Our pets are a big part of our family, right down to sleeping in our bed and sharing meals with us. So when you think about taking a vacation with your pets, it’s natural to want to bring them along.
Some pets are great travelers and some are not. These tricks will help you have the best vacation you can with your pets.
Make a list
Making a list of everything you’ll need is the easiest way to make sure you don’t forget something.
Things you’ll definitely need:
- a leash
- dog dish
- waste bags
- collar and tags
- a flashlight for walks in the dark
Things you might need:
- dog brush
- pet bed
A few days before your vacation, make an appointment with your vet to make sure your dog is fit to travel. Be sure microchips are in working order. Before hitting the road, find out about vet clinics in the area you intend to visit. You never know when something will happen, and you’ll want to be prepared.
- Write down a list with addresses and numbers along your route.
- Check reviews of the clinics to make sure they are respectable and
- Bring vaccination records in case you need to prove your pet is up to date.
If you’re taking public transportation, make sure pets are allowed. Many buses and airplanes don’t allow pets unless they are registered service animals. If you are traveling by private car, you want to make sure that it is comfortable and safe for your dog.
- Safety harnesses are a great way to keep your pet restrained, especially since your dog can be thrown from a vehicle in an accident.
- Use ramps or steps to help elderly or disabled pets get into your car.
- Don’t forget to stop along the way to let your pet take care of business and stretch its legs.
- Don’t leave your pet in the car unattended. Even if the windows are cracked, the temperature inside a parked car can still get up to 120 degrees on a 95ᴼ day.
When booking a place in which to stay, you want to find out the answer to these questions:
- Is it pet-friendly?
- Is there a pet fee?
- Are there refundable or nonrefundable pet deposits?
- What about a cleaning fee?
Some venues might restrict the number, weight, or breed of pets you can bring. Take your pet’s crate in case you need to leave him or her in the room as well as their favorite items, like a bed or toys, to make them feel comfortable.
Avoid making changes to your dog’s diet when you travel. If you make changes, you might upset your dog’s digestive system, and he or she might have an accident. A great way to pack your dog’s food is to buy samples of your pet’s brand at the pet store. These perfectly-sized, convenient portions will save space in your suitcase.
Make sure you keep your dog hydrated. Traveling takes a toll, and a dehydrated dog is a tired dog.
Don’t forget about treats!
For your dog’s sanity and yours, plan activities to keep your dog entertained.
- Take your dog for a hike. Pack a pet transport stretcher in case your pet becomes injured.
- If your dog loves the water, allow your dog to go for a swim if possible. Take a swim vest to keep your dog safe in the water.
- Keep your dog’s paws free from painful cracks by using boots if the terrain is going to be different from your pet’s usual routine.
- Bring toys for playing in the park.
If your dog is elderly and disabled, you will need some extra stuff to bring:
- Bring any medications or supplements with you that your elderly pet needs.
- If your pet has incontinence problems, pet diapers and/or puppy pads are great options.
- If your dog uses a wheelchair, make sure it’s on the list so you don’t forget it!
Let your relationship be your guide
The most important tip is to know your pet. You know what will keep your dog happy and feeling safe on the road. Your bond with your pet is one of the greatest things in the world. Use it to your advantage to anticipate his or her wants and needs. Take a deep breath and enjoy your vacation!