If you are booking a vacation hotel and the first thing you check for is the word ‘dog-friendly’, welcome to the select group of travelers who like to take their furry companions on their day out.
There are quite a few things to consider before taking your dog out on a holiday. While their own well-being will be your top priority, you will also need to think of how your dog behaves around others and doesn’t get into a situation that causes harm to other people or property.
Here are 5 ways to keep your dog safe and happy during a holiday:
A road trip comes with your dog being cooped up in a small moving space for a long time. There are people who don’t take car travel too well so it’s natural that you’ll have to do a good amount of pre-planning when taking your dog along.
If your dog is completely intolerant to car travel, the best way to take them along is by crating them. The most important thing here is not to treat the crate as a ‘prison’ but make it a comfortable way for your pet to relax. Make sure the crate and harness are from companies who have crash tested it. You’ll need a secure harness or even a pet car seat that can keep your pet safe during the ride. As a general caution, keep the power windows locked at all times and don’t let your dog hang out his head.
You’ll also need to ensure that your dog gets enough break and resting time in between long drives.
You’ll first need to call the airlines well ahead of time to inform them about bringing your dog along. Be ready to pay extra fees because it is no mean task to accommodate a dog. The staff will most likely want a well-trained, non-vocal dog with a decent temperament during the flight. If you have even one missing aspect from the above three, it’s best not to subject your poor friend and yourself to a troubling situation. Get your dog’s health certificate lined up, just in case the airlines ask for it.
On the day of the flight, make sure you exhaust your dog before the journey with a long walk or a healthy exercise routine. A tired dog is less likely to get antsy and may just naturally sleep through. Check out the plane’s air condition and prepare your dog with some extra blankets to make sure it stays comfortable. If you are hopping flights, ask for pet relief stations within the airport. Use sedatives only as the last resort. Here are more tips on air travel with your dog
You’ve finally finished one part of your travel and arrived at your hotel. Now begins the next crucial stage in your pet’s journey. How they’ll adapt to the new location will make or break your vacation. Start with finding a pet-friendly hotel. There are several hotels who now offer this but also charge a premium for it. Some will also have spas where your pet can get pampered while you take some time out.
But you’ll not be able to leave your pet alone in the room if you want to step out. Most hotels have policies against it and you will have to arrange for a pet sitter to take care of them. Several popular tourist destinations like the Disney Theme Parks have a kennel service that will allow you to visit your dog during the day to reduce their anxiety. In any case, plan your stay and activity in a way that can work with your pet’s schedule.
Cautiously ration out food and water during travel. Cut out the water bowl two hours before a long journey and limit the food intake to small portions high in proteins. Make sure your dog likes the food that you plan to take during travel. Your dog should find a way to do his ‘business’ whenever you halt for a break.
Traveling with a pet is not the easiest thing in the world. There are chances that you’ll get frustrated about your vacation not going as per plan because of their requirements. In that case, it’s best to find a good sitter and leave them home. If you’ve taken the plunge then ensure you never leave your pet alone – not even for a few minutes. Equip your pet with id tags so that in the unfortunate eventuality that you are unable to locate him, others may able to id. Also keep your pet’s photo, vet’s details and local emergency numbers handy.