Should I Take My Dog on Vacation with Me?

Traveling with your dog is easier than ever before. It’s not hard to make sure you can find pet-friendly accommodations before you leave. There are plenty to choose from. Here are just three to get you started:

Some travel plans require that you leave your dog at home while you travel. For example, if you’re leaving the country, you wouldn’t want to subject your dog to any kind of foreign quarantine requirements. In that case, finding a trusted friend, neighbor or professional pet sitter to care for your pet would be far preferable.

However, if you’re staying within the country, consider bringing your dog along. Dogs do best when their pack leader, which is you, is right by their side. Even with the best of care, dogs become lonely when their pet parents are gone. Your own enjoyment of your hard-earned vacation may also be diminished by your worry and concern for your dog in your absence.

Here are some other helpful tips for traveling with your dog:

Car Travel

In just the same way that you would take precautions and equipment for a road trip with your family, take precautions for your dog. Bring a crate. It should be big enough for your pet to comfortably stand up and turn around. Stock it with favorite toys and blankets. It should be a welcoming place for your dog. Your dog is safer in a crate as you drive. It will keep him or her from distracting you. In the event of an accident, the crate will help protect the dog.

Don’t feed your dog just before departure. It may exacerbate car sickness. Make sure the dog has a chance to do his or her business before going in the crate.

Air Travel

Check with your airline about their policies for pet travel. Some require health certificates and may have other rules, too. A crate is absolutely essential for your pet to be able to fly on a plane. If your dog is very anxious, you can speak to your veterinarian about medications to help calm him or her during air travel. You can also try a natural calming remedy in the form of lavender oil. Rub a drop or two in your palms and give your dog a brief doggie massage. Make sure you take the dog for a walk before departing for the airport.

Staying in a Hotel

Upon arrival, take your dog for a long walk. Remember that you’re responsible for your dog’s behavior even in a pet-friendly hotel. Don’t let him or her jump on, growl at, or annoy other guests. Don’t leave the animal in the room for extended periods of time. In a new and possibly frightening environment, your dog may bark or howl in your absence. This is unfair to your pet and to other guests. You brought your dog with you, so you should plan to keep him or her with you most of the time.

If you are having a difficult time finding a hotel in your destination which is pet-friendly, you could always look for short-term apartment rentals that are pet-friendly. These kind of rentals can be found through services like Airbnb, Tripping, and FlipKey, or they can be found by searching through local rental services or even corporate housing services. In these kinds of accommodations, it is more acceptable to leave your dog at the rented apartment for longer periods because you will not be disturbing other guests.

Following these simple tips will help ensure a safe and fun experience for both you and your pet. When you plan your vacation well, you won’t have to worry about your pet’s welfare in your absence, and you can enjoy your time away from home on holiday.

 

Resources:

Rover

How Stuff Works

St. Louis Corporate Housing

ASPCA

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