12 Tips for Vacationing with a Dog
Your dog is a member of your family, so it only makes sense that you want to take him on your family vacation! Vacationing with a dog can be fun and enjoyable – as long as you prepare ahead of time.
Read on to discover twelve stress-free tips for vacationing with a dog.
- Make Sure Identification is Up-To-Date
One of the most important things to do before vacationing with a dog is to make sure your dog’s identification is up-to-date.
This means if your dog is microchipped that you have verified your contact information is correct.
It also means making sure your dog has an up-to-date id tag and collar.
- Visit the Vet
We know there is usually a big to-do list before you go on vacation and the idea of adding in a visit to the veterinarian may sound like it isn’t that important.
But it is!
Most places you take your dog will require your dog to be up to date on vaccinations and boosters. Additionally, your vet can let you know if your dog is healthy enough to travel.
This is also the perfect opportunity to discuss your dog’s car sickness. Your vet may be able to prescribe medication to address this issue prior to your trip.
- Invest in Car Safety
Even though your dog loves hanging her head out the car window, it’s much better to properly restrain your dog while traveling in a car.
“According to an American Automobile Association (AAA) survey [source], more than 80 percent of drivers admit that they recognize the dangers of driving with an unrestrained pet, but only 16 percent use pet restraints.
- An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a 50-mph car crash exerts 500 pounds of force.
- An 80-pound dog in a 30-mph car crash exerts 2,400 pounds of force.
- Just like small children, a dog can be killed by an inflating airbag, even if the dog is restrained.”
Keep dogs out of the front seat.
Invest in a travel carrier, dog car seat, or specially-made pet seatbelt.
- Pack a Dog Suitcase
When preparing for vacationing with a dog, it’s necessary to pack for your dog separately.
You want to be able to quickly and easily access the things your dog needs to feel comfortable and safe.
- Plan for Accidents
Even if your dog is completely potty-trained, it’s wise to prepare for accidents.
Your dog’s schedule will be off, and he’ll be in a different location. Things happen.
Plus, many dogs are prone to car sicknesses.
Pack a bag of cleanup supplies to keep with you just in case.
- Stop Often
When I travel, I don’t like to stop. I like to see just how far I can drive before I have to stop for gas.
But I don’t do that when I am vacationing with a dog.
If I don’t want to deal with what I mentioned in tip #5, I know I need to stop more often.
- Bring Comfort Supplies
Dogs are like us. There are certain things that make them feel more comfortable when they are in a different setting.
For example, does your dog sleep with the same blanket every night? If so, pack it. Does your dog have a favorite toy? Take it.
Speaking of comfort, it’s important to pack your dog’s regular food. A vacation isn’t the time you want to introduce something new.
- Read Up on Rules
Make sure you read up on the rules before traveling.
For instance, airlines have strict policies for those vacationing with a dog, and so do hotels.
You want to be sure you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s.
You’d hate to get to your destination and discover your dog isn’t welcome or needs another vaccination.
- Travel on an Empty Stomach
You can decrease carsickness by having your dog travel with an empty stomach.
Try to time his last feeding a bit ahead of your scheduled departure time.
However, make sure your dog has plenty of water before, during, and after traveling.
- Review Basic Commands
Since you are taking your dog to an unfamiliar location with strangers, it is important to make sure your dog can handle it.
One way to ensure he will be okay is to review basic commands.
Your dog should know SIT, COME, and STAY before you take them to a new environment.
- Doggy-Proof the Space
Don’t immediately let your dog roam the new space freely.
The American Kennel Club recommends, “Puppy-proof the vacation home (or room). Before you let your dog have free run of their home away from home, make certain it’s safe for your dog to explore. Be sure that electrical cords are out of reach and that previous occupants didn’t leave anything on the floor or under furniture that could be potentially harmful to your dog.”
- Opt for Dog-Friendly Destinations
Make vacationing with a dog even less stressful by choosing a dog-friendly destination.
If you stay somewhere where dogs are welcome, you will feel much more comfortable.
Even better if you find a vacation destination that has a lot of dog-friendly restaurants and attractions.
Don’t want to leave dog poop behind while you travel? Schedule Super Scooper poop scooping service before your vacation.