Do you like to go on trips and take your favorite four-legged companion with you? Travel often becomes a lifelong memory and is the highlight of the year for both the owner and the dog. By following these 5 life hacks for traveling with your dog, you can be sure that the trip will be a universal success.
# 1 Take a practical trip
Maybe you have just adopted a dog from the shelter or you have welcomed a new puppy into your life. Before embarking on a great adventure with your new companion, be sure to take a short practical trip. Not all dogs react equally to travel and absence from home and you need to know how your dog will behave!
Some dogs (especially rescue dogs that have been abandoned in the past) can be challenged by leaving their familiar surroundings. Instead of enjoying the trip, they could be anxious, stressed and reactive. They may have diarrhea caused by stress or refuse to eat. It is impossible to predict how your dog will react without testing it.
You can start your practical journey by simply taking your dog for a long day at the beach, a night in a tent near your home or a bed and breakfast not far from your house. This way you can easily get out if your dog starts to panic – you can just go home right away.
# 2 The package is light and smart
Dog owners often pack too many items – and the wrong ones too! Your dog will not need 5 leashes or 6 types of dog food. However, your dog can really benefit from packing something that smells like home, such as a blanket or even an old T-shirt. Instead of picking up a dozen different toys, just collect your favorite. Your dog will be just as happy and you save a lot of space and weight in the suitcase.
If your dog is taking any medications (even preventatives such as heartworm pills or flea medications), make a checklist for these to make sure you don’t leave them at home. It is inconvenient and expensive to try to find prescription drugs away from home – also for pets.
# 3 Get a dog kit
Incidents happen and we all know that they often happen in the worst of times. Be prepared for small adversities by taking a first aid kit with you. This way, you can take care of small injuries, insect bites or broken nails on your own without having to look for a vet in your holiday destination.
# 4 Get your dog to take care before he leaves
Especially if you are going to stay in tight spaces (for example, if you sleep in a tent or drive an RV), make sure your dog gets a haircut before you leave. There is nothing more frustrating than sleeping next to a stinky dog when you are on vacation, or its long claws scratching the door of your hotel room. You will also not want to spend your free time running with hair rollers, trying to remove all the stray hairs that he has left on the furniture of the holiday home.
Take your dog to a make-up artist before you go on your trip. They can remove any dead hair, bathe it, pinch its nails, clean its ears and let you go with a beautiful dog that smells fresh and has shiny fur.
# 5 Restriction considerations
You do not want your dog to get lost during your vacation. Especially in a new environment, many dogs are at risk of flying and can take off as soon as they get the chance. Make plans before you leave about how to keep your dog at its destination.
In some cases (such as city trips) you need to plan to keep your dog on a leash at all times. If you are heading to a caravan or vacation rental, carrying a play pen will allow your dog to enjoy some time outside in a sheltered enclosure. If you are staying at a hotel, you may also want to bring a folding crate in which your dog can sleep.
Do not allow your dog to walk outside the leash, especially without supervision. In unknown places, it is impossible for the dog to find its owner again after running. This, by the way, is not just about your destination – you should never allow your dog to be distracted on vacation while on the road. Every year, many dogs disappear forever when they take off during a fast stop.
A wonderful holiday with your dog comes down to intelligent planning, activity and keeping everyone safe and comfortable. You can never prepare when it comes to a great trip with your puppy. If your dog has never traveled before, take a short practical trip before embarking on the big trip.
Shaping your dog before your vacation will make traveling in the car together much more enjoyable and you don’t have to worry about stray hair or nail marks in your destination.
Whenever you travel with a dog, keep in mind that it must be kept at all times – some dogs tend to be a little on the edge of new places and may run away and not find their way back.
And now, enjoy your vacation with your best friend!