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Going on a holiday with family involved quite a lot of preparation and if you’re planning to bring your beloved dog with you, you are only making it even more complex. Still, you can’t really put a price of sharing some amazing moments with your four-legged friend, especially away from home.
In order for everything to go as smoothly as possible, you really need to prepare well for the trip and eliminate many obstacles that could ruin your holiday for everyone. Having a dog in tow certainly affects how you travel, your itinerary and many other aspects. So, let’s take at some tips you should follow if you want your holiday to be successful.
Travelling by car
It’s quite important not to take your dog for a long trip if you haven’t already travelled shorter distances with it. You don’t know how it behaves and responds to being restrained for longer periods. You might want to do a trial run beforehand and see how things work out.
Also, it’s vital that your dog is properly restrained throughout the trip. Otherwise, they could pose a serious distraction to the driver and would be much more likely to get injured in case of an accident. To prevent this, you should consider a pet barrier, pet seat belt, pet car seat or travel crate.
Finally, even though you might be perfectly capable of driving for more than two or three hours, you need to make regular breaks to let you dog run around and get some exercise. You should also keep your friend hydrated during the trip to prevent any health problems. Needless to say, never leave your dog inside the car in hot weather, because it can suffer a lot or even die.
Travelling by plane
This may be the fastest way to get to your destination, but it involves some restrictions. To begin with, you have to check the airline’s policy regarding dogs and whether your dog can fly in the cabin or as checked baggage. You might also want to take into account a pets-only airline if possible, which specialises in transporting pets and providing excellent care.
Once you’ve sorted everything out, make sure you arrive at the airport on time and possibly allow your dog to get used to the environment. Needless to say, it needs to get some exercise before being put in its crate, since it’s going to take at least a few hours before its free to run again.
Every journey outside the borders of your country means that you have to ensure that your dog is vaccinated and that you have a proof of that. You have to do some research and find out what the requirements are in this respect.
You also need to get a kennel that is big enough for your dog to turn around and stand. Don’t ever go on a trip with your dog if you haven’t helped it get used to the crate before that. It needs to see that you will come back for it and open the crate after some time. Dogs too suffer from separation anxiety and they need to be reassured that you aren’t leaving them for good.
It is likely that you might not be able to get your dog’s favourite food at your destination, which means you should stock up before the trip by ordering sufficient dog supplies online. You don’t want to change your dog’s diet while away from home because that would simply be too stressful for both of you.
Don’t forget to attach an ID tag with contact information to your dog’s collar and carrier and make sure there are food and water dishes in the crate, as well as “Live Animal” stickers, upright arrows and bedding.
Also, check with your vet if your dog is healthy enough to travel and what you should do in case of a medical emergency. If you get the green light, pack your friend’s blanket or favourite toy to help it feel more relaxed during the trip.
As you can see, travelling with dogs involves a lot of preparation, but the fun you can have together by far outweighs the effort you have to invest.