Planning a trip? An increasing number of accommodations are opening their doors to guests and their dogs – so it’s easier than ever to take your furry friend along with you. Remember, if you do plan to travel with your dog, socializing and crate training him at an early age will make him a better traveler.
Here’s a checklist to ensure you’re prepared for stress-free travel with your furry buddy:
- Call ahead to make reservations, and to find out if there are any restrictions on the size and number of animals the accommodation will accept. Some won’t take dogs over a certain weight. Ask about rates, and what amenities the management provides for its animal guests. Some offer blankets, towels, bowls, and/or toys, but others don’t; knowing beforehand will help you decide what to pack.
- Have an exercise strategy. Tired dogs behave better than those with excess energy. A hotel on the highway might not be able to accommodate your dog’s needs and no one wants Rover romping through lobbies and corridors. Ask about trails and parks nearby.
- Remember to pack doggie bags and wipes. Disposable pet-friendly wipes or a towel are handy for wiping muddy paws before entering the lobby.
- If you’re driving, pack your dog’s bed. Most places don’t want dog hair on their beds or chairs. Having his own bed will give him a sense of familiarity too.
- Pack some safe, clean chew toys so he won’t be tempted to try his teeth out on a table leg. Give him one at a time and rotate them so he doesn’t become bored.
- Pack a placemat for dog food and water dishes so you don’t have to put them on carpeting.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Remember your doggie first aid kit and check to see if there’s a 24-hour vet clinic near where you’re staying.
- Unless you’re in your room or a designated off-lead area, keep your dog on a leash, indoors and out. Short leads work better indoors than extendable leads.
Ann Brightman is Managing Editor for Animal Wellness Magazine and Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. A lifelong animal lover, she has also been a writer and editor for over 25 years. Ann is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada and lives in Cobourg, Ontario.