehearsal activities are a great way to see how your dog reacts to new situations. Bring a familiar blanket and non-metallic travel bowl. Practice teaching your dog to lie down on the blanket. With a little training, this well-known “outdoor travel destination” can help make unfamiliar places more relaxed. Reward your dog for being calm and ignoring busy distractions.
Hotel policies for leaving pets unattended may vary. I always recommend booking a hotel where your pet can be left alone. This way, whenever you have activities that are not that pet friendly, or when your dog may need a break, your dog can keep napping to relax. And don’t forget to hang the do-not-disturb sign on the doorknob!
Some cities are very dog friendly and some, simply put, don’t roll out the welcome mat. Take the time to research dog friendly activities and call right before you travel to confirm as the rules sometimes change.
Consider taking a quick weekend getaway before booking your calendar of adventures. A practice trip can either teach you how easy it can be to travel with pets or provide pointers on what to practice before future trips.
Pack extra food with your dog’s travel gear. Your brand of dog food may not be available at your destination. Travel can be a drag on your dog’s stomach, so you don’t want new food to be thrown into the mix.
Have a copy of your veterinarian’s vaccination record and contact details, and make sure your dog’s microchip and markings are up to date.
Make the experience a positive one, especially for your dog. If your dog has fond travel memories, the next time he hears your car keys ring, he’ll knock you out the door.