I get asked often how our dogs have taken to traveling. Because we are full timers, we had to work up a routine for them that keeps them happy, entertained and healthy, while at the same time allowing us to do what we want to do.
For those that do not travel full time, traveling with your pet is becoming more and more common. After all, if you are like us, you just may consider your pet one of the family.
This is the first time Ralph and Faith had ever seen a beach. They were a bit confused at the time as to what this might be, but warmed up to it quickly when they both discovered that there were fish in the water.
Finding a pet friendly beach can be difficult and I have to say that we visited quite a few before we found one that we could bring the dogs to. It is important to always follow the rules of the area so that you don’t ruin it for others. Faith and Ralph loved the opportunity to see this beach in Carabelle, FL, and hopefully many other dogs will too!
Here are 14 traveling tips that we learned along the way:
- Consider the trip from your pet’s point of view. Will they actually enjoy the trip or will they be cooped up the whole time? If you do not think you will have the opportunity to spend time with them, then maybe this particular trip might not be the best one for them. Don’t take them just because you can.
- Does your pet suffer from motion sickness, or get ill when routines are disrupted? This should be considered. Are they just going to be miserable?
- Does your pet have issues with other people or animals? Socializing an animal can be as simple as taking them to the dog park now and then and getting them used to the fact that there are more people in their world than just you. Our dogs were not socialized before our first trip, but we have been surprised at how quickly they have adjusted to a new world around them. Just be sure to be aware when new people come up on you and allow your dog to get used to the idea of other folks wanting to pet them.
- The health of your pet is a huge consideration especially when traveling. Be sure that all vaccinations are up to date, and that you carry the shot records with you. For airline travel, health certifications are required. Be aware that there are germs and parasites in other areas of the country that your pet may not encounter in your own yard. Personally, I like to be sure they are both up to date on flea meds too. Certain areas of the country have larger numbers of ticks and mosquitoes which may be a threat to your dog’s health.
- When traveling, a crate is a good place for your pet when riding in a car or RV. It is actually safer for both of you. It prevents your pet from becoming a projectile if you have to stop fast, reducing the chance of injury to both you and your pet.
- Be sure that your pet has ID tags with your phone number on them and a sturdy leash and collar. Consider a permanent form of identification such as a microchip.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car, especially if it is warm out. It takes no time at all for the inside of a car to heat up and become very dangerous to a small pet. That said, keep in mind that a RV is basically a vehicle. The same rules apply!
- Going out in a boat? Don’t forget flotation vests for your dog. Sure he can swim, but there is the possibility of drowning even for the best of swimmers.
- Does your pet have a favorite blanket or toy? Be sure to bring it along! Sometimes just having something familiar nearby is enough to calm any fears.
- Take a lot of breaks while on the road. We try to stop every few hours to walk our dogs. Usually, we hit a rest stop and find the dog walk area. It is good for everyone to get out and take a small walk and the dogs love to get the exercise.
- Be sure to provide plenty of water during your trip, but limit the food while traveling. You never know when a bout of car sickness might pop up, so hold off on feeding too much until you get where you are going. If the animal is prone to nervous stomach, you may want to stick to bland food until they calm down a bit once you arrive.
- Be a good pet owner. Follow the rules of the area. Do not take your dog where he is not allowed, and pick up after them.
- Dogs love healthy routines. Once you are at your destination, provide regular walks, access to fresh water, and regular companionship.
- Include activities in your trip that are pet friendly such as hiking or maybe an off-leash dog park. Check the available local activities in areas that you will be visiting to ensure that they do allow pets.
Having your pet along on your trip will be very enjoyable as long as you prepare them for it, and allow them to enjoy the ride! And if you never know, they just might show you something you might have missed along the way!