Summertime is, for many of us, a time for vacations and for spending time outdoors. With effective planning, there’s no reason our dogs cannot enjoy these activities with us.
Many hotels, resorts, camp grounds and other facilities have recognized that their patrons prefer to travel with their canine companions and some now allow dogs. However, this is far from being universal. Always check ahead of time to be certain the facility you plan to patronize is pet-friendly. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and finding out that your pet is not welcome.
Check for restrictions as well. Some pet-friendly facilities have size limitations. In addition, some communities prohibit certain breeds.
Ask about nearby dog parks and other dog-friendly facilities where your dog can exercise and relieve himself as necessary also. There may or may not be such a place provided by your hotel, motel, or resort.
If your dog hasn’t visited the veterinarian for a while, schedule an appointment. Make sure your dog is healthy enough for travel and up-to-date on any vaccinations that may be required. Request a copy of your pet’s medical records to take with you as well.
Be certain that your dog is comfortable riding in the car also. If your dog gets carsick, ask your veterinarian for advice. If your dog is anxious about riding in the car or is scared of the car, you may need to reconsider your travel plans, at least until you can work to make your dog more comfortable with the situation.
If you plan to travel by plane, be certain you have all necessary documents (health certificates, vaccine certificates, etc.) and that you have the needed equipment (airline approved carrier, collar, leash, etc.)
Identify Your Dog
Be sure your dog has an identification tag by which he can be recognized in the event that he becomes lost. Include a phone number (such as a mobile phone number) where you can be reached while away from home.
Carry a photo of your dog for identification purposes as well. The photo can be used for flyers and bulletins if necessary and can also be used when asking people if they’ve seen your runaway pooch.
Restrain Your Dog When Traveling
When driving, make sure your dog is properly restrained. A loose dog in a car can be distracting enough to cause a car accident. In addition, in the event that you need to stop quickly or do have an accident, being properly restrained may help prevent injury to your dog.
When walking or exercising your dog, always make sure your dog is leashed unless you are in an off-leash area.
Always Have Fresh Water Available for You and Your Dog
If you’re planning on going hiking or pursuing any other strenuous activity in hot weather accompanied by your dog, be sure to take plenty of water along for both you and your dog. Your dog will become thirsty just like you do. Without water, he may become dehydrated.
Take time to rest and refresh yourself and your dog as necessary, preferably in a shady location if possible.
Make Plans for Your Dog When You Go Out Alone
There may be times when you need to go out alone or with your family and leave your dog behind. Have a plan for your dog while you’re away.
A howling dog left alone in a hotel room may prompt complaints from angry neighbors. It may even get you thrown out of the hotel. A destructive dog may cost you a large unexpected sum of money for repairs. If you know your dog is likely to be disruptive, a doggy day care facility may be a potential solution.