As the school year is winding down and the weather is getting warmer, you may be starting to think about getting away on a family summer vacation. For many of us, a family vacation means that a trusted family friend or your favorite boarding facility will watch your dog while you travel. However, have you thought about bringing fido along this year?
I travel all over the country with my dog Preston. I admit, at times it is more challenging to travel with a pet, but with some careful planning you can fully include your puppy on your next travel plans. Preston loves to travel and experience new things and it is great to have my dog with me while I am away from home. Here are some pet travel tips we have learned along the way to help make your vacation with your pet a success.
- Always bring along your pet’s vet records when you travel. Some locations and countries require these documents to enter. Make sure their vaccinations are up to date as well. Most importantly, always make sure your dog is current on their rabies shot.
- Some cities and communities have breed-specific bans on certain breeds. If you bring your “banned” dog into their city, they have full legal rights to take your dog. This makes doing your research very important – especially if you own a bully breed and plan to travel with him or her.
- If traveling by car, always practice by taking short trips (picking up dry cleaning, going to the bank, etc.) with your dog before that long family vacation. Also, make sure they feel comfortable in a moving vehicle and that they aren’t prone to car sickness.
- Never let your dog stick his head out of an open window. Even though we all know pets LOVE this, this can lead to eye injuries. One time when our dog Preston was a young pup, we allowed him to do this and he got hit in the face with bug.
- Part of the fun of the road trip is those unexpected stops at area attractions you find along the way. However, never leave your pup unattended in a closed vehicle – particularly in the summer. The inside of a car can heat up to 100+ degrees very quickly and your dog can have a medical emergency due to the extreme heat.
- If you are traveling by plane, taking your pet requires careful planning. Every airline has their own set of rules. Some require health certifications and proof of vaccinations. Make sure to call ahead and make arrangements well in advance of your trip.
- Pet friendly hotel and resort lodging can also be a challenge in certain areas of the country. Luckily, more and more hotel chains are becoming pet friendly and many now do not have size or breed restrictions for your pets. However, many charge non-refundable pet fees or cleaning fees. A few pet-friendly hotels to look into who don’t charge fees are Red Roof Inn, La Quinta, and Kimption properties.
- Some hotels require that if you leave your dog in the hotel room the dog must be crated. There are other hotels that do not allow you to leave your dog alone in the room at all. So check ahead to find out what the hotels pet policies are. If your dog is not used to being in a crate, practice ahead of time so they are comfortable. The last thing you want is the hotel to call you while you’re out and say please come back and get your dog she is barking uncontrollably and disturbing other guests.
By planning your dog travel ahead of time, you can make this vacation a truly relaxing time for you and your four-legged family member.
Have you traveled with you pet? Let us know how your trip was, comment below.
This post was written by Rachel Phelps. Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org
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