The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.
When it’s time to head out for your summer getaway, you have two choices: take the entire family or leave man’s best friend out of the loop.
If you’d rather have Spot by your side, keep reading. It’s not always easy to travel with a dog, but it’s possible. These tips can help you make the most of your adventures with your four-legged traveling companion.
Health and Safety
Any time you’re heading away from home, you should first discuss the trip with your veterinarian. This is especially important if you will be traveling across state lines or via airplane.
Your dog will need to be up to date on vaccinations, and you may be required to present a health certificate at the airport. Find the number of the closest emergency veterinarian at your destination, and program your telephone with their contact information.
To lessen the chances of your dog getting sick on your trip, bring enough of his regular food to last while you are away, or confirm that your usual brand is available locally. Depending on where you’re going, you may also need extra travel gear. Pack a life jacket or hiking vest if you’ll be at the beach or mountains, and always bring a leash, collar and ID/rabies tags.
If your dog has never traveled before or shows signs of anxiety when he’s in the car, you can ease his nerves by bringing along a few familiar items. It will also help to get him used to short trips in the weeks leading up to a long journey. You might also wish to consult with your veterinarian on supplements that will help keep your dog calm on the road, on the railway, or in the air.
CBD oil is one option, and many pet owners have reported using quality CBD oil to treat phobias and anxiety. Keep in mind, however, that despite hemp and cannabis being well known, CBD oil is a relatively recent addition to commercially-available home treatments.
There is no denying that traveling with your dog takes preparation. You may also find that you need to pad your schedule to account for bathroom breaks and exercise time. The American Kennel Club recommends teaching your dog to “go” on surfaces other than grass.
You never know when you will have a chance to stop. The last thing you want is for your dog to avoid eliminating his bladder or bowels until it’s too late and you have a mess in the back seat.
Something else that’s easy to overlook is whether or not your dog will actually be allowed at your preferred vacation accommodation. Keep in mind that hotels only have limited rooms available for guests traveling with pets, so book early. If you are not sure yet where you’d like to go, TripsToDiscover.com list more than a dozen pet-friendly resorts that happily say hello to your holiday-bound hound.
Visit a few local dog parks before your trip to get Ace acclimated to other animals if his social manners need refining; hotels can and will ask you to leave if your pet can’t behave.
The most important step in traveling with your dog is to prepare according to your destination. This means consulting with your veterinarian regarding your dog’s health, confirming his accommodations and getting him ready for the road.
It is extra work, but considering that your dog is an important part of your family, it’s a labor of love that will only strengthen your bond and give you memories to hold onto for the rest of your life.