Whether it is a weeklong vacation at the beach or a weekend trip to the mountains, more and more people are traveling with their dogs these days. Dog owners like traveling with their furry friends for several reasons. Traveling with your pet means that you won’t have to put him or her in a kennel or hire someone to come to your home to take care your dog. Many dogs also enjoy riding in the car and visiting new places, with all of their interesting sights and smells. For many pet owners, dogs also help to make life experiences more enjoyable.
Traveling also means that dogs are out of the house and getting exercise, something that is important for their long-term health. Most veterinarians agree that, depending on the breed, a dog’s exercise needs can range from 30 to 60 minutes per day.
Taking a vacation with your dog can also be a nice bonding experience for you and your pet, especially if you are visiting a “bucket list” location you have always wanted to see.
So, if you are planning a trip with your dog, here are five things that you should be aware of before you go so that you will have all the resources you need at your fingertips.
Know Where to Find Resources For Your Dog
According to The Dog House Pet Salon in Houston, “Dogs need a refreshing cleanup after traveling and being active, the same way that people do.” So, whether you find yourself in need of pet grooming in Houston or help finding dogwalking services in Chicago, it’s important to know where you can find the things your dog needs while you are on the road.
A few apps and websites, such as BringFido and VetFinder, are great resources for quickly locating things like veterinarian offices, dog parks, and dog-friendly hotels and accommodations. BringFido also offers users the ability to get in touch with dog travel experts via phone or email in case you have questions.
In addition to having these dog travel apps downloaded to your phone, you should bring a list of veterinarians, dog friendly places to stay, and pet supply stores located in the areas where you will be traveling.
Don’t Forget to Bring Copies of Your Dog’s Medical Records
Having a copy of your dog’s medical records and vaccinations on hand when you travel is a must in the event that your dog has an accident or becomes ill and needs medical attention. It is especially important to carry a copy of your dog’s rabies certificate. Many companies that provide services to dogs will not work with dogs that do not have proof of having had a recent rabies vaccine.
In addition to your dog’s medical records, you should also have on hand the contact information for your veterinarian at home.
Make Sure Your Dog’s Tags and Microchip are Up to Date
Losing track of your dog while you are on the road can transform a dream vacation into a nightmare quickly. To avoid such a situation, before your leave for your trip it is essential to make sure that your dog’s identification tags and microchip information are up to date. (If your dog does not have a microchip you should visit your veterinarian to get one before your vacation.)
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Appropriate For Your Dog
When you’re on a long road trip you want to make sure that you and your family are comfortable and safe. The same should go for your dog. Traveling with a large dog in a car or truck that is too small, or leaving your dog to roam freely in the car can be both unpleasant and dangerous for both you and your pet. It’s also never a good idea to allow your dog to ride in the open bed of a pickup truck.
Carry Enough Food and Water
Even if you’rejust going out for the day, having adequate food and water for your dog is essential. It’s easy for dogs to become dehydrated whilewalking, running or hiking, especially during the summer.Before your trip, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the symptoms of dog dehydration, such as a dry nose and reduced energy, so you’ll be able to recognize them in your pet.
It’s also important to remember that your dog might need additional food when he or she has spent the day being more active than usual and to pack accordingly.