For some people, the hardest part about going on vacation is leaving behind their four-legged friend. If you feel that way, no worries! There are many places that you can travel WITH your pet and I’m going to teach you how to do it.
Meet Lucy- Our little Schweenie (Shih-tzu/Dachshund) She goes pretty much everywhere we go and has become quite the travel warrior. Here is a list of things we do to make traveling with a pet easier:
1. Start short! Try taking short road trips first and don’t stay for too long. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend in the car, on an airplane, or away from home. Your pet will need some time to get used to it but I promise they will! 2. Make it fun! Bring a special treat, toy, or focus on doing things your pet likes. For example: Lucy loves to chew on bones and so we bring them for the car rides. She also loves being outdoors and so we try to do activities outdoors once we reach our destination.3. Research the location. Research is going to be your best friend when going somewhere new. Look into pet-friendly hotels or locations. Many towns are known for being super accommodating to pets while others- not so much. Remember that some national parks, beaches, and trails don’t allow pets. Don’t get frustrated, just look for the places that DO! 🙂4. Pack familiar items. Just like you, your dog loves to have a few comfort items when being in a new space. Even if it’s only for a weekend, packing your pet’s favorite blanket, bed, or toy brings the scent of home along with you and helps them feel comfortable. No matter where we go we bring Lucy’s crate. It is her home and a place she can always feel safe. 5. Take you pet to the vet before you go. It’s always smart to make an appointment with your vet before your upcoming travel plans — especially if you are going on an airplane or a long drive. And if you’re flying, most airlines require a health certificate signed by your vet. For peace of mind it is good to get your pet microchipped so there’s no concern of them getting lost while you’re away.
6. Save on travel space. If you are going to be gone for a while, you can save on travel space by picking up some of the things you’ll need for your pet while on vacation. A bag of food, for example, can take up a lot of room in a suitcase but can easily be purchased at your destination. If you aren’t worried about space, I’d recommend saving the hassle and just bringing along what you need. Don’t forget food, bowls, treats, bedding, and a leash!7. Wait until they are potty trained. It is considerate and overall less stressful if your pet is potty trained. They still may have accidents because they are in a new place with new smells. Bring training pads, diapers, or be extra diligent taking them outside frequently to avoid this problem. When traveling, make sure you account for potty breaks and have a plan!
8. Be safe! About 30,000 accidents are caused each year by an unrestrained dog in the front seat, according to the AAA. If a pet is free in the vehicle in can not only distract to the driver but they are also more likely to be injured in an accident. Keeping your dog restrained is important for the safety of you and your pet.
I hope these suggestions help! If you are still worried, talk with your vet and see what they would recommend for you and your fur baby. You want traveling with them to be fun and not a traumatic experience 🙂
Happy Travels Furry Friends!