The only thing that beats the fun of going on a trip is doing that vacation with your furry friend! After all, traveling allows you to unwind and explore a new landscape. Plus, you form incredible ways to bond with your loyal companion when you go on vacation with your pup. We’ve created this guide explaining the things to avoid when traveling with a dog so you can have the best vacation!
Neglecting the Vet’s Approval
Before you pack your bags and hit the road, your dog needs a clean bill of health. Schedule an appointment with the vet so they can examine your furry friend to ensure they’re fit to travel. Discuss your activity plans with the veterinarian to ensure your pup’s cardiovascular health is strong enough if you plan to do things requiring a lot of energy, like hiking.
During your appointment, you should also discuss any medications your dog may need to take for allergies, motion sickness, or specific conditions.
Forgetting To Pack Doggy Essentials
Packing your dog’s bag is as important as loading up yours, and just like you, your pooch has essential belongings. As you create your dog’s packing list, ensure you add the following items:
- Collar with ID tags
- Walking harness and leash
- Waste bags
- Food and treats
- Food and water bowls
- Vaccination records
- Doggy first-aid kit
Additionally, consider the types of activities you plan to do and if you’ll need specific gear. For instance, you may need dog booties to protect your pup’s feet from the terrain if you go hiking; otherwise, burrs or sharp rocks could hurt those little paws. Likewise, your pup needs a life jacket if you’re planning a beach vacation or going to have fun in a large body of water.
Pet Parent Tip
Always bring a spare leash, collar, and harness in case of an emergency. You’ll need a backup if you mistakenly lose your dog’s collar or the leash breaks. Never let your dog go off-leash, especially in an unfamiliar environment, as they could get lost or injured.
Ignoring Vehicle Safety
Overlooking vehicle safety methods is another key thing to avoid when traveling with a dog. You must keep your pet safe and calm, whether in a car or plane. Your pet is safest in a carrier or kennel as it keeps them in a restricted space.
Never Let Your Dog Roam Free
Although letting your pup move freely throughout the car may be tempting, you should never do this. Dogs should always have a canine car seat, wear a doggy seat belt, or remain in their kennel throughout the drive. Keeping your dog strapped in is as important as wearing your seatbelt. Your pup can get seriously injured or worse without proper safety measures if you get into an accident or have to slam on the brakes.
You can also keep your pup safe and cozy with a car bed for dogs. The bed gives your pooch something plush to sit or lay on while keeping them in place during the ride.
No Hanging Out the Window
Keeping your dog strapped in place also prevents them from hanging their head out the window. As much as your pup may enjoy doing this, it’s highly dangerous as debris could blow in their eyes. In some instances, your dog could even escape the car through the open window, which is hazardous on a busy road.
Take Flight Precautions
Many become nervous on an airplane, and it’s even scarier for dogs because they don’t understand what’s happening. Due to this anxiety, your pup may need canine-safe medication prescribed by the vet to keep them relaxed during the flight.
As you book your flight, ensure the airline allows dogs and review their other policies. Generally, you’ll need to keep your pet crated, and larger dogs must go in the cargo space below the plane—service dogs do not follow this rule. Small dogs that travel with your carry-on must remain in their carrier and stay below the traveler’s seat during the flight.
Every airline has its rules, so read through the Pets section on your select airline to ensure you follow them.
Skipping Potty Breaks
Potty breaks are a must for all passengers in the car when it comes to road trips. While you may feel like you can hold it for another stretch of road, your furry friend may be desperately crossing their paws. Aim to make road stops every three to four hours so your pooch can go potty and stretch their legs.
Taking breaks gives both of you a chance to walk around before hopping back in the car. Your stops should last 15 to 30 minutes so your pup has time to walk and sniff out the perfect place to mark their territory.
Ignoring Lodging Pet Policy
You need to review pet-lodging rules no matter where you stay for the trip. Some hotels forbid pets on their premises. Other hotels, motels, and resorts may allow dogs but only in specific rooms and areas of the establishment. The last thing you want to do is wait until you arrive to find out about a “No Pet” policy, as this will leave you scrambling to find somewhere else to stay.
You should review the pet policy if you plan to stay in an Airbnb. Often, the house or condo owner will label whether they allow pets within the property description. However, contact the owner to ask about their pet policy if you cannot find this information.
Not Planning Dog-Friendly Activities
No matter where you go, never leave your furry friend alone in the hotel room or Airbnb, as this may stress your pet out. Your dog doesn’t understand what a vacation is, but they know they’re in an unfamiliar place.
Additionally, some hotels forbid owners from leaving pets alone; doing so could land you with expensive fees. Most importantly, your dog will miss you! As you book excursions, evaluate ones that are dog friendly, such as hiking or relaxing at a dog-friendly beach.
Shop at DogGoods Store
At DogGoods Store, you can buy essential items such as travel dog beds, leashes, foldable dog crates, and more. Purchase high-end dog accessories to keep your pet safe in the car or as you walk.
Ignoring the Moment
You’re on vacation with your best friend; now’s the time to think like a dog—live in the moment! Take a break from social media and instead soak up the incredible sites around you. Explore your destination and make lifelong memories with your pup at your side!