Thinking of taking your pooch on a road trip with your family? Taking your dog on vacation is more complicated than it sounds so keep in mind the inconveniences of traveling with your pet before making the decision to do.
To bring Fido or not to bring Fido, that is the question
The first decision is whether or not to take him. If you are on vacation do you want to be tied down to your dog?
My dog gets up at 6:30 am every day without fail. When I’m on vacation I like to sleep in and won’t have the convenience of my fenced in backyard where I can just open the door let her out and go back to bed. I will have to get up, get the leash and walk her every morning. Also when we are on vacation we usually stay busy and I don’t always want to go back to take the dog out. I would also worry that my dog would be stressed in an unfamiliar environment without me there all day.
How are you getting to your destination?
If you have already decided to take your dog on vacation it’s time to think about travel arrangements. If you are flying with a small dog and buying it a seat for the crate then you should be all set.If you are thinking of flying a larger dog in cargo . . . just DON’T. There are so many reasons why I say that but flying cargo is an absolutely terrible experience for a dog, just leave him home or board him with a reputable kennel.
Taking a road trip with your pup is much more feasible, but certainly takes a bit of preparation. The most important question to ask yourself is ‘Can we travel the distance without leaving the dog in the car?’ Can you stop for meals without leaving your dog in the car? If you like to take an extended driving break by going to a restaurant and dining in, then taking your dog is not acceptable. If you are taking your dog pack food to eat at rest stops or plan to only hit the drive-thru.
Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before, during, and after a day of travel. He needs to stretch his legs and do his business just like you do. Before heading out on your trip it’s a good idea to take him for a long walk. Exercising your furry buddy is another great reason to just pack food and stop at rest stops.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Make sure your dog his getting enough to drink on the trip. It’s easy for your human family members to have a bottle of water in the cup holder, but don’t forget that he needs a drink too. Pack a bowl so that he can get a drink at rest stops and you might even consider packing Tupperware with a lid so that he can have a drink while on the road.
Comfort is Key!
Finally, make sure he is comfortable. Whether in the car or for your vacation stay, bring along his comfort items and make sure he gets the same dog food on the trip that he has at home. If he has a favorite blanket, dog bed, or toy, make sure he has it. It will help him to not feel as anxious about unfamiliar surroundings.
Good luck and have a great trip!