Dog owners have more and more options available to them when it comes to traveling with their furry friends. There are several national hotel chains that allow dogs and you can also find pet-friendly vacation rentals in most destinations. If you want to take your dog with you on vacation, be sure he is well socialized, crate trained, and happy riding in the car before you hit the road. Here are our top tips to make traveling with your dog a little less stressful.
1. Call Ahead
Don’t rely on an online reservation when you’re traveling with your dog. Call ahead and talk to someone in person to confirm the pet policy. Some accommodations will only accept dogs that are under a certain weight and they usually have a limit on how many animals they will allow. There might also be a non-refundable pet fee, and it can be pretty steep in some cases.
On the plus side, many pet-friendly accommodations offer special amenities for furry guests like blankets, bowls, toys, and even special doggie walk and play areas. It’s very helpful to know the rules and what’s available before you make your reservation and start packing. Check out www.BringFido.com to find pet-friendly accommodations at almost any travel destination.
2. A Tired Dog is a Well-Behaved Dog
Plan on providing lots of exercise for your dog during your stay. A dog that’s worn out from a long walk will behave much better than one that’s a bundle of energy from being cooped up all day. Be sure to consider location when choosing your accommodations. It’s going to be difficult to find a safe place to walk your dog if your hotel is right on the highway. Choose accommodations that have parks or trails close by.
3. Bring the Comforts of Home
Remember to pack your dog’s favorite things. Having his own bed, toys, food, treats, and bowls will give him a comforting sense of familiarity. Bring some safe chew toys, too. That will give him something to do if he’s in his crate for a little while.
4. Think About Cleanliness
Planning ahead for cleaning up after your pet will be a huge stress reliever. Be sure you have plenty of poop bags, a towel for drying off if it rains, a placemat to put his dishes on, and disposable wipes for dirty paws.
5. Be Prepared for Emergencies
Dog emergencies are scary enough when you’re at home near your own vet. Find out where the closest 24-hour emergency vet clinic is to where you are staying and pack a doggie first aid kit, just in case. Don’t forget to bring his shot records along, too.
6. A Leash is Your Friend
You never know who or what you might encounter out and about with your dog on vacation. Use a leash anytime you leave your room (unless you’re in a designated off-leash area) and leave the retractable leash at home. A 6-foot leash will give you much better control and keep your dog safer, too.
The most important thing? Have fun and enjoy your time with your best buddy! It will be an experience that neither one of you will soon forget.