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Tips for Summer Travel with Your Pets

dog traveling
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

We always bring our two Schnauzers with us when we camp.  But, we don’t tent camp, we have an RV, so that makes it easy.  There’s a roof over their head, heat when it’s cold and air conditioning when it’s hot.  Sometimes, circumstances aren’t as pristine and it’s necessary to do research, bring additional items and make some considerations before jumping in the car, plane, train or boat.

I found a fabulous dog loving website and magazine called The Bark.  They have provided tips and tricks that should make your vacation more enjoyable.  Some I practiced, some I plan to:

While it’s hard to believe, not every establishment is dog-friendly.  You may have to visit websites or make phone calls to find out if dogs are allowed.  Every time I’ve found a hotel that allows dogs I’ve had to pay a little extra to cover the cost of an accidents.  I understand that.   Also, check to make sure you’re allowed to leave the dog alone in your room for a lengthy time if you plan to do some sight seeing without them.  We always bring the kennel, just in case the maid should happen to enter with their key while we aren’t there.

Research for accommodations doesn’t end there.  Be sure to check if the area you’re visiting requires a shot from the vet, or preventative medication for ticks, chiggers, etc.  This is especially true if you’re doing some hiking at state trails, national parks or the wilderness in general.  Oh, and remember, some of the state agencies may have restrictive policies to consider. Try checking their website that should provide the info you are in need of.

You know how important it is to pack for YOU, it’s equally as important to pack smart for your beast.  In addition to what your dog uses on a daily basis, you might want to remember a canine first-aid kit, grooming supplies, and an extra collar and leash. Lots of water in the summer and lots of blankets in the winter.

The Bark gave me a tip that totally makes sense and I’m mad at myself for not being smarter in the first place!  I have a manilla folder for each of my dogs that include all their  vital info, (vaccinations, medications, allergies and health conditions) as well as a photo in case, God forbid, they get lost while on vacation.  The Bark said that some travelers even keep this material in their car’s glove compartment in an envelope marked DOG INFO at all times, in case their in an accident.

You should already be on this, but make sure your dog has proper identification. If they should become lost in an unfamiliar place, a tag and a microchip could be key to finding them.  Both of mine are have a microchip. Remember, to provide your contact info AND that of a friend or relative in case you aren’t able to answer, a back-up is important.

When traveling with your dog comfort and safety is important.  A harness seat belt or secured crate keeps a dog from moving around the vehicle and becoming a dangerous distraction, as well as potentially reduces injuries to both of you in case of an accident. Dogs should NEVER ride loose in the back of a pick-up truck.  That use to be acceptable, now I shudder when I see it.  If your dog is new to travel, ease them into it with a few trips around your town before taking them out on the long haul.  Good for both of you to know.

Remember, dogs are magnets for people and while traveling you will meet LOTS.  If you know your dog does not like strangers, perhaps you should rethink bringing them with you.  Otherwise, enjoy making memories with your pooch with these travel tips every chance you get!

Info via:  The Bark

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