Do you dream of long-distance adventures with your beloved canine at your side?  For many, it’s the perfect way to bond. Dogs can definitely make the best of traveling companions, but it takes a little planning and preparation to set yourself up for success.  Here’s how to ensure both you and your dog have a wonderful time when you’re planning a vacation together. 

Choose pet-friendly destinations

Nothing will spoil a trip more quickly than ending up in a place where your traveling companion is unwelcome or uncomfortable.  With that in mind, it’s important to research the location you’ll be visiting.  It’s crucial to consider your dog’s point of view.  If your pup isn’t used to busy public places, a pet-friendly vacation rental might be more agreeable than a hotel.  It provides privacy and quiet, as well as room to play. A chance to burn off energy can be better for your dog, since there can be excitement and anxiety from traveling, so consider looking for a place with a yard and enough floor space to stretch out.  Many dogs who aren’t used to hotels find the homey atmosphere less stressful as well.   

Prepping your pooch

No matter where you end up, there are some basics you should cover to get your dog ready to hit the road. Teach him a few commands to show his manner manners so he can conduct himself appropriately in public. Sit, stay, and down are all helpful. It opens a world of possibilities for traveling comfortably with your pooch.  For instance, if he thinks it’s okay to jump on strangers, steal food, or get on furniture in strange places, trying to visit a streetside cafe, beach, or hotel is going to be miserable for you, your dog, and everyone else.  By giving him the skills he needs to be a good citizen, everyone can enjoy themselves. It will even improve trips to the vet’s office, so make sure he has at least an elementary education and some socializing before you begin your adventures.

Choosing transportation

For the most part, dogs do best with road trips.  As CNN explains, flying can be particularly stressful for dogs, and airlines have strict regulations, and often hefty fees, for taking your dog along.  Additionally, all but small dogs are required to fly via the cargo compartment, which can be risky.  If you do need to travel by air, examine policies carefully and make sure your dog is accustomed to airport-style hubbub.  

Road trips are far less stressful for dogs.  On top of that, it’s easier for you to get your dog comfortable with everyday vehicles, rest areas, and the like.  Barkpost points out you should plan to keep your dog restrained during road trips, for his own safety and yours.  Some dogs can wear a seatbelt harness or ride in a doggy car seat, and some do better with a crate.  Whatever your choice, make sure you get your dog used to it before you try to go for lengthy trips.  Any of the options will be a unique experience for your pooch initially. For instance, even if your dog wears a harness for walks, training him to wear a car harness is different, since he will be strapped into the seat of a car and unable to turn around.  

No matter where you go, what you do, or how you get there, there are some key points to remember when traveling with a dog.  Choose destinations and transportation thoughtfully, and give your dog appropriate training. With a little planning, you and Fido will have wonderful adventures!


Photo via Pixabay

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