A dog is man’s best friend, so of course, you want to bring your pup along with you when you travel. However, it’s not as simple as just grabbing the leash and heading out the door. Preparation is important, and there are some problems you might run into. Below are ways to prepare for and overcome these problems so you can enjoy a trip with your dog.
Problem: What to Pack
The first step for anyone preparing to leave for travel is to pack what you need. You may already have a bag with pup’s stuff if you bring him along for day-to-day activities. Items like their leash, collapsible bowls, poop bags, and treats are likely already in your bag. Depending on your destination, you may need other items and gear. If you are going to the beach, you may want to bring dog-approved sunscreen and a Frisbee for your dog to play with. If you are going hiking or camping, you will need a backpack to help carry some of the supplies. Research your activity to ensure that you have all the proper gear.
Problem: Transporting Your Pup
Unless you are embarking upon a staycation with your furry friend, you are going to need to travel to reach your destination. If you are planning to fly with your dog, be sure to properly research the rules, restrictions, and consider your dog’s personality and breed. Some breeds, like short-nosed dogs, have troubles breathing at certain altitudes, so travel by air may not be a safe option for your pet. Most often, people choose to travel by car when bringing along their doggo. A road trip allows for flexibility to stop as often as needed to allow for bathroom breaks and rehydration. Research a quality vehicle harness to keep your pup safe in the event of a car accident. Just like for people, your dog’s safety is a priority when traveling.
Problem: Finding Dog-Friendly Locations
Choosing the right destination takes just as much consideration and planning as preparing to travel. Not all places are dog-friendly, and you don’t want to bring your pet with you only to have to leave him in a hotel room the whole time. Outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, boating, and even skiing are all a great opportunity to have your doggo come along with you. According to the Travel Channel, beach vacations can be pet-friendly, but you need to do your research. Every beach is different, and not all of them allow pets. Many major cities are becoming more flexible for pet owners, allowing dogs to eat on the patio with you at restaurants. So, plan ahead and you’ll be able to include your pup in all of your activities.
Problem: Overnight Stays
You’ve packed your bags, hopped in the car, and now you’re headed to your destination. When you have to stop for the night, plan ahead to ensure that pet-friendly accommodations are available. If you are already planning to go camping, you can easily find a national park or campsite along the way to pitch a tent with your pup. If not, you will need to research which hotels allow pets and whether they will charge a pet fee. Another option that, according to VRMB, is growing in popularity is to utilize a vacation rental home for a night. Again, you need to ensure that pets are allowed, but there are many that are dog-friendly, and they are extremely affordable. You may even luck out and find one with a yard to let your pooch run around a bit.
With the right planning and preparation, you can avoid all these problems. You can relax and enjoy your vacation with man’s best friend.
Problem: Dietary and Health Concerns
Just like humans, dogs have their dietary routines and health needs that can be disrupted during travel. Before setting out, make a list of your dog’s daily regimen, including food type, feeding times, medication, or supplements. Always pack an extra supply of your dog’s regular food. Switching foods abruptly can cause stomach upset, which is the last thing you need while traveling. If your dog is on medication or has specific health concerns, consult your vet about travel precautions. Always carry a basic first aid kit tailored for dogs, including bandages, antiseptics, and any prescription medications your pet might need.
Problem: Adapting to New Environments
Some dogs might find it challenging to adapt to new environments, which can cause anxiety. To make the transition smoother, bring along familiar items like your dog’s favorite toy, blanket, or bed. These can provide comfort in unfamiliar territories. Also, upon reaching your destination, spend some time allowing your dog to explore the new surroundings. This exploration can help them feel more at ease. Using familiar bowls for feeding, maintaining their routine, and ensuring you have some quiet time together can help in making the unfamiliar environment feel more like home.
Problem: Activities and Entertainment
During travel, dogs might not get their usual playtime, which can lead to pent-up energy. To counteract this, pack some portable toys or interactive games. You can consider items like chew toys, puzzle feeders, or tug toys. When making stops, try to incorporate some quick playtime or a brief walk. These can help in expending energy and keeping your dog stimulated. Also, if you’re traveling to a destination for several days, researching dog parks or pet-friendly attractions can be beneficial.
How to Travel with Raw Dog Food?
Traveling with raw dog food requires more than just a simple packing job; it’s about ensuring the food remains fresh and safe for your pup to consume. Start by portioning meals into resealable bags or containers. This not only keeps the food organized but also reduces the exposure to bacteria every time you access the food. For transportation, a high-quality cooler or insulated bag is essential. Always use ice packs to maintain the necessary cold temperature and keep the food fresh. Moreover, when you reach your destination, ensure that there’s a refrigerator or freezer to store the raw food. If you’re staying in a hotel, verify in advance if they can provide this facility. Alternatively, some pet owners opt for freeze-dried raw dog food during travel, which offers the benefits of raw feeding but without the need for refrigeration.
Dog Travel Bed Bag?
Your dog’s comfort during travel is paramount, and a dog travel bed bag can be an indispensable accessory. A dog travel bed bag typically combines the convenience of a carry bag with the comfort of a dog bed. When folded, it acts as a regular bag where you can store essentials like toys, bowls, or treats. Once you arrive at your destination, it unfolds into a comfortable bed for your canine friend. Opt for one that is durable, easy to clean, and designed with materials that cater to your dog’s comfort. When choosing the right one, consider the size and weight of your dog, ensuring it provides ample space for them to stretch and relax. Not only does this mean your dog has a familiar place to sleep in unfamiliar territories, but it also means one less item for you to carry.
Where to Leave Your Dog When You Travel?
If taking your furry friend on a trip isn’t feasible, ensuring they’re well-taken care of in your absence is crucial. One popular option is boarding kennels. These establishments are designed to cater to pets, offering services ranging from daily walks to grooming. Before choosing a kennel, visit the facility to gauge the cleanliness, space, and the staff’s interaction with animals. Another option is hiring a pet sitter. This can be someone you know, like a friend or family member, or a professional pet sitter. The advantage here is that your dog remains in a familiar environment. There are also dog hotels which offer luxury pet care services, providing amenities akin to human hotels. Lastly, consider tech platforms like Rover or DogVacay, which connect pet owners with local hosts willing to care for dogs in their homes. Regardless of the choice, always ensure you leave clear care instructions, your vet’s contact, and any necessary medication or special food.