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Tips on How to Travel Better with Your Dog

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It’s time to start filling your calendar with fun adventures- plane ticket, hotel, suitcases-all check! You can’t wait for your next travel excursion! But then it makes you feel guilty having to close the door, looking at your dog with a hint of sadness in his eyes. It could be the worst feeling ever- so why not bring them along?

Bringing your dog on a road trip is complicated, challenging, and a bit scary. There are so many steps in the process- health certificates, pet licenses, fees, and so on! 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. We have a few tips you can follow (some of which are quite budget-friendly) for a safer, low-stress trip.

Look for a pet-friendly hotel

Today, there‘s an increasing number of hotels pampering dogs as much as their humans. Brands like Virgin Hotels and Kimpton Hotels have become trailblazers in pet-friendly travel with no-fee policies. Some hotels offer complimentary personalized dog bone upon arrival, GoPro rental, and dog massages.

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right hotel for your pooch:

  1. Proximity to parks, dog-runs, and dog-friendly activities.
  2. Pet-loving staff
  3. A dog-friendly restaurant nearby
  4. Proximity to Vet Clinics
  5. Amenities like dog beds, water bowls, treats, and toys!

Have your dog’s documents with you

”It is important to have your dog’s health records on hand when travelling, as they can provide important information about your dog’s health history and current health status” according to Becky Moore from Global Grasshopper. This information can be helpful if your dog becomes ill or needs medical attention while you are away from home. “Having your dog’s health records also allows you to provide accurate information to any potential vet or animal hospital should your dog need care while you are travelling” she says.  

Pet Travel Checklist

When flying, make sure that you bring a crate that is airline approved if you don’t want to purchase a carrier from the airline as this can be very costly. Tagging along a dog is already tough to handle so no matter how you travel, just bring the most essential stuff. 

Here’s a basic packing list: 

  1. Comforting blankets that carry the normal scent of your home. It will help your dog feel more comfortable in a new environment when he smells a familiar scent. 
  2. Bring food, water, and treats from home. A new type of food or water may cause an upset stomach.
  3. Bring a leash, harness, or collar (better yet, a smart dog collar) to help you on the road, especially if you’re carrying heavy luggage. 
  4. Potty bags to clean after your pet. 
  5. Always bring your pet license because some states require a pet license.
  6. Collapsible travel bowls for more convenient packing.
  7. Towel for cleaning up messes or wiping paws.
  8. Pet first aid kits in case of pet emergencies.
  9. Lint roller for helping remove your dog’s hair on fabric. But if you have a non-shedding dog, a lint roller is just an option.

Visit the Vet

Visit your Vet and secure a health certificate prior to your trip. Discuss necessary vaccinations and health tests required by the place of travel. And finally, make sure your pet gets a grooming session before the trip!

Train your dog

Other dogs dread the experience of traveling. Excessive slobbering, vomiting, and whining are some common signs that your dog suffers from travel anxiety. Always prioritize your dog’s health and comfort when traveling. 

To help you travel better with your dog, train him. For example: if you want to dog to travel in a carrier with you, encourage your dog to get into the carrier and reward him. Make the carrier a comfortable place for him so that when you travel, he’ll not feel anxious staying in it. 

Make a commitment to training your dog, starting in the house, then the car, then ultimately- a road trip with your pup.

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