Bring Fido –
Tips For Traveling With Your Dog
Bring on the Summer Travel tips for dogs. It’s summer time and the fun is all about the family. That’s the furry family too. Everything is more fun when you have your dog along. Hiking, swimming and playing fetch are perfect for summer outings. But, before you head out with your furry best friend, here are a few tips to keep in mind and check off your list.
Schedule a vet visit before leaving
Before you leave home make sure your favorite doggie is healthy and ready for a long trip. If you are flying talk with your vet about any anxiety issues your dog may feel during flight. They can provide advice on how to handle anxiety and reassure dogs.
While visiting the vet any shots which are due soon should be given before leaving.
If you’re traveling to locations where ticks and fleas are known to be more prevalent, shots, oils and/or collars which help prevent bites are a good idea. Your vet can help you decided which will work best for your pet and your destination.
Make sure tags are up-to-date
If your dog is like either of my dogs, their collars and tags can take a beating. I will check their tags and the numbers are scratched and not so easy to read. Before leaving check tags for legible identification and if you have changed telephone numbers, now is a great time to update tags.
Consider a microchip
A microchip is invaluable for pet owners who are searching for their dog. The chip is painless and the amount of information you can store will help reunite a lost pet to their anxious family.
Check with your vet for details and dates. Many local human societies will offer microchip weekends where cost and fees maybe more affordable.
Bring along or take a photo of your dog
Any pet owner will tell you they love sharing pictures of their dogs. Long conversations are held over cute photos of your dog doing funny things. But, when traveling photos can also offer much needed support if you dog goes missing. A recent photo which clearly shows their face, stance and size can help others accurately identify your pet. A photo electronically stored on your phone is easy to share and you know you have it close by. It’s even better to email it to yourself just in case something happens to your phone.
Limit the amount of time your dog spends in the ocean.
Who doesn’t love a game of fetch with Rover in the ocean. Dogs love it and it is perfect bonding time with your dog. Summer sun and heat can have the same effect on your dog as it does on the human family members. The sun’s blinding reflection on the water bring more heat and be hard on your dogs eyes too.
A game of fetch is fun, but your dog can ingest large amount of salt water which is dangerous as well. Too much can cause digestive problems and in extreme cases if your dog drinks large amounts of salt water, it can lead to vomiting, dehydration, incoordination, seizures, and possibly require veterinary care.
It is a good idea to limit the water fun which requires dogs to catch things with their mouth.
Plan for breaks and down time during the hottest part of the day
Dogs need a break too. Bring them under the umbrella on beach days and at the park, stop for a break, especially with older dogs. Too much heat isn’t good for any of us.
Don’t forget water and treats.
Speaking of heat and breaks; don’t forget the water bowl and a few treats too. Your puppy dog will thank you for both. On the beach it is a good idea of have water for dogs to drink after playing in the water. Cool water can help flush the salt water out of their system. I usually a couple of bottles of water for everyone coming along on the trip – that means for your fur baby too.
Bring a copy of the vet’s record of your dogs latest shots
This will come in handy for places you are staying with your dog, any ferries or public transportation and in case your dog becomes ill while on the road.
Check collars and leashes for any torn or damaged areas
Here’s one you may not think of. I didn’t until I had a problem. First remember to bring a collar with tags and a leash with you when traveling. Even if you don’t use these when home. Many places require dogs are on a leash.
And, for those of us who use them, collars and leashes can become an unnoticed extension of your arm when walking your dog. We don’t regularly think of checking them for small rips and tires. When traveling there are many new things that might grab your dogs attention. Double check leashes and collars for any rips which may cause the leash to pop and your dog run away. This could happen in a dangerous situation, such as walking near a street with heavy traffic. Stay prepared by already being prepared.
Plan accommodations ahead.
Do your research to avoid disappointments. The app Bring Fido can help you find what you need. Call ahead and check that pets are allowed. Asked about pet fees and any additional cleaning fees if staying in a vacation rental home.
Many places will want to know your dog has been treated for ticks and fleas and has up-to-date shots. Bring along your vet records, just in case you’re asked.
Follow the rules of the house when renting a vacation home or staying with friends and family. One way to ensure we can continue to travel with our pets is to be responsible pet owners when traveling. Following the rule which are different from how you interact with your dog at home can be tough. Your dog doesn’t know jumping on the bed is a no-no. For the person sharing their home this maybe a number one rule – “no dogs on the furniture.” Follow the rules and keep everyone happy, that way the next dog owner will be welcomed in the home as well.
Don’t forget the crate and their favorite bed and toy.
This is especially helpful for high anxiety dogs; a familiar bed and toy can help bring a feeling of calm in unfamiliar places. And a crate is a good idea when you pet must be left alone. It helps ensure there is no running around getting into things while you’re out and about. This sounds like another good idea for keeping your host happy and welcoming pets into their home.
Plan days ahead for road trips.
Take short trips around town to help you prepare for a long trip. What a great idea for puppy dogs who are not accustom to riding in the car or taking long trip. A few short trips will help doggies become familiar with the movement of the car and you’ll be less stressful handing the dog in your car.
Investigate pet restraints which are just like our seatbelt to keep them from moving around in the car as you drive. A small finder-binder can become major with a large dog unrestrained in your car.