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Traveling is always an interesting and often, unpredictable experience, especially if you are traveling with dogs. The addition of pets can make things a bit more hectic, but it doesn’t have to be difficult if you take time to do a little bit of advanced planning.
Boarding pets can be a huge expense that can wreck your travel budget. But cost aside, it can be painful to watch their sad faces as you walk out the door, leaving them behind. Our dog has traveled with our family often since his adoption almost ten years ago and travels well. We’ve learned a few tips to help the transition from home to hotel or vacation rental to go smoothly. Traveling with pets can be enjoyable for everyone.
Tips for Traveling with Dogs
Dogs are just like humans- they need food and water. Make sure you pack treats and dry foods , as well as some water for when they get thirsty. I recommend squirt water bottles that you can squirt directly into their mouth because spills from a water bowl can ruin anyone’s a good mood.
Plan out Bathroom Breaks.
We all know that dogs are not able to hold their bathroom needs very long. Rest stops are a great place for everyone, including your four-legged friend, to go potty, stretch your legs and get some fresh air. No one likes to be cooped up in the car for long periods of time, so be sure to include plenty of time in your travel plans for these much-needed stops. You’ll be thankful you did.
Dogs can be pretty impatient animals, some breeds more than others. Sitting for long periods of time can make even the calmest canines feel frantic. I recommend bringing along distractions such as bones to chew on or toys to play with. Keep in mind that the noisy chew toys that you can tolerate at home can quickly become a nuisance in the closed quarters of your vehicle. A road trip is the perfect time to invest in new, quiet dog toys for Fido.
Find ways to calm your pet.
If you’re planning a trip with your high anxiety pooch, check with your veterinarian to see if you can use Benadryl to calm their nerves. Prescription medications are also available if Benadryl isn’t potent enough to soothe Spot’s frayed nerves. Another must-have on our packing list is a Thundershirt. This great invention not only tames Toto’s tension during storms, but keeps him happy in the car as well. Calmer car rides mean a more enjoyable trip for everyone.
Book your lodging in advance.
Thankfully, more and more hotels and vacation properties are becoming “dog friendly”. A little digging goes a long way when looking for a place that allows pets, but make sure you seal the deal by booking your accommodations BEFORE your leave home. Nothing lands you in the dog house quicker than when you show up in the wee hours of the morning expecting a soft pillow to rest your road-weary head only to discover your room has been given to someone else. Spending a little time researching will save you a lot of stress in the long run.
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Traveling with dogs can be a great joy. With a little planning, your adventure can be an enjoyable experience for everyone. No trip is guaranteed to be stress free, but hopefully you can make your travels with Trixie more pleasant by using these helpful tips next time you set out on the open road.
Do you travel with your dog? What additional tips can you offer to help others make their treks a little less hair raising?