Traveling with your dog does not have to be stressful if you plan everything well. The better prepared you are, the better your trip with your dog will be! Find out here what you need to consider when your dog is traveling with you!
1) Pack Spares
Some stuff just breaks or falls apart – preferably at the worst time, where you’re also unable to get a quick replacement. So it’s always recommendable to have a spare of all the essentials: collar, leash, toys, food & water bowl, ID. Better be safe than sorry!
2) Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Taking a long walk or doing some physically exhausting exercises with your dog helps to release any existing tension. And an exercised dog is a tired dog. And tired dogs usually become sleeping dogs, which ultimately leads to a more peaceful journey.
3) No Food Before Departure
If you think your dog can’t suffer from travel sickness, then you’re thinking wrong. Just like us, dogs can have problems with nausea when traveling by car, airplane, train, or ship. Besides talking to your vet before leaving for vacation for some suitable remedies against travel sickness, it also helps not feeding your dog right before departure. It’s best only to get him a light meal 3-4 hours before you leave and to make sure to have a bowl and a bottle of water ready every time you take a break. Talking of breaks: if your dog is traveling with you, take a few more breaks than you’d do without him. Traveling is stressful for your pet, and a proper amount of breaks, where he’s able to stretch his legs, “relieve” himself and drink some water, already makes a huge difference.
4) Where’s The Next Vet?
A travel first-aid kit is a must-have for your journey. But don’t forget to pack one for your dog, too! And if – dog forbid! – you’re confronted with a real emergency with your dog, it’s crucial to know where’s the nearest vet clinic. Of course, with all those smartphones nowadays, you simply look it up on the internet, but when the battery’s dead or you’ve got no signal, then you’ll be glad to know still where to go.
Apropos vet: Make sure to get your timing right with all standard vaccinations and paperwork, like medical records, insurance info, and travel documents. Just in case: Take photos of your dog’s medical history documents and save them on your phone (“two is better than one”). And while you’re already at the vet for a quick check-up, consider microchipping your dog, if you haven’t already. If you’re planning to cross borders inside the EU during your trip, you should get your dog an EU Pet Passport.
6) Dirty Laundry
Some dogs have a hard with being left alone in a crate, which occurs if you’re traveling by plane or ferry. Especially if they’re also in an unfamiliar environment, it helps them to smell something that they’ll connect with their owners or families. Unwashed socks or a dirty shirt, as strange as it sounds, can immensely help your dog relax.
It’s already common sense having an ID tag for your dog’s collar that lists your home address and cellphone number. For your vacation, however, you might as well use another label with the location and phone number of the hotel you plan to stay. But have you ever heard about GPS trackers for your pet before? Of course, we hope you’ll never see yourself looking for your lost dog. Still, those GPS trackers can be real lifesavers, especially abroad, where neither you nor your dog is familiar with the surroundings. The trackers are quite small and can be attached to your dog’s collar. With the corresponding app, you’re ready to go and have one thing less to worry about.
8) Be kind and say Hello
No matter where you go with your dog, be honest and tolerant. Some people you come across love animals, while others are terrified of even a tiny puppy. So be polite and know your dog’s limits. If you plan on spending some time at a local dog park, why not use it to make some dog-owner friends? It’s always great to meet new people, and your dog is already an icebreaker to initiate a conversation. Local dog owners know for sure the best dog-friendly restaurants or the best spots to hang out with your dog. Because there’s just no better way to appreciate a new place than with your four-legged fur-friend! 🙂