The Dog Days of Summer
It’s officially summertime and for many of us that means we have a vacation coming up! Trying to decide whether or not to bring Fido along? We’ll be sharing a few tips to help you decide what would be best and most enjoyable for the whole family as well as some pet-friendly destinations and traveling tips!
PUT YOUR PUP FIRST
First of all, you need to take into consideration your pet’s unique needs and personality. While you may find it hard to be away from him for an extended period of time, your baby may actually be more stressed by coming along. Consider their health and emotional needs before making a final decision. Think about where your pet would be happiest. You may think that your dog won’t be able to tolerate separation from you, but if you are vacationing, will you be leaving him for extended periods, perhaps in in a hotel room or strange kennel? That will make him more anxious than ever, so in that case, finding a trusted pet-sitter and leaving him in his own environment would probably be best. If you have any doubts about whether your pup is up for the trip, talk to your veterinarian. Knowing your pet personally as well as their medical history together, you can make a decision that will be most beneficial for your canine companion.
In the case that you decide to leave fido in the comfort of his own home you can arrange for a responsible friend or relative to look after your pet. If that’s not possible, there are many resources available to help you choose a good kennel or to find a responsible pet sitter.
If you’ve decided to board your pet, get references and personally inspect the kennel. Your veterinarian or local shelter can help you find a good facility. If you’re hiring a pet sitter, interview the candidates and check their references. Be sure your pet is microchipped before you leave your dog or cat anywhere unfamiliar to the animal. A pet sitter may be preferable if your pet is timid, elderly, afraid of strangers or needs the comfort of familiar surroundings while you’re gone.
If you arrange for someone to care for your pet while you’re away, give the caretaker your contact information, the name and telephone number of your veterinarian and your pet’s medical or dietary needs. You should also make sure that your pet’s comfortable with the person you’ve chosen by having him or her come to your home to get acquainted a few times before you leave.
After carefully evaluating your pet’s needs and temperament and you decide he’s up for the adventure of accompanying you on your summer travels, here are a few tips to make the trip safe and enjoyable.
Make sure you’ve got all the supplies to keep her comfortable and familiarize yourself with any pet-related restrictions or requirements set by airlines, destination countries or states, hotels, etc. When traveling with your pet, keep a health certificate and medical records close at hand. A record of your pet’s rabies vaccination is especially important. Bring food and water from home to avoid any digestive issues while you’re on the road.
Many places (including campgrounds) do not allow pets. So be sure to call ahead to any pre existing reservations you may have and make sure it’s OK to bring your pet before you leave. Several books on the market contain state-by-state listings of hotels, motels, and inns that welcome pets.
Make sure they have proper identification tags on and micro-chipping is also a great idea for traveling. Don’t forget a lead and a tie out. As a safety precaution, attach the lead before you open the car door.
ON THE ROAD
We’re not the only ones who get bored on long road trips so be sure to bring plenty of toys to keep you pup entertained on your travels. New balls to fetch outside and bones to chew on in the car will help to keep him occupied and ensure you both keep your sanity.
If you are traveling by car you may want to invest in seat covers if you haven’t already. Stress and anxiety that can naturally occur due to travel and unfamiliar surrounding can increase shedding. A shedding pet can change the appearance of your car seats forever. As you probably already know, hair can be tough to get out. Investing in car seat covers are an excellent investment if you want to retain the value of your vehicle and keep it looking clean and save yourself a lot of cleaning after you get back.
Get your dog plenty of exercise before you hit the road. This way he’ll be ready to kick back, relax and enjoy the open road. Go easy on the meals before leaving. Car sickness is more likely if your pet has a full stomach. If the trip is long, feed a smaller amount than normal at least two hours before you leave.
Be sure to properly restrain your pet in either a harness, pet seat, carrier, crate etc. It’s the safest way to travel for both you and your pet. Of course never leave your pup alone in a hot car! Even if you park in the shade. Pets are unable to control body temperature as efficiently as humans and just a few minutes in a hot car could cause irreversible damage or death. To keep your pet cool on the road, consider a car window shade and have them drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, for a cool, safe, refreshing journey.
Using this safety traveling tips you can be sure that you will have the best start possible to your summer vacation and that fido and everyone else in your family is as comfortable and happy as possible. If you still need a few ideas about dog-friendly destinations check out this great list! Whether you have plans to splash around in the ocean, go hiking in the mountains or exploring a fun new city you are bound to make this your best summer ever and have some incredible memories for years to come!