Traveling with your dog can be an exciting experience. Just imagine exploring ancient ruins, visiting famous landmarks and lounging by the bluest shades of water with your furry best friend. Would it also be nice to collect a whole lot of adorable doggie selfies to every place you go and people you meet?
Roving with your precious pooch is not only fun. It can be beneficial for you as well. If you bring your dog with you, you will never again see his sad, whining and whimpering face staring at you through the boarding kennel bars as you bid him farewell. Other reasons why it’s good to bring your pooch along may include feeling secure when traveling alone, meeting fellow dog lovers in a big city, and of course, being accompanied by an excellent traveling companion who has no demands! Besides, there is nothing that would make him happier than discovering new smells, sounds, and trails.
Although pet travel is famously on the rise, many dog owners still fear dog travel anxiety. Whether or not you bring a dog along for the trip is not so much a question of “can you?” but a question of “should you?” You know your dog better than anyone else, so no one is more qualified to answer that essential question. If the answer is a resonating yes, then keep reading — we’ve compiled a list of tips for dog owners who want to take their rover companion with them on a vacation.
Plan Your Travel Route
Taking care of your travel route ahead of time can take some stress out of your dog when traveling. If you are going on a road trip, make a list of dog-friendly accommodations along your travel route for expected and unexpected overnight stops. If your dog is a newbie or a nervous traveler, it is vital that you start taking him on a short regular journey first so he can get used to the car and include lots of positive reinforcement with each drive to ensure that you both will have a smooth road trip. Furthermore, if you noticed that your dog is suffering from motion sickness during your trial run–as with humans– consider going to your dog’s vet for medication and any consultation needed for your trip.
For travel by air, you should also need to research on various airlines, as some will only allow a select number of pets to ride in the cabin for an additional fee. These slots are limited and commonly have size restrictions, so it’s best to book your tickets in advance and take note of the fine print to avoid surprises when you already arrive at the airport.
Train Your Dog for Travel
Apart from the tips mentioned previously, further dog travel training should be considered since not all dogs are as obedient or as comfortable with travel as they should be. If you opt to travel by trains and planes, chances are your dog will most likely be expected to travel confined to a carrier.
To start training your dog to get used to the carrier, try to be proactive. Invest at least several weeks before your trip by introducing your pooch to his carrier with no pressure and no force. The same way as to how you would have done with crate training, your dog should see the carrier as a safe and fun place.
Develop your dog’s eagerness by using positive association while being in the carrier such as tossing his favorite dog food or treats inside. This may take several days, but once your pooch is comfortable, you can send him into the carrier with a dog treat stuffed in his toy. However, as a responsible pet parent, washing dog toys should also be practiced if you are going to use this technique for your pooch. Increase the amount of time you spend on your dog’s carrier training until he gets comfortable with it. You can help your dog to enjoy a more exciting trip as well by making sure he’s being exercised regularly–both physically and mentally. Remember, a well-trained dog can fascinate fellow passengers as you travel to your holiday destination.
Get A Vet Health Certificate
Another thing that you need to keep in mind when traveling with a dog is to find out the necessary forms and certificates needed in the holiday spot you’ve chosen. Getting these documents can be a long and arduous procedure that varies depending on the type of animal you need to transport and especially on your destination country. But one certain document that you should bring with you is your dog’s vet health certificate. This is all-important and required even if it basically indicates that your dog is healthy to travel and may not show any signs of transferable diseases that can be passed on to other animals or the passengers.
The cost for a vet health certificate can differ depending on the medications, vaccines or booster as well as the health and age of your pet. The average costs may range between $35 and $300 for some veterinarian doctors but if you get the consultation at an animal shelter, the consultation can be free, or the cost can be next to nothing.
Pack Your Dog Travel Essentials
Certain travel necessities are a must for your to-pack list and make sure you have everything your pet might need during the journey. Among the must-pack items are:
- Water – You can never tell if there will be water available along the way so be sure to bring enough water to cover the whole trip.
- Food – Pack as much food as your pooch is going to need for your travel. You should also observe proper storing to avoid spoiling the food.
- Treat – This will ensure that your dog will show his best behavior during the trip.
- Toys – This will keep your furry travel companion entertained and feel at home during your stop.
- Extra Leash, Collar, and Dog Harness – You’ll never know when your dog’s leash or dog harness might break or get lost, so bringing extras of these essentials on hand will help you overcome this situation. It’s also important to get a dog collar personalized with your contact information or collar ID in case your dog gets lost.
- Waste disposal bags – This is no brainer. Cleaning up your dog’s waste is a sign of a responsible pet parent and shows respect in your vacation area.
- First Aid Kits – It’s always a good idea to bring some first-aid supplies to be prepared in any risky situations.
- Towels – Let’s face it, dogs can get a bit messy sometimes, so having a few towels on hand will be useful in case your pooch gets muddy or wet.
- Crate or Kennel – No matter how well-trained your furry companion is, it is still advised to keep him in the crate during travel. He may also feel comfortable sleeping on it while you’re in a hotel.
- Brush or Comb – Keeping your pooch groomed regularly will help make sure there are no nasty tangles and fur on the driver’s seat or reduce shedding during your stay in a hotel.
- Moist Towelettes – This might come in handy for wiping your dog’s paws before hopping back into the car or cleaning his nose prints off the windows.
Moreover, when choosing these items, it’s always wise to buy the best ones. Unfortunately, with so many good options for essentials stored on the market shelves, it can be too overwhelming to know which one you should purchase. Luckily, Wet Pet Coach is there to provide all the information you need when taking care of your pet and choosing the best type of supplies for your dog. You can visit their website at https://www.wellpet.org/ to find out more.
Of course, there’s no better advice than to prioritize your dog’s safety. When looking for your travel destination, it’s noteworthy to check for any veterinarian clinic or emergency hospitals nearby in case of emergencies. Still, if you notice that your dog is particularly nervous, could use a couple of rounds of carrier training or susceptible to changes in temperature, it’s probably best for both of you to leave him at home with a trusted sitter.