Summer is the perfect time to head out on the road with your family. Long days and starry night invite you to play, explore, and make memories that last a lifetime.
Many families wonder if they should bring their best four-legged friend with them on vacation. After all, your dog is a big part of your family, and would probably be much happier with you than cooped up in a kennel.
While traveling with your dog can be a lot of fun, it can also be stressful for them. Careful planning and some common sense will ensure you and your dog can enjoy everything your summer vacation has to offer.
Here are 8 tips for how you can all have the happiest, healthiest, and safest adventure:
1. Call Ahead
Many hotels, motels and even campgrounds don’t allow pets, so it’s important you call ahead and make sure your pooch will be welcome. Ask before you book your accommodations so you don’t get any nasty surprises upon check-in.
2. Get Fido to the Vet
If you plan on traveling with your dog, it's a good idea to make sure they're healthy enough for travel. Older dogs may have an undiagnosed health issue that could make travel unsuitable. Your vet can screen for any potential risk factors. Also, if you’re flying with your dog, you will most likely be required to show proof of current vaccinations.
3. Get Those ID Tags Up-To-Date
Old ID tags are often faded and scratched, making your contact information hard to read. Of course you hope your dog doesn’t get loose and run off, but better safe than sorry.
Also, if you haven’t done so, consider getting your dog micro-chipped. Sometimes collars can get caught on things and slip off, leaving your dog without any way to be identified. Micro-chipping solves this problem.
4. Make a List
You’re so busy packing your stuff and the kids’ stuff that you forgot Buddy’s favorite toy! Oh no! It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you bring everything your dog will need. This includes toys, bedding, plenty of food, medications and a first aid kit.
If your dog is going to be cooped up for hours in a car or on a plane, make sure you give them plenty of exercise before traveling with your dog. This will keep them calm so they can enjoy the journey.
6. Stick to Your Routine
Dogs are creatures of habit. They actually love routines. So, even though you’ll be in a new place, try and stick to that routine. This means taking them for walks at the same time, feeding them at the same times, and giving them plenty of attention. If you think this won’t be possible, or you think they’ll be cooped up in the hotel room alone all day, reconsider whether it’s a good idea to take them with you.
7. Consider Diapers and Belly Bands
Incontinence is a common problem in many older dogs, who require bathroom breaks every few hours. If you have a long trip ahead, consider doggie diapers.
Your best pal won’t mean to soil your car, but he or she just can’t help it. Our doggie diapers and belly bands (for male dogs) are washable and come in sizes ranging to fit the tiniest of tea cup chihuahuas to the largest great Danes.
If you’re planning on traveling with your dog and he or she is older and/or suffering from incontinence, check out our selection of diapers and belly bands. Don’t let messes mess up your holiday.
8. Never Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car
Your dog can’t regulate his body temperature as well as you can. It only takes a few minutes for them to become overheated, which can cause them to become very ill and even die. Never leave your dog in a hot car, not even if you park in the shade.
If you follow these tips, everyone in your family should have a wonderful summer vacation.