One of the joys in life is traveling with your dog.  However, including your pet in a vacation does require some adjusting.  For example, you may have to be okay with downgrading when it comes to hotel choices.  You may not be allowed in some places. You may have to consider less sightseeing and shopping, and focus on more outdoor-friendly holidays. It’s also important to keep in mind that some dogs may not be healthy enough to travel.  Others simply may not have the temperament.

When taking your dog on holiday, planning in advance is the ticket

If you’re planning a holiday to someplace like a National Park, be sure to inquire in advance if there are any predators to dogs that may be around.  Be sure to check if hotels or campgrounds can accommodate your pet. Have the number and address of the nearest emergency animal clinic. Update your information on their tags and make sure their microchip is registered.

If traveling by car, try taking your dog out on short car rides a few weeks before you leave. Creating a comfortable place for them in the car is a good idea. Taking your dog out for plenty of exercise the day before travel is smart.  Pack their food, any medicine and plenty of water.

If you decide to fly, keep in mind this takes planning and executing up a notch.  If you have a large dog it will be considered cargo and will need to travel in an airline approved crate.  If you have a small/toy dog, it can travel in a carrier that fits under the seat. Having a carrier with wheels is a really good idea. Remember, there’s a fee associated with traveling with a pet and you must reserve a space.

If you are planning to stay with friends or relatives, make sure to find out if they are okay with you bringing your pet and if there is room for them.  Most of the time a hotel is the better choice. These days lots of hotels are okay with your canine friend accompanying you. Bear in mind some hotels have weight limits and some have restrictions on certain breeds. Dog waste is the biggest complaint hotels receive, so be mindful and responsible.

Dogs who have traveled since pups will travel better

If you’re planning on making your pet a regular traveling companion, starting them early is key.  Bringing your puppy everywhere you go during its first 18 weeks is the smartest thing you can do. That is a puppy’s most critical social growth period. The earlier a puppy can learn to adapt to the unpredictable nature of traveling, the better it will be for you on future adventures.

Read also: Preventing Poop Disaster When Travelling With Your Dog

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Taking your dog on holiday - top tips