Getting ready for any adventure usually brings excitement mixed with some natural nervousness. Stepping outside of our comfort zone always requires bravery, and there’s nothing quite like packing a bag and heading to a new destination.
Traveling with a dog adds a whole new layer of complexity, and it can be daunting even thinking about going on the road with your canine companion. But it needn’t be the great drama we build up in our heads. Here are five tips to make traveling with a dog fun, stress-free, and rewarding.
1. Always Check Ahead
Never assume that a hotel, campsite, restaurant, or bar will be happy to see you turn up with your dog. It doesn’t matter how well trained it may be; some places refuse to have animals on the property.
If your dog assists you in a service capacity, get it registered with Service Dog Registration of America. That way, you can get the appropriate accreditation that should allow you to take your dog to most places.
2. Plan Your Journey Well
Whether you are flying, driving, or taking a boat, it’s essential to plan your journey well if you have your dog with you. Toilet trips before setting out are vital (both for humans and canines), but so are rest stops along the way to allow your dog to stretch its legs and take a breather.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Documents Are Up-To-Date (And All Present)
You wouldn’t arrive at the airport without triple-checking that your passport is definitely in your bag, and the same goes when traveling with a dog. These days, dogs often require their own passports, vaccine certificates, and even blood results to travel. Everything must be well in order before you arrive at the airport.
4. Know the Rules
Traveling internationally with a canine companion can be tricky as different airlines and destinations often have various rules and procedures. Airline travel can be stressful for both the owner and the animal as it will often require a long period of separation.
Some destinations require dogs to quarantine when they arrive, and while this might be difficult, unfortunately, there’s very little you can do about it. It’s essential to do your research carefully before planning a trip.
If you intend to go to one of the countries requiring quarantine but don’t want to place your pooch in quarantine, you may need to think about plan B.
5. Don’t Forget the Basics
If you go on vacation with your dog, you’ll need to accept that it can’t be all about you. A dog used to going on two good walks every day will expect the same—they don’t know it’s Spain and not Sacramento.
Maintaining an air of routine is vital for your dog. Keep to a regular feeding schedule and provide plenty of water throughout the day in hotter climates.
Traveling with a dog needn’t fill you with worry. It may take a little more time and require more foresight when it comes to picking places to go, but the rewards of having your loving pet with you on vacation can be huge. Plan and prepare well, and there’s absolutely no reason you can’t have a vacation to remember.
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