7 tips for worry-free travels
June heralds the start of the summer vacation season and travel gurus are predicting that more dogs will go with their owners than in previous years. If your dog knows what to expect when he hears any variation of “leash, car, suitcase, carrier, airplane, vacation and/or travel,” here are a few tips to ensure he is ready for and has a great holiday, too.
First, your dog will need to be up-to-date on his vaccinations. You will need to show proof that he has been vaccinated before flying or entering another state or country. You should also have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), also known as a health certificate. Most airlines, some train lines and many U.S. states require a CVI along with proof of vaccinations for traveling pets. Some hotels also require them as will any doggie daycare you use while on your travels. Always check with a state or country’s regulations regarding pet travel before you finalize your plans.
Ensuring your dog is on his best behavior when you are out and about is essential. He should be well-trained in proper manners, especially when encountering new people or other pets. Unfortunately, slip ups can happen. If your dog bites another dog or a person, he could end up quarantined for 10 days until authorities can confirm that he is in good health and not rabid. Such an event would certain but a damper on a vacation and is not worth the gamble.
One way you can help your dog adapt to his new and changing surroundings is to bring along his favorite blanket or bedding. Such familiarity will help him settle comfortably wherever you go. The same can be said for taking along his favorite treats and toys. If one of his playthings is something cuddly and plush, also consider giving it a gentle wash before the trip.
Talk about washing, your dog will be better received on your travels if he’s well-groomed and clean. If you are in charge of his beauty routine, be sure to cut the hair between his toes as well so that no detritus gets caught in his paws. It’s a really good idea to travel with doggie wipes to ensure his feet are clean at all times. If you are staying with family or friends, they will certainly appreciate your attempts to keep dirt and grime out of their home. A bottle of waterless shampoo is great for quick clean-ups.
Summertime travel can mean unbearably hot sidewalks, pavement, asphalt and beach sand can. Disposable booties, such as Pawz, will certainly help protect your dog’s paws if you are outside in the heat. Your dog might also need some protection from the sun, especially if he has white fur or light skin. There many canine-specific sunscreens on the market. Dog googles, such as Doogles, will protect your dog’s eyes and make him look super cool.
Don’t forget to keep your dog well hydrated when traveling and going places. Always bring water along when you are out with your dog; there are myriad dog-hydration travel products, including collapsible bowls, water bottles and sealable/spill proof dishes.
Many locations and places in the U.S. and around the world put out the welcome mat for dogs. The AAA has a directory listing more than 14,000 pet friendly accommodation options. You could also check out the “Ruff Guide to the United States” by BringFido.com, which lists 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states, and“The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel: Best Destinations, Hotels, Events, and Advice to Please Your Pet-and You” from National Geographic, which covers the U.S. and Canada. Happy travels!