We’ve been traveling more and more with our dogs, yet just before one year ago, we never did. I thought it would be too much work and too tiring, so in the past we always tried to find a dog sitting or house sitter to help us out with the dogs.
However, I am so glad that we finally tried it out and decided to go on a road trip with our two dogs. We went to Gulf Shores last year with them, and even with the 12 hour drive, they did fantastic. A few days before we went on the trip, I won’t lie, I was freaking out because I wanted them to be comfortable and happy as well – they ARE a part of my family!
Here are my tips to successfully travel with your dogs:
Make sure your pets are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
If you are traveling with your pets, then it is always a good idea to make sure that they have all of their shots. You don’t want them to get sick, and you don’t want them to bite someone (even if you think they won’t bite, keep in mind that they are out of their usual environment) else and them not be up-to-date on their shots).
Also, remember to bring their papers with you as well, because at some hotels, parks, etc., you might be required to show proof of their vaccinations.
Do they have a collar and name tag?
If you are going on a trip, always make sure that your pet is microchipped or that they have a name tag with your current phone number on it. Your address is not helpful because you probably are not anywhere near your home.
Bring enough food, water, and their bowls.
Your pets need to eat, so do not forget these. Also, make sure that your pet has plenty of water to drink while you are traveling.
Give them enough bathroom breaks.
Please do not try to travel for a full 24 hours without giving your dog a bathroom break. Just like humans, they need to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, and get some fresh air.
Don’t leave your dog in a car alone.
If you are traveling by car, then you might try to do things without your dogs. That may be of no problem, but make sure that you are not just leaving them in your car. They either need to be crate trained and left in your hotel, or if they are hotel trained then they should be fine as well.
Also, check with your specific hotel’s rules, because some don’t let you leave your pets behind period, even if you are coming back within just a few short hours.
Start out with smaller trips first.
Before you embark on a 2 week-long journey in your car with your pets, you should first try smaller trips.
Maybe a trip to the pet store, to the dog park, and so on. If your pet has never been in a car before, then the first time probably should not be a long road trip. I have heard stories where animals were just never the same and just went crazy. You don’t want to do this to your loved one.
What tips do you have for those traveling with pets?
Image via Flickr by Enrico