10 tail-wagging tips for traveling with your dog
(BPT) - Dogs can be the best travel companions to have by your side. The long walks, easy adventures and that familiar nose nuzzle make any trip special. Of course, traveling with a dog takes special consideration by pet parents, which is why the experts at DogVacay, a pet-sitting community that connects pet owners with care providers, offer some advice.
1. Fill up on Fido’s favorite food: Remember to pack enough dog food to last through a few extra days of vacation in case you get delayed. The local stores may not carry your dog's food and you don't want to risk him getting an upset stomach.
2. Plan for plenty of pit-stops: Your dog can "hold it" about as long as you can. If you'd normally stop every three-to-four hours, that's probably suitable for your dog. Older dogs, however, may need more frequent nature breaks.
3. Keep it cool: Never leave your pet alone in the car. Cars can get too hot for animals even when the temperature isn't high. Find pet-friendly hotels on your route through online resources if you'll have to stay overnight on the way. You can use apps like Yelp to search for dog-friendly restaurants or restaurants with patios where Fido can stay close.
4. Confirm fur-friendly features: Make sure your hotel is pet friendly before your trip. It’s important to verify that you can leave your pet alone in the room on the off chance you have to step out. If not, you can find a DogVacay Host nearby who can help out.
5. Prepare for takeoff: If you’re flying, call the airline ahead of time to make sure your dog's crate is the right size to bring on the plane. Then, register your dog on the flight ahead of time, as many airlines have a certain capacity of pets they will take per flight. Label the crate with your dog's name, your contact information and your travel points.
6. Fly with the greatest of ease: Before flying, take your dog on a leisurely walk one hour beforehand to help him relax. Avoid food to sidestep an upset stomach. If he’s crating under the plane, skip calming medication — these can make it difficult for pups to adjust their body temperature during the flight.
7. Plan puppy play while away: DogVacay offers daycare across the U.S., so your dog can still get some love and playtime instead of hanging in a hotel room while you venture out to less dog-friendly spots.
8. Create calming quarters: Close windows and put out the do-not-disturb sign. Additionally, leave the TV or radio on to drown out some of the outside noise. If possible, request a room away from the elevator and pool, so less people will be walking by causing a stressful distraction.
9. Skip the skedaddle: When you arrive, spend some time relaxing with belly rubs and snacks, as your dog may be confused and leaving immediately could make him nervous. By spending bonding time together, your dog will get more acclimated to the new surroundings.
10. Home sweet home away: Finally, set up an area that is just for your pup by placing some blankets on the bed or floor where he will be comfortable. Essentially, you want to create a safe space or "home base" for your dog while you're gone.
DogVacay is an online community that has over 25,000 vetted and insured pet sitters across the U.S. and Canada, ready to care for your dog like a member of their family. To learn more, visit www.dogvacay.com.