Summer is almost here, and you’re all set to travel to new, far-off places. You’ve packed your bags and bought your plane ticket, but you’re forgetting something. What do you do with the family dog?
Although it’s vacation season, don’t forget your favorite canine friend. He’s a member of the family and deserves just as much fun as everyone else. Here are a few tips to help prepare Fido for summer vacation.
The main decision you have to make is whether or not to take your dog with you to that tropical island destination. You should take various things into consideration. Does your dog get car sick? Do you have the money to board your dog? Do you have a friend to look after him?
If you don’t have a friend or family member to look after Rex, boarding is your best option, so long as you do your research. You can pay a lot for a boarding service only to have the family pet confined to a cage or small room. Many of the newer doggy hotels offer a number of luxuries and amenities. Dog spas offer full pampering treatments, giving your dog his own special vacation. House breaking puppy before dropping him off is a good idea.
On the other hand, traveling with your dog can be a rewarding experience. You can go on adventures, explore new places, and meet new people. Dogs have a way of attracting strangers and bringing out the best in others, so it may be worth it.
If you do decide to bring your dog, the preparations should start before you book your flight. Check the policies of your destination, from accommodations to the surrounding areas of interest. Most hotels will charge a deposit or fee for a furry friend, even more if he mistakes the carpet for a dog toilet. Some areas in your destination may be friendly, while others may not. Certain hiking trails, for instance, don’t allow pets. Take the time to do the research.
While you’re out doing family activities, plan on where you’ll leave your dog. Do not leave him alone in your hotel room or your car (obviously!). You can choose to board him for a few hours if there is a nearby boarding area. If possible, try to arrange for designated dog sitters among your party. You can trade off caring for the dog.
If you’re flying, check your airline’s animal policies. Most require that dogs fly with the cargo which many people aren’t comfortable with. You shouldn’t have too many problems with driving. Plan to make frequent stops for potty breaks and to prevent your dog from getting carsick.
Things to Bring
Pack a small duffel bag with your dog’s food, chew toys, portable bowls, medication, and a dog pee pad, just in case. This way all of your dog’s things will be easy to find.
A dog travel bed is recommended as it gives your dog his own private territory to sleep and rest. If you purchase a new dog bed, give them a few weeks to break it in before packing it away for the trip.
Above all, make sure your dog has a collar with a license, nametag, and contact information in the event that he strays from the crowd.