6.15.2011

Traveling with Dogs

Regardless of if you travel with your dog or leave your dog behind while you travel, this is the season to get away. Here are some tips to get you thinking about summer travel with (and without!) your pet!




If you are planning on a road trip with your dog, I can't recommend the Car Talk F.I.D.O. page enough, so much so that I wrote about that site last year.

There are a ton of links for where to find a vet if you are far from home, what to take with you on your trip (a photo of your pet in case your pet disappears on the trip, and lots of paper towels in case of a vomiting incident!), seat belts for dogs, what happens if they get car-sick, and how to get all that dog hair out of your upholstery.

Ok, maybe not ALL, but most.

Hotels
If you're not interested in searching each individual hotel to see if they are pet friendly, and what those fees might be, look no further than Pets Welcome. They have a great, easy to use search tool to help you find hotels and other accommodations for you and all of your pets (birds and cats, too!) on your upcoming trip. You can search by region, town, or route.


Podcasts
I'm a BIG fan of podcasts. When I'm walking my dogs every morning, I need something to listen to, so I plug in my ear phones. Here are three good ones regarding traveling with your pet this summer (or, any summer, really.)

Steve Dale's Pet World recently had a feature on how to vacation with your pet. In this, his guest highlights the importance of being prepared, how to travel with your pet, and why it's important to vaccinate well before your trip, not the day your dog is dropped off at the boarding facility. *Pst, hint*, it takes a little while for the vaccine to kick in!

I also absolutely adore The Dog Trainers Quick and Dirty Tips podcast with Jolanta Benal. They are usually under 8 minutes total (many under 5) and she tackles some great topics. She has done two on travel - one is on car travel, the other is for plane travel - both are great for potential doggy travelers. She covers in great detail the research on crates vs. seat belts, barriers, and other forms of restraint for your dog in case of an accident.

Boarding
If you have decided to go away for the weekend and you are not taking your pets, there are a few things to consider for your pet.

 -Is your pet easily stressed around new animals? A kennel or boarding facility might not be appropriate. Consider having your dog stay with a friend or with a professional dog care taker, who can devote the time to spend with your pet, provided the environment isn't too stressful.
 -Is your pet stressed out about strangers? Consider having a neighbor or trusted friend take your dog, or have someone stay at your home.
- Is your dog a maniac who needs tons of exercise and loves other dogs? Try a daycare that boards (like Pet Companions in Reading.
-Consider having a pet swap with some neighbors or friends. You take their dog when they go on vacation, and in return, they take yours. Just make sure that everyone is on the same page, but it does cut down on bills, and you'll rest easier knowing your dog is having fun with people you trust. 

Regardless of which option you chose, always make sure there are 2 emergency numbers for someone to call in the event of an emergency. Make sure your veterinarian's phone number is in an easy to access place, and that anyone who is watching your pet knows how to get to the vet.

Also, make sure the nearest emergency all hours animal hospital is part of your contact list as well. Keep a list of all medications your dog is taking for your care taker, so they can give the appropriate dosages. Also if something is to happen, the vet can look at the list and know what meds the dog is on and give treatment accordingly.

Leave a photo of your pet  in case your pet is lost. This will be useful for making a poster of the lost pet, but also for proof in the event you have to go pick up the dog at a shelter.




Nervous About Travel?
i.imgur has a GREAT infographic with all sorts of statistic-y stuff that will set your mind at ease. Plus, it has a great stat involving a toilet.

This is a great time of year for travel. Get out there with your dog, don't let them stick their head out the window or ride on your lap, and arrive at your destination safely.

What about you? What tips on travel, or great travel-with-dog websites can you offer? Leave tips in the comments section.