Have you upgraded from a human travel companion to a four-legged one? These fur babies are accommodating beyond belief. They’ll let you choose how long you stay and what you have for dinner.
Tip: Keep giving them their treats
Best of all, they never argue with you about where to go on vacation. However, before you get too excited and start packing bags (yours and theirs), we have some tips for you.
1. Prepare Them for the Trip
Have you taken your pet’s consent for the trip?
No, we’re not joking. You might think your dog loves car rides because they get excited when they see you packing the car. But in reality, they just get excited because they think they’re going for a walk.
So, you must ensure your pet is okay with car rides. An effective way to go about it is to take them on car rides frequently before the big trip. You can start with 5-minute car rides and work your way up. It will help your pet get used to car rides and make the long trip more bearable for them (and you).
2. Make Proper Arrangements
Ensure to pick accommodations that are pet-friendly in your chosen destination. For instance, if you are visiting Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and want to stay in cabins, know that not all cabins accept pets.
So, unless you plan on sleeping under the stars with your pup, you’ll have to look up “pet friendly cabins Pigeon Forge TN” to find suitable ones. Once you’ve zeroed in on a place, call them and ensure they’re good with your pet staying there.
Aside from the hotel, you may also have to look for boarding or doggy daycare options. Since you won’t be able to take your pet along to diners and joints, you need to ensure they’re in safe hands while you’re busy chowing down on some pulled pork.
3. Take Your Dog for a Health Check
Your vet’s appointment should occupy the top of your to-do list before a road trip with your pet. It is crucial because you must ensure your pet is up-to-date on all their vaccinations. If not, they might fall sick on the trip. The vaccinations they need are:
- Bordetella or Kennel Cough
- DHLPP or Distemper
Your vet can also tell if your pet is fit for a long car ride. They might have some internal issues that make car rides unbearable for them. So, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Also, get a copy of your pet’s medical records to keep with you on the trip. It’ll help in case of an emergency.
4. Get Pet Insurance
This one is a no-brainer. You get insurance for yourself, your family, and your belongings, so why not insure your pet?
Pet insurance will help you financially if your pet gets sick or injured on the trip. And trust us, medical bills for pets can be expensive. So, it is always better to consider them.
You must also be aware of potential hazards in the area you’re visiting. For instance, if you’re going to the beach, your pet might get stung by a jellyfish. So, research the area thoroughly before you travel and take the necessary precautions.
5. Carry Enough Food
You can never be sure if you’ll get your pet’s favorite food at your destination. So, carrying enough food for the entire trip is always better. It will also help your pet avoid any stomach issues on the trip. Remember to pack treats. These will come in handy when trying to keep your pet quiet on long car rides.
You must also ensure your pet is hydrated at all times. Carry enough water and take frequent breaks to let them drink and stretch their legs.
6. Plan Activities for Them
You probably have a list of things you plan on doing on your trip. But have you made a list of things your pet can do?
If not, now is the time.
You need to find activities that will keep your pet entertained and engaged. Take them hiking, swimming, or to a dog park. Just read the rules and regulations before you take your pet to any public place.
You can also look for pet-friendly trails in the area. These are great because pets can explore and run around to their heart’s content. And if you can manage to locate a pet-friendly restaurant or cafe, it’ll be a treat.
7. Prepare for the Worst
Regardless of how much you plan and prepare, there is always a possibility of something going wrong. So, it is always worthwhile to be prepared for the worst.
You first need to get a pet first-aid kit and keep it with you at all times. It should have everything from bandages to antibiotic ointments to painkillers.
You should also keep the number of a local vet handy in case of an emergency.
Lastly, ensure you have your pet’s ID tags on them at all times. If they happen to run away, it’ll be easier for you to find them.
8. Pack Accordingly
You already know what essentials you need to pack for yourself; we are here to tell you what to add to your arsenal of supplies when traveling with a dog.
Take lots of poop bags. You’ll be surprised how much your little travel buddy can excrete daily. Since you can’t just leave it on the ground, have plenty of these bags to clean up after your pet.
A Leash and Collar
You’ll need these to keep your pup safe when you’re out exploring. Plus, some destinations and public areas require pets to be on a leash throughout.
Food and Water Bowls
You can’t make do with human dishes when you’re on the road with your dog. Ensure to have food and water bowls that are easy to transport so your pet can stay hydrated and fed.
Unless you want to play fetch for hours, we suggest packing a few of your dog’s favorite toys. It will help keep them entertained while you’re on the go. A chew toy is also a good idea to have on hand to help prevent your dog from getting bored and chewing on things they shouldn’t.
Traveling with your furry friend can be a lifetime experience. You two can bond over setting suns, beautiful landscapes, and new adventures. But it is important to be prepared before you hit the road. Otherwise, your dream pet-friendly vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Following the tips outlined above, you can ensure your vacation goes off without a hitch. But, of course, it’s not an exhaustive list. So, if you can think of something else that would be helpful, ensure to pack it. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy your time with your four-legged friend.