Traveling with your dog doesn't have to be impossible or even challenging. If you love to travel and love your dog, you may believe that it's a choice of either/or, but not both. All it takes is a little extra planning to include your dog in your vacation. No more having to pay high rates for kennels or pet sitters. After all, leaving your pup is basically like having to spend money just to miss your dog while you're away. Consider these when planning a vacation with your pup.
Keep Your Dog's Documents Accessible
If you're taking your dog to another country, they'll probably require your dog's medical records proving that he or she is healthy and vaccinated. Take the originals (the government may require them) and throw a few copies in your tote bag so they're easily accessible. Also, keep a digital copy on your smartphone.
Double-Check Pet Policies
Some countries charge fees for pets, and some require pets to immediately quarantine. Some countries have a few banned breeds that they won't allow at all. To avoid confusion and potential strains, you should double-check all pet policies for everywhere you're going. This should include the country's policies and policies for the airlines, lodging and restaurants.
Find No-Fee Accommodations
Many hotels charge pet fees: a one-time deposit, a daily charge or both. These fees can make a significant impact on your vacation cost, hundreds of dollars, in fact. A few options that welcome pets for free are Red Roof Inn, Kimpton Hotels and Motel 6. There are also plenty of pet-friendly privately-owned alternatives (e.g., Airbnb) if you prefer not to stay in a hotel.
Take Advantage of Dog-Friendly Apps
These days, your smartphone places the world at your fingertips. Pet-friendly apps can be beneficial when you're traveling with your furry friend.
- Bring Fido is known as Yelp for dogs. It helps you find nearby pet-friendly lodging, attractions and restaurants.
- All Trails has over 50,000 trail maps. It allows filtering your search for dog-friendly trails. Plus, you can view photos and read reviews by fellow hikers.
- Pet First Aid by American Red Cross helps you find the closest emergency vet. It also gives step-by-step instructions for dog first aid and treatments for other common pet emergencies.
Take a Dog Carrier
Depending on your pup's size, you may not want to walk him or her on a leash in certain areas. On day trips, your dog might get tired after a while. It's always good to have a dog carrier if you're going to be out with your pooch for any length of time. Numerous types of carriers are available from which to choose. Some hoodies are made to hold a dog up to 15 pounds. There are also backpack carriers for pups up to 40 pounds. Taking a pet crate is also a good idea if you need to keep your dog kenneled for a while or if your pooch is used to sleeping in one at night.
Humans and dogs are both social animals, so why not be more sociable together when you're on vacation? Dogs are good communication-starters. The dogs will often try to greet one another before the humans even realize anyone is there. Go out for a walk or go to a park (better yet, a dog park) and acknowledge fellow dog owners; you and your pooch may meet some new friends.
Mind Your Manners
Wherever you travel, it's essential to be considerate of those around you. Unfortunately, not everyone loves canines. Some people fear them. Be aware of everyone around you, including other animals. The human/dog relationship varies broadly across cultures, so it pays to research cultural differences before deciding to take your pooch. Be sure you're able to clearly communicate to others not to approach your dog if he or she is unfriendly to or skittish around other people or animals. Make sure your pup follows basic commands such as sit, stay, come and no.
Carry the Essentials
Be sure to pack the essentials, as some areas don't have stores with pet supplies. You'll also need some of these items when you're taking your dog on road trips or day trips. Pack your pup's medical and travel documents, collapsible bowls, food and treats, medications, water, bed, toys.
Vacationing with your dog can turn out to be less expensive than paying for a kennel stay or hiring a dog sitter if you plan sufficiently. You'll not only have Fido's company, but you'll probably share much more time together than usual!