Preparation and planning for summer vacation travel with your dog
SAN DIEGO, July 27, 2021– Summer is the busiest travel season, and with your dog with you, it’s especially fun. But it takes a bit of advanced planning.
For many dog owners, summer travel is synonymous with bringing your four-legged best friend along for shared memories and vacation experiences
Vacationing dogs are likely to be on the rise due to the influx of new dog owners throughout COVID, as more people have been staying at home and seeking companionship.
In fact, this writer tremendously enjoys the thrill of bringing Regan, my companionable Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier along for a fun vacation experience as the opportunity for the Great American Road Trip presents itself.
With the benefit of such experiences, there have been several lessons learned, especially about the necessity of preparation and advanced planning
It is important to point out that many dogs experience motion sickness, depending upon the length of travel and road conditions.
To ensure a positive traveling experience, provide a small meal in advance to prevent nausea; and, consult with a veterinarian for dog-appropriate motion sickness prevention medication if needed.
The traveling vehicle needs to be able to easily adapt to safe and comfortable dog-friendly conditions which include adequate ventilation, a dog mat or a bed. Also, your pup deserves a designated travel space that provides safety from moving objects such as luggage and unanticipated vehicular accidents.
Always carry bottled water while traveling with a plan for intermittent stops for water, and restroom breaks (remember doggy bags for disposal); and, plan to always carry water throughout destination activities.
Planning dog meals and treats are a necessity
Keep in mind the transportability of the dog food, whether it is dry kibble or requires refrigeration. Make your vacation days easier by measuring and packing your pup’s meals.
Special tip: For dogs hesitant to eat and/or experience nausea, many restaurant hotels will, upon request, make up a batch of plain rice or scrambled eggs, which may be helpful, as a topping to regular food.
In addition to foods and medicines, bring items pooch might recognize. A favorite blanket, toys, and bed. You also need to take water bowls and portable kennels, particularly if you are staying in a hotel. And do not forget to pack any medicines and emergency kits for your pup to include Benadryl for bee stings, nail clippers, oral care items and sunscreen. (Protect your pet from heat and sun during dog days of summer)
Advanced vacation planning for ensuring dog-friendly destination environments such as hotels, restaurants. Know where dog parks, dog-friendly beaches, and hiking trails. Remember to always bring water for yourself and your dog as it is easy to dehydrate in the summer heat.
Pay special attention to the destination environment and what types of insects, animals, plants, and more which might be present and could be potentially harmful.
It is critical to be cognizant of the temperature and climate of the surrounding area, and ensure sufficient shade during heated temperatures, ventilation, and dog-friendly sunscreen depending upon the breed. Always carry an extra leash.
Be certain to check whether all your dog’s vaccinations are current.
Carry a copy of your dog’s rabies certificate and medical history. Be aware of veterinarian hospitals in the area upon arrival in the event of an emergency–and they do happen!
If there is airplane travel planned, thoroughly review all particulars with the carrier, and account for any concerns which could be harmful. With special attention to domestic and/or international flights.
Buses and trains likely will not permit the presence of a dog, unless perhaps a service dog.
If your dog is being boarded, and not traveling to particular locales, always provide them with emergency contact information.
Some of the most enjoyable vacations have been spent when a beloved pet dog is included as part of the family experience
The sheer joy of a rapidly wagging tail, happy barks, enthusiasm, and unconditional love of a Best Friend can add greatly to almost any vacation experience and memories for many years to come.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
About the Author:
Laurie Edwards-Tate is Communities Digital News senior health and aging specialist covering healthful eating, living, and aging information. Since 1984, Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm, and children. Laurie is on the Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.
(Main image: Thanks to Tim Mossholder @timmossholder for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁