More and more dog owners want to take their furry friends on vacation. If you’re one of those—and you’ve made sure the health and emotional needs of your best friend won’t be jeopardized by traveling—we’ve put together a list of tips that can make travels with your four-legged buddy as safe and enjoyable as possible!
Planning and enjoying your trip.
- Schedule a health check with your veterinarian. You’ll want to be sure your dog is in tip-top shape before taking off, and that all vaccinations are up to date. If you plan to travel by plane, make sure you take the vaccination records with you.
- Investigate pet-friendly hotels. Make sure the place you plan to stay is pet-friendly before arriving. When staying in pet-friendly abodes, be courteous and clean up after your pooch on the grounds and in your room. Also, try not to get your dog overly excited by playing in the room – this could cause barking which can bother other guests.
- Bring along your dog’s regular food, like Bil-Jac, and some bottled water or water from home. This is what he is used to, so bringing it can help you skip digestive issues that can occur while traveling.
- Make sure your dog has ID tags or is microchipped. Also bring along a recent photo of your dog in case he gets lost.
- Plan ahead for emergencies. Your veterinarian may be able to refer you to a veterinarian that practices in the area to which you’re traveling. If not, try the American Animal Association at 1-800-883-6301.
- Make sure you take along:
- A leash
- Dog car seat, seat belt or crate/kennel
- Water and food, as well as bowls for each
- Toys (only a couple are necessary)
- Dog bed or blanket
- Waste bags
- Your dog’s medical records
- Any medication your dog is taking.
On the road (or in the air).
The best advice is to crate your dog during a car drive. It’s safer for both him and for you, as you’ll be less distracted while driving. At the very least, place your dog in a car seat or use a seat belt.
Be sure to take plenty of driving breaks at rest stops or other areas where you can walk your pooch safely. If you need to stop for your own restroom break, never leave your dog in the car, particularly if it’s hot outside. The interior of your car can heat up quickly and place your dog’s health and well-being at risk.
Bring along some items that can comfort your dog on a long trip. A blanket or toy that he likes can help comfort him. You don’t want to feed your dog while the car is in motion in order to avoid motion sickness. However, take along some treats such as Bil-Jac.
If you’re traveling by plane, be sure you’ve checked ahead with the airline about their policy and rules on pet travel. You will probably need to crate your pet and should do so prior to arriving at the airport. Talk to your veterinarian in advance about whether or not a sedating medication is a good idea for your dog.
Have a dog-gone good time!
Taking the time to prepare properly for your vacation can make traveling with your best friend easier and more enjoyable for you both. We at Bil-Jac wish you a safe and happy vacation. Bone voyage!
Do you have travel tips or pictures of you and your dog traveling? We’d love you to share them with us!