Going on a long road trip? Beyond preparing and packing for your family, if you are planning to take the family dog with you, there are some things you should do before you travel.
If it is feasible, many pet owners would prefer to take their dogs with them on vacation, rather than board them at a kennel while they are gone. Luckily, more and more industries are receptive to dogs, so bringing along Fido isn’t as difficult as you may think.
Here are some things you may want to do to prepare:
1. Get your dog used to riding in a car. Most dogs love car rides, but if yours doesn’t, make sure to take him out for regular car drives well in advance of your trip. Start with a quick 5 or 10 minute trip and then gradually build up to longer and longer trips until your dog is used to being in the car.
2. Get an annual check-up for your pet and bring the records with you. Take your dog in for an annual check-up, and make sure he is up to date on his shots. Ask the vet for a copy of your pet’s records so you can bring them with you in case he has a need to see the vet while you are on the road.
3. Book hotels that accept dogs. When you are making reservations, make sure to ask if the hotels you are booking take dogs. (Many do now, but you may have to pay a special security deposit.) Know what the rules are to have the dog in the hotel.
4. Get your pet insurance. Pet travel insurance is always good protection. Take this step a few months before you are to leave so the insurance has time to become active.
Bringing your pet on vacation can be surprisingly easy with the proper preparation. With a little forethought and organization, you and your family, including your dog, can enjoy the family vacation.