When you love your four-legged friends like family, you don’t want to leave them behind when traveling. Sharing your travel experiences with your dog can be a lot of fun, but it can also be disastrous if you aren’t prepared. The best way to avoid problems and ensure a fun and safe trip for everyone is to devote plenty of thought and time to planning your trip wisely.
Know Before You Go
Preparing for a trip pretty much falls on you, but part of the process should also include helping your dog feel prepared. If you’re planning a road trip, start by introducing your dog to the car slowly, first while it’s parked, then getting inside, and then short drives around town. If you have a dog that is small enough to bring on an airplane in a carrier, it’s a good idea to let them get familiar with being in the carrier ahead of time, as well as actually being carried in it. Regardless of how you’re traveling, dogs should always get a clean bill of health from the vet before traveling. Besides preparing them for the trip itself, it’s important to brush up on some training basics as well. Your dog should be able to sit, stay, walk beside you on a leash, and come to you on command. Knowing you can trust your dog to obey these commands will help avoid unpleasant situations and can keep your dog safe on your travels.
Triple Check Your Packing List
Unless you’re going on an adventure that’s far removed from civilization, you can probably find what you need on the go, but you and your dog will be much more relaxed if you have the right gear from the start. If you’re driving, this includes necessities for car safety. The Humane Society recommends using a crate that you anchor to the car with a seat belt or strap.
Having a crate is also useful throughout your trip, including during a hotel stay, especially when you can’t always be there. If you have a large dog, it’s important to make sure the crate you get is the right size so your pooch can stay in it comfortably. Reading online dog crate reviews is the best way to find the style and size that’s best for your dog. Besides the everyday necessities like food, dog beds, toys, and a leash, don’t forget extras that you may not need at home. It’s always good to keep a pet first aid kit with you, as well as travel bowls that are collapsible for easy packing and pet waste bags for walks.
Where to Go
Going through all that preparation is the hard part of traveling with your dog — choosing the destination is the fun part! If you want an urban spot, look into whether the city you have in mind is dog-friendly. Dog-friendly cities have lots of dog parks and other public spaces where canines are welcome. If you’re thinking about adventure travel, some of the most dog-friendly destinations you can choose across America are areas with a good blend of urban attractions and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Where to Stay
Traveling with dogs has become so mainstream that you can now find many hotel chains and even small mom-and-pop places that allow dogs. If you aren’t sure if dogs are allowed, be sure to ask before making a reservation. You should also ask if they have limitations for the dog’s weight and if they charge additional fees. Or, you can go with one of these unique lodging options from the blog Pets Welcome that are known for accommodating four-legged guests.
Pet parents are lucky that so many places now welcome dogs with open arms. This gives you and your pooch the chance to explore the world together. Just be sure to do your homework and take time to prepare so that you don’t run into trouble along the way.
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