by Susan Hartzler
If you’re planning to bring your dog with you on vacation, make it an epic adventure by following this advice while traveling.
1. Plan your route - Make sure your schedule includes time for regular potty breaks and time to stretch between destinations. Experts suggest you take a 15 to 30 minute break every 4 hours. You can also make very long trips more enjoyable for both of you if you plan stops at locations with pet-friendly attractions, even if it’s just a nice dog park.
2. Get a weather report - Be prepared for issues like rain that could slow your travel, and also avoid potential natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Take the weather into consideration when packing for your dog. If it’s going to be cold pack warm clothing for your canine friend.
3. Book pet-friendly accommodations - Now that you have your route planned, you need to plan for lodging. Not all hotels accept pets and even campsites often have restrictions. Contact individual hotels in advance to find out their pet policies, including breed restrictions, rules, and possible fees. Pet friendly accommodations can be found at BringFido.com.
4. Arrange for dog care at your destination - If you are attending an event where dogs aren’t allowed, such as a wedding or graduation, locate a day care or boarding service. Don’t leave your dog unattended in a hotel room. The unfamiliar environment can cause your dog more anxiety than at home, so you want to ensure he’s being cared for by professionals. Go to DogVacay.com for info and use this code for $10 off your reservation: Blissdog.
5. Crate your dog - The safest way for dogs to travel in a car is in a safety-certified, crash-tested crate. It will also provide a comfortable, safe, and familiar place for your dog to sleep in at the hotel, motel, or other accommodations.
6. Pack a bag for your dog - Consider all the places you will visit along the way when packing. Items you may need include: food and food bowl, water, water bottle and bowl, treats, toys for chewing and fetching, medications, protective clothing, dog-safe insect repellent and sunscreen, blanket and dog towel, brush and shampoo, flea comb and tick remover, and poop bags
7. Update your dog’s ID - Make sure your dog has an ID on them. If the number on his tag is your home phone number, this could be very difficult. If needed, make an ID just for the trip, listing not just your cell phone number but an additional emergency number.
8. Prepare your dog for the trip - Many dogs suffer from car sickness, so it’s best to feed your dog a few hours before you get in the car. Before you head out, take a nice, long walk, so she’s ready to rest and relax for the trip. Also, get a copy of your dog’s medical records and extra meds, just in case your trip is delayed. And take the time to program your phone with contact information, including the address, for a 24/7 emergency dog vet at your destination.
9. Maintain your routine - It’s not possible to do everything exactly as you would at home, but the more you remain consistent, the better. Once you reach your destination, feed and walk your dog on the same schedule you would at home. If you can, increase the walk time to help him get rid of the extra excitement and anxiety of the trip.
You’ve taken the time to prepare, so now just kick back, have fun, and enjoy the time together! Woof!
More from Susan Hartzler can be found at http://travelswithbliss.blogspot.com.