Forget what the tech-buffs say about their samartphones, dog is still man’s best friend. Mutual love and loyalty which was built over the years cannot be emulated nor produced in any other way and that’s why you should enjoy every moment spent with your dog. That includes taking it to travels with you and although all the good will is there, dogs are not the best travelers out there. Don’t be discouraged, though. There are numerous ways to accommodate your friends during the travel and to make life easier both for them and for you.
How to Handle Dog during the Travel
Getting animals from point A to point B, has always been the most difficult part of any travel and here we will try to cover two of most commonly used means of transport and give you a few instructions for each of them.
Dogs are capable of traveling in a car rather well, but it’s always a good idea to limit their movement by crating them, for instance, so you will be less distracted while driving. It’s safer for them too, sudden breaks can injure them. Just be sure that the crate is well-ventilated. If you are against this measure, be sure that your dog is amused enough and that it doesn’t stick its head through the window to prevent it from hurting itself or cause ear and paw damage. Make dog comfortable with your car by driving it around the neighborhood in short sessions. It would also be wise to intensify dog’s physical activities so he’s free of all the spare energy before travel. Take the breaks every few hours to hydrate it and give it an opportunity to stretch its legs. Avoid feeding it during the travel, at least if it’s not too long of a journey. Last meal should be three to four hours before departure.
First and foremost, you should be aware of airline rules regarding pets and see if they are asking some kind of certificate, like the health certificate, so you are already prepared when you reach the airport. This time, crating will be absolutely necessary. If you want to accommodate your furry friend the best possible way, try considering pet-only airlines which are transporting pets in climate-controlled cabins and deliver them back to you at airport. As with car travel, same rules about food and prior physical activities apply here. Dog should be supplied with enough water to keep it well hydrated during the flight. Try calming your dog before you are separated and don’t make dramatic scenes out of it, you will only make things worse. If your dog is already calmed, fed end exhausted, he won’t notice separation and will just want to sleep.
Reaching the Hotel and Exploring New Places
Getting your dog to travel destination is only half of the trouble. Before booking the hotel where you will stay, you should research pet regulations, like you did with airlines, to avoid unpleasant surprises. Same goes with the physical activities. Taking your dog on a long walk before entering hotel will help him to be more relaxed and obedient. If it growls at stranger a bit, don’t be worried and explain them that they don’t have to afraid and that your dog is just scarred and it’s trying to reassure itself that everything is under control. Upon entering hotel, leave your dog outside the room until you spread your scent and familiar dog accessories throughout the room and only then let it enter.
You want your friend to feel at home as much as possible, but don’t give it too much freedom. Dog should be well behaved and aware that same rules don’t apply here so short drill procedure is very welcomed. Outside walk will face your dog with the abundance of new smells, animals, sounds, sights and of course things to eat, more so if you have traveled far from home. Be very vigilante, don’t lose him out of the sight even for a second and be extremely careful of what it’s eating. You don’t want it to spend its vacation sick, don’t you?
As we can see, all of this can be somewhat exhausting and demands quite a bit of homework but it’s worth it. An opportunity to take your family’s favorite friend on vacation will provide you and your loved ones with endless fun and very pleasant memories.
Diana Smith is a full time mom and a passionate traveler simply in love with Asia and South America. In her free time she enjoys exploring new destinations with her family and reading articles about exotic places.