How to Safely Vacation With Your Dog
Vacationing can be an excellent way to relieve some of the pressure and stress that mounts up throughout the year. Whether you’re booking a hotel room a few towns over or travelling to an entirely different country, some time spent exploring new places can be great fun for you and your loved ones. However, if you are a dog owner, you may be wondering what you should do with your pet while you’re away from the home.
In some instances, it may be difficult to travel with your dog. If your dog gets anxious in the car, is scared to be around people, or exhibits signs of stress when outside of a familiar environment, it may be in their best interest to stay with a trusted caretaker or at a kennel while you are away. Should your dog be up for the adventure, you may find it rewarding to bring them on your trip with you. In this article, we discuss some of the factors that need to be considered when bringing your dog with you on a trip.
Check With Your Veterinarian Before Committing to Bringing Your Pet
Before you decide that you are going to bring your pet on vacation with you, confirm with your veterinarian that they are healthy enough for the trip. Your dog must be prepared to handle the rigors of travel and needs to be current on their vaccinations. Discuss your vacation destination with the veterinarian as well, so they can create a health plan that protects your pet from any dangerous conditions in the area(s) you will be in. Having the correct parasite protection and medications for the place you’re traveling to can help your dog stay healthy and happy.
Check That Your Dog’s Identification is Accurate
Dogs are naturally curious animals, and all the new sights, smells, and sensations at your vacation destination may tempt them to run off. Should your dog run away and become lost, you want their identification to be up-to-date. Make sure that your phone number and address are on an ID tag on your pet’s collar, so someone can get in touch with you if they find your dog. A microchip offers an additional layer of protection by ensuring that a shelter or veterinarian’s office can identify your pet and contact you.
Take Advantage of Crate Training
In most circumstances, you’ll want to keep your dog safely confined in a crate while travelling. Your pet won’t be able to get underfoot or provide a distraction, while they are simultaneously protected from physical dangers during the transportation period. To ensure that your dog is as comfortable as possible, make sure the crate has enough space for them to stand, lay down, and turn about. Make sure to prepare your pet by implementing crate training at home well in advance of your trip. This minimizes the stress they will face throughout the duration of your travels.
Determine the Most Efficient Method of Transportation
You may be wondering what the best method of transportation is for your upcoming trip. Is it better to drive to your destination since your pet has some familiarity with trips in the car? Or should you bring your dog on a plane, since the overall travel time will be substantially shorter? The answer is different for every owner, but we’ve included some things to be mindful of when it comes time to decide on a travel method.
Taking a Plane Flight
If you are flying to a travel destination within the United States, you will need a Certification of Veterinary Inspection and possibly an acclimation certificate to get your pet onboard the plane. These may only be received from an accredited veterinarian. In essence, these documents assert that your dog is in good health and does not show signs of diseases that may pass to people or other animals. International travel may necessitate additional paperwork and even a quarantine period, so make sure to check your vacation destination’s rules and regulations well in advance of your trip.
Small dogs may oftentimes accompany you in the plane’s cabin, whereas large breeds will likely need to travel in the cargo bay. Try to schedule your flight for a time of day when the weather will not be too hot or cold, so your dog has the most comfortable transition possible.
Driving to Your Destination
If you decide to drive to your destination, your pet should be secured in a crate. Doing so keeps them from distracting the driver or being thrown if the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop. If your dog has a harness that fastens to a seatbelt, you may alternatively choose to have them ride in a seat. Avoid having your dog in the passenger seat when possible, since the airbag can cause serious or fatal harm if it deploys.
Enjoy Safe Travels With Your Pet
If you decide to bring your dog with you on your travels, it’s important to try to limit the stress they are under. Tiano O’Dell PLLC notes that a dog that is stressed is more likely to exhibit dangerous or aggressive behavior, and nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than an accidental bite! We hope that this guide helps you enjoy your next trip with your four-legged companion, wherever that adventure may take you.