Owning a dog has a lot of benefits for a family. It teaches kids about the responsibility of taking care of another creature. They also provide companionship and become a part of the family. But a dog can also bring some challenges. There are inevitably going to be some vet visits that can be quite costly. For those that like to get out and about further afield than the local park, the biggest challenge is continuing to travel when you have a dog.
When a dog is a part of the family, many people don’t want to leave the dog with a relative or keep them in a kennel until they get back. They would rather have the dog come with them. If this is the case with your family, then you’ll need to know how to go about traveling with a dog. In this article, we will go over several tips so you can understand the challenges you’ll face and know how to get around them.
1 – What to pack
Plan on an extra bag for your pup when you travel. Unfortunately, they can’t carry their own luggage so make sure that you are going to be able to add an extra bag of stuff for your dog.
For instance, if your dog has to eat tailored dog food then you aren’t likely to find that at your destination so you’ll have to pack it. You may want to look for some camping-style collapsible bowls for their food and water that won’t take up much space.
Make some space for their favourite toys because they could end up with some anxiety from travelling and having something from home can ease the stress they feel. Then, leashes, any medication, flea blocker and their vaccine documents need to come along as well.
There are a lot of things that you can buy when you get to your destination like treats and other knick-knacks so you can travel as lightly as possible.
2 – Good training
Something that is going to go a long way toward the vacation being peaceful and relaxing is that your dog has some basic training. There are going to be times when you do have to wait for things and sit still for a while. Making sure that you can control your dog during these times is essential.
Make sure to have a trainer do some basics with them so they can sit, heel and stay to your command.
A dog that is difficult to control is going to mean that you’ll be missing out on certain things. Eating out is going to be difficult even when you find some dog-friendly restaurants. Sightseeing is probably off the table, as well.
Dog manners count more than ever when you are on vacation and far from home. Some basic dog training tips help make sure that you can enjoy it.
3 – Check pet policies
These days it is easier than ever to travel with a dog since so many airlines, hotels and other tourist infrastructure have become used to people who want to travel with pets. This doesn’t mean that you can assume that your dog is going to be allowed, or that you don’t have any restrictions on bringing your dog.
Take the time to review the pet policies on public transport, if you plan to use this, accommodation and what things you’re allowed to do with your dog as a tourist. Sometimes the rules change so it also pays off to double-check as you get closer to your departure date to verify that you’re still able to bring a dog.
If you plan to fly there may be restrictions on certain breeds of dog sizes. You should make sure to call ahead and ask about your particular breed and weight so you are sure you are going to be ok when you arrive at your destination.
4 – Be respectful of others
Not everybody you encounter during your trip is going to be as big a dog lover as you are. They may not want the intrusion of a dog around them. This is particularly true if your dog is not well trained.
When dining at a restaurant, for example, make sure that your dog will sit still and not try to wander or chase the cat they just saw.
Don’t allow your dog to jump on other people. Don’t let them approach other people or dogs without first asking if it is ok with the person. Of course, you also need to let people that are enthusiastic about your dog know what they can and can’t do with him. If your dog doesn’t like to be petted then this is information to give them ahead of time.
5 – Get some doggie friends
Travelling is likely to be stressful for your dog. At some point, they’re going to need to blow off some steam. If you are travelling to a country or area where there is high dog ownership then there are going to be plenty of doggie parks around. Take some time to bring your dog to one so they can socialize and play with some other dogs for a while.
This is also a good opportunity for you to see life as a local as you will be encountering local dog owners. You may even make a new friend yourself there. As long as your dog is not causing problems, that is.
Pay close attention to how your dog is responding to others. Remember that you have traveled and they may be stressed and not act the same as they would back home.
As you can see, you don’t need to put your travel plans on the back burner when you have a dog. With the right strategy you can still travel and enjoy your time off even when you have a dog along for the ride.