Traveling with your pet is a unique experience for both of you. However, if you’re not well-prepared for it, or if you’ve never done it before, it can be very stressful too. There are many things to keep in mind, and you have to make sure that both you and your pet have everything you might need. So, to help you make the preparations a bit easier, here are 7 tips for traveling with your dog. These things are a must once you decide to go traveling with your dog, so read them carefully!
1. See The Vet
First thing’s first, you need to make sure your dog is fit for the road. So, a short trip to the vet goes without saying. You also need to make sure your pup has received all the necessary vaccinations and has all the documents needed for traveling abroad. Moreover, keep in mind that different countries have different requirements, so you need to get informed on time. For example, if you are just vaccinating your dog for rabies, and you want to travel to the USA, you’d have to wait for 28 days before traveling. This is why it’s important to start preparing early.
2. Stay In Contact With Your Vet
Besides visiting your vet before the trip, you should also stay in contact with them during the trip. After all, you never know what can happen, and even though the chances of any medical emergencies are slim, it’s still better to be safe than sorry. So, it might not be a bad idea to get a USA sim card for your phone, so you can stay in contact with your vet and easily contact the nearest vet if necessary.
3. Pack Food
It might sound like a no-brainer, but considering all the things you have to pack for yourself, forgetting to pack your dog’s food can happen. So, make sure to double-check everything. Bring the food that your dog likes, since buying it along the way is not a good idea – unless you can actually buy the brand your dog is familiar with. Changing your pet’s food is something that should be done gradually, so it’s important that you bring something your pup knows and likes. The amount of food you should bring depends on the length of the trip. Also, don’t forget to bring bowls for food and water, and some treats to reward your pup for being good.
4. Bring Your Dog To The USA
Before you even start packing, you should plan your trip thoroughly. Getting all the necessary paperwork and arriving at your destination is one thing, but you still have to spend the entire trip together. You need to think about accommodation, moving around with your dog, dog-friendly restaurants and sight-seeing locations, etc. In short, getting ready includes planning every part of your trip. So, once you know exactly where you’ll be traveling, make sure that your dog will be able to stay with you at all times.
5. Find Pet-Friendly Accommodation
As mentioned, finding pet-friendly accommodation is a must. This is simply something that you don’t want to do on the spot, as it’s not exactly the easiest thing to do – and it’s also not something that you want to leave to chance. You want to know that both you and your pup will have a place to sleep after a long trip. Therefore, do your research online, and book your room before you set off. This way, there will be one less thing for you to worry about, and you’ll be free to rest as soon as you arrive.
6. Update Your Dog’s ID
It only takes one moment of distraction for your dog to pull the leash out of your hand and run after a cat, get lost in the park among other dogs, or simply get scared and run away for one reason or another. In this case, you want the person that finds your dog to be able to track you down easily. This is why updating your dog’s ID tag is very important. It has to include your current phone number, and make sure the tag can’t break easily – it should be attached to the collar with a quality ring. If you don’t like tags, you can also write your phone number with a permanent marker on the inside of the collar; it might not be the first place somebody would check, but they would find it eventually.
7. Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car!
Last but not least, you should never ever leave your dog in the car unattended! This is especially important if you’re traveling during warmer months, as what might seem hot outside can become unbearable inside your car very quickly. So, no, don’t leave your pup in a car “just for a minute to get something from the store”, and don’t count on getting back in time – time flies when you’re shopping, but for your dog in a hot car, minutes can feel like hours. The only exception to this rule is if you can leave your AC on; in this case, don’t forget to leave a note on your car window as well. Otherwise, somebody might break your car window to get your dog out not knowing it was safe.
Traveling with your dog can be a fun and memorable experience. However, it can also be a challenge, as there is one extra responsibility for you, and you need to think of your dog’s needs as well. Therefore, keep the listed tips in mind, start planning and packing on time, and you and your furry family member are bound to have a trip of your lifetime.
Jack Kewell is a writer, science editor, naturalist, entrepreneur. He is focused on writing and illustrating books. Also, he is a regular contributor to Smoothdecorator.