By John Vanderbeck
Most dogs love to go on an adventure, and traveling with their owners makes it even more fun for everyone! It is in their nature to explore new places and meet new people. However, often traveling with your dog can be difficult. There is the problem of housing and transportation for the dog first and foremost, but even once you get past that issue others arise such as dealing with your dogs mess on the trip and more.
Many people feel that taking their dog with them is just too much of a hassle. This article is about convincing you otherwise, however if you just feel it would be easier to travel without your dog then into kennel or pet handler services while you are away. Hiring the services of a professional pet handler to care for your dog while you are away is often the best choice for your dog, but is also more costly then a kennel. Should you choose to go with a kennel then do some research first to find one that is clean and comfortable, and is run by people who truly care about the animals in the kennel. Some kennels will even allow you to bring extras like your dogs sleeping mat, a toy or two, and his or her own food. Whichever route you take, you will need to ensure your dog is current on all shots and immunizations as this is required for any kennel admission.
If you decide that you and your best friend will stay together and travel together, then here are 10 tips to make your journey safer and easier:
1. Purchase a good, solid dog carrier. Don’t even consider traveling without one. If you are flying, many airlines will offer to sell you one of theirs but they can be very costly. Visit your local pet store. When making your reservations check to see what the airlines policies are on pets. Some airlines require the dog to be in the luggage compartment, while others will allow you to keep the dog with you. Know this before you pay for your ticket.
2. Never ever leave your dog in a hot car, even if you roll the windows down. A car in the sun can reach temperatures of near 200 degrees causing heat stroke and even death to pets left in them.
3. Always use a leash and remain with your pet at all times. Dogs are very curious and in new places may try to run off and explore.
4. Never leave your dog unattended in his or her carrier. The theft or kidnapping of your dog is a very real possibility.
5. If renting a car for a long road trip, or traveling by train, remember that your dog must have adequate cooling to stay healthy and safe. Look for cars and cabins with air conditioning.
6. Before leaving your house, be sure that your dog has clear and effective identification. Be sure that the identification provides a way to get a hold of you while you are still away from home.
7. Don’t forget to bring your dogs food, toys, and other essentials to keep them happy. Bring bottled water as well.
8. Acquire a certification from your vet that shows your dog is current on all immunizations.
9. Fix up a doggy first aid kit for the trip.
10. Ensure your dog has the chance to potty every few hours. When in unfamiliar places like this your dog’s regular potty schedule will be interrupted and you don’t want any embarrassing issues. If traveling to a theme park, check with employees about places setup for your dog to potty in. Most will have areas around the park for you to use.
And here 2 bonus tips for traveling abroad:
1. Contact the embassy ahead of time to find out what specific rules the country may have regarding pets.
2. Often times you will be required to provide various certifications from the embassy or consulate. Get this ahead of time just to be safe.
Now that you know how to have a safe and fun trip with your best friend, you can plan that next vacation without worry!
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