Are you one of those lucky people who get to take their dog with them on vacation? If so, you know that it can add an extra layer of fun and excitement to your trip. But if you’re not prepared, it can also be a lot of work. Here are eight tips to help make your trip as safe and stress-free as possible for both you and your furry friend.
1) Pack Spares
When traveling with your dog, it’s always a good idea to pack spares of everything. You never know when something will break or fall apart – preferably at the worst time when you’re also unable to get a quick replacement. So it’s recommendable to have a spare than to be without the essentials. That being said, make sure to pack an extra collar, leash, toys, and food & water bowl. ID tags are also essential in case your dog gets lost. That way, if something does go wrong, you’ll be able to continue enjoying your vacation without any major disruptions. And, of course, your dog will appreciate having all their favorite things with them on vacation, too!
2) Exercise Before Leaving
Before packing up the car or trailer and hitting the road, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that ensure a peaceful journey. First, take your dog on a long walk or do some other physically exhausting activity to release any existing tension. This will help them to calm down and relax during the drive. Secondly, remember that an exercised dog is a tired dog. So, if you can tire them out before getting on the road, they’re more likely to take a nap during the journey. And finally, keep in mind that every dog is different. Some may do fine with a long car ride, while others may get anxious or restless. If you know your dog gets stressed out on road trips, be sure to pack some calming treats or toys to help them relax. By following these simple tips, you and your furry friend can enjoy a stress-free vacation.
3) No Food Before Departure
If you think your dog can’t suffer from travel sickness, you’re thinking wrong. Just like us, dogs can have problems with nausea when traveling by car, airplane, train, or ship. It’s therefore recommended not to feed your dog right before departure. Best, get him a light meal 3-4 hours before you leave, and make sure to have a bowl and a bottle of water ready every time you take a break. But you might also want to talk to your vet before leaving for vacation for some suitable remedies against travel sickness, just to be prepared. Another thing to keep in mind: 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 can stretch his legs, “relieve” himself and drink some water, already makes a huge difference.
4) Where’s The Next Vet?
Traveling with pets can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality. That’s why it’s essential to pack a travel first-aid kit for your four-legged friend. Your kit should include items like gauze, bandages, scissors, eye wash, and a tick remover. You should also pack non-prescription medications like pain relievers and anti-nausea medication in case your pet gets sick or injured while on the road. And don’t forget to include your pet’s medical records in case you need to visit a vet while traveling. Speaking of vets, it’s also a good idea to research the nearest vet clinic to your destination in case of an emergency. 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, you’ll still be glad to know where to go. With a little careful planning, you can enjoy your journey safely, knowing that you and your pet are well prepared for anything coming your way.
5) Keep Your (Dog’s) Paperwork Up-to-Date
Apropos vet: Before you hit the road, taking care of your dog’s paperwork is essential. Ensure all of your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and that you have copies of their medical records. Also, check that your insurance info and other travel documents are still correct. If you haven’t already, you should also microchip your dog in case they get lost during your trip. If you’re planning to travel within the EU, you’ll need an EU Pet Passport for your dog. This document provides proof that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies and other diseases and is required for all dogs traveling across borders within the EU.
6) Dirty Laundry Helps During Flights & Ferry Rides
If you’re traveling by plane or ferry with your dog, you must put them in a crate to keep them safe and secure. However, some dogs have a hard time being left alone in a crate, which can be exacerbated by being in an unfamiliar environment. To help ease their anxiety, it can be helpful to include something that smells like you in their crate. An unwashed sock or dirty shirt might not sound appealing to us, but to your dog, it will be a familiar scent that will help them relax. Of course, every dog is different, and you’ll know best what will help them feel comfortable and secure. But if you’re looking for a simple way to ease your dog’s anxiety, giving them a familiar scent to hold on to might just do the trick. Don’t underestimate the power of a little bit of dirty laundry.
7) GPS for Dogs
It’s already common sense to have 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 at. 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 absolute lifesavers, especially abroad, where neither you nor your dog is familiar with the surroundings. The trackers are pretty small and can be attached to your dog’s collar. Then, with the corresponding app, you’re ready to go and have one thing less to worry about.
8) Be Kind and Say Hello
Dogs are known as “mankind’s best friend” for a reason – they provide us with companionship, love, and loyalty. However, not everyone shares this affection for these furry creatures. Some people are naturally scared of animals; even a tiny puppy can be too much for them. Not everyone is as comfortable around dogs as you may be. As a responsible dog owner, respecting other people’s feelings and knowing your dog’s limits are essential. But this shouldn’t hold you back from the opportunity to meet new people while you’re on vacation with your dog. Dog parks are a great place to start where you’ll meet other dog owners who can for sure tell you about the best dog-friendly restaurants and spots to hang out with your furry friend. Because there’s just no better way to appreciate a new place than with your four-legged fur-friend! 🙂