Tips for traveling with your dog
A vacation is usually a welcome break from the daily grind. However, for those who have to leave a beloved pet at home, a getaway can be sad and stressful. In fact, 40% of pet parents confessed that when they’re gone for a week-long vacation, it’s harder to leave their furry family member behind than their significant other. So, it’s probably not surprising that the number of people who vacation with their pets has grown significantly over the last decade.
Traveling with a pet, though, is not always easy. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help make your journey less stressful, including the following:
Before you head out on vacation with your dog, make sure that the contact information on your pet’s microchip is correct. It’s also a good idea to have your pet wear a travel ID tag with your phone number and address.
You should also bring your pet’s vaccination records with you. You never know when you may need to prove that your pet has had his or her rabies or Bordetella vaccines. Some campgrounds, for instance, require proof of a rabies vaccine before you can enter. If you have pet insurance, don’t forget to bring your policy information as well. You may need it if your pet gets sick or injured during your trip.
Make your next road trip with your pet a successful one by doing the following:
• Carry a portable water bowl and water
• Never leave your pet alone in the car on a hot day
• Make sure your pet is receiving enough air conditioning if traveling in the back seat
• If your pet tends to get car sick, consider getting a prescription for motion sickness medication from your veterinarian
• Plan to stop every couple hours for bathroom breaks, walks, and to feed and give them water
• Consider using a seat belt harness
Most — if not all — airlines require that you have a health certificate for your dog if you plan to fly with him or her. In most cases, you will need to obtain this certificate within a certain timeframe (typically 10-14 days before your flight).
Research before booking accommodations
Most accommodations that allow pets charge an extra fee, which can vary greatly. For instance, some hotels charge a one-time pet fee per stay. Others charge a fee for each day of a pet’s stay. Still others don’t charge any fees.
The difference in these fees can add up quickly, so always comparison shop before selecting a hotel. You’ll also need to check on any limitations that a property may have on the size of the animals they allow, as well as the number of pets that can stay with you.
On another note, it’s a good idea to bring a crate for your dog. Some pets can get anxious when they’re in new surroundings. Unfortunately, a nervous dog could wreak havoc in a hotel or rental property, tearing blinds or carpeting or having accidents. Keeping a dog crated when you need to leave him or her alone in your vacation accommodation could potentially save you from having to pay expensive damage fees.
Use apps to find dog-friendly eateries
Dining while traveling with a dog can have its challenges. You can’t leave your pet in your car on warm or hot days, and most accommodations don’t allow dogs into the main dining area. Fortunately, there are several apps and websites you can use to search for pet-friendly eateries.
Research your destinations
When creating an itinerary for your trip, check if the attractions or destinations you want to visit allow pets. You might be surprised to learn that many popular destinations don’t allow dogs or limit their movement.
For example, in some national parks, dogs are only allowed on certain trails. Additionally, many beaches are not dog friendly, especially during the summer months. Do your research before hitting the road, so you can scratch a non-pet-friendly destination off your itinerary.
Ready, set, go!
Pets love being with their humans, so they’re sure to appreciate being with you on your next big trip. Traveling together is also an excellent way to strengthen the bond between you and your furry family member. Follow the tips above and you’re sure to have a wonderful adventure!
AUTHOR BIO: Lizz Caputo is Content Strategist at Figo Pet Insurance — provider of the industry’s best pet insurance plans. She is an animal enthusiast and owner of a rescued senior American bully.