Bringing your dog along for vacation poses some challenges. Just as a crowded tourist destination is not for every person, the same can be said for canine companions. Not every relative, host or landlord will appreciate it if you show up on their doorstep with dog “under your shoulder”. Furthermore, some dogs are simply not cut out for extreme climate conditions or rough camping adventures. They can become over-excited, anxious or downright annoying when travelling, which can escalate into destructive behavior, not to mention constant barking. In order to have a happy vacation experience with your dog in tow, you have to be realistic and well prepared. For all of you who still plan to go through with this, here are top dog travelling tips for the canine vacation.
If you plan to bring your canine friend along for the trip, you have to take them into account when deciding where to go. It begins with a bit of research into vacation destinations that not only allow dogs, but are dog-friendly. Some destinations might allow dogs in hotels and surrounding areas, but do not when visiting actual tourist attractions. Additionally, to bring dogs into certain areas, not to mention transport them across the border, you’ll need proof of vaccination, health certificate and proof of ownership.
Before you embark on a journey with your dog, you have to think ahead. Travelling with dogs entails preparing your furry little friend for a variety of vehicular environments. No matter if it’s a car or a recreational vehicle, you have to train your dog to be relaxed on longer rides and make sure they don’t get car sick. You can practice a particular command that will signal your dog to settle down if they get riled up. In order to make the journey more pleasant for yourself and your dog, plan for frequent stops to stretch and toilet breaks. Spend some time playing with your dog by the rest stop. In order to go through with all of this, you’ll have to pack carefully.
Think of everything your dog might need depending on the environment you’re visiting. Bring a protection for its paws if vacation involves a lot of walking over rugged terrain. One of the most important things is to bring is your dog’s identification, a fitting collar with current ID and/or nameplate. This is crucial in case you’re separated. Don’t count on finding the right dog food once you are on location, even when that location is a city. Take a bag of supplies with you for your journey including treats for rewards and a healthier dietary brand such as Hills dog food; these should keep your pet fit and content throughout the journey. Along with a good strong leash, a bowl to drink from, a toy or two, and plenty of cleaning up materials, such as cloths, spray cleaner, poop baggies etc., should have you all set for the vacation of your lifetimes.
Think in terms of “dog time”
Now, let’s get the most important thing out of the way – your frame of mind. No matter what sort of vacation you are planning, plan it as if you will spend every waking second of it along with your dog. Don’t leave your dog in a hotel or on a campsite to play tourist and never leave your dog alone in a car no matter what. If you’re staying in a particular rental for a stretch of time (let’s say – a week), condition your dog to stay in this place but keep that separation brief. Some destinations will also offer day kennels, so you can leave your dog and go sightseeing, but make sure to check each kennel thoroughly for safety.
In the end, the experience will harden you both – each following vacation with your dog will become easier on both of you. Preparation will become your routine and dog will get accustomed to various environments. They will learn how to be patient and express less anxiety. Just remember that the point of such vacation is for both of you to have fun, and you are good to go.