In the United States, there are almost 90 million dogs owned as pets. Most dog owners are deeply attached to their dogs and consider them to be a family member. In fact, dogs are so popular, that many choose to travel with their dogs rather than leave them in a kennel. The popularity of dogs has made it easier than ever to bring your pet with you when you go away, and with a little preparation, you can have a fantastic time traveling with your dog. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind when traveling with your dog.
1. Car Essentials
Make sure you have a dog harness for car travel and use it while driving. In some states, dog harnesses are legally required. Dog harnesses, which are basically seat belts for your dog, will keep your dog from being thrown from the vehicle in the event of a car crash and will keep your pet from interfering with you while you’re driving.
You will also want to ensure that you have water handy, especially if you have a long drive. Make sure that your air conditioning and heating is working properly so that you can keep your car at a safe temperature for your pup. It’s also a good idea to keep a nearby window cracked a little, but not enough for your dog to put their head outside since that can be dangerous.
2. Pack for Your Pup
Your dog will need their own luggage for your trip. It’s a great idea to bring along their dog crate or a favorite blanket they can sleep on. This will help them feel comfortable in new environments. If you’re going to be away from family members while traveling, you may also want to bring old shirts that have their scent to help reduce your dog’s anxiety.
Make sure you bring their favorite dog food and some of their favorite toys. Traveling can cause some dogs to feel nervous and they may want to chew on things. You want to ensure they have a safe option if they do need to chew so that they don’t damage furniture or other items while you’re traveling.
3. Take Care of Medical and Legal Needs
Plan a visit to your vet to ensure that your pup is in good health before you travel and restock any medications your dog is taking. Treat them for fleas, ticks, and heart worm before you leave so that they will be safe from bug bites while you’re away. Pack their paperwork so you have a record of their latest shots in case of an emergency while traveling.
Check to ensure that you have your dog’s license and rabies tag on their collar, as this is legally required in many places. You should also have your dog’s name and a contact phone number on their collar tag in case they get loose. It’s a good idea to get our dog a microchip if possible before you leave for extra security.
4. Plan Ahead
Advance research can help make your trip a fantastic one for you and your pet. First, ensure that you have pet-friendly accommodations. Book rooms in advance or have a list of multiple options to choose from so that you can keep your pup with you at night. You can also plan for rest stops on your drive so your dog doesn’t have any accidents.
Many communities have dog-friendly venues, such as dog parks, that you can visit. There are dog-friendly beaches and even dog-friendly bakeries and restaurants where you can keep your pet with you. Planning ahead will ensure that you are familiar with some great options where you and your dog can go to have a great vacation.
5. Plan for Memories and Mementos
Make sure you have your camera with you so that you can take plenty of pictures. It’s also a great idea to have a cloud photo manager, which can hold up to 1 Terabyte of data, or 2 million photographs. They can also be synced to cameras and smartphones so they automatically download all new images.
People often collect knickknacks while traveling, and your dog may also want some souvenirs! Add to your pup’s collection of bandanas or let them pick out a new toy at your vacation destinations. This is a great way to make your pet feel special and enjoy your trip together.