Traveling with a dog can be an unforgettable adventure, both in a good or a bad way. You can either be left with wonderful memories that will last you a long time or spend your trip fixing problems that occurred because of silly dog travel mistakes. ‘’Being aware of what can happen on the trip and how to prepare yourself for a trip with a dog will make all the difference in regard to how you spend your vacation. I always make a checklist before I go somewhere with my dog.’’ – says Sam Rogers, writer at assignmentgeek.com.au.
So, how do you go on a trip with your furry, lovely companion? Here are some things you should definitely avoid if you don’t want to add stress to the traveling experience.
Dog travel mistakes: Forgetting to update your dog’s microchip
Your dog might stray from you during the trip. It is a new environment for them too, which can cause them to become scared and run away. Wherever you are, the microchip and pet ID tag is the best and fastest way to reunite with your dog. Therefore, whenever you decide to go on a vacation, make sure these two are updated.
You are probably thinking: why do I need both? Imagine that the collar comes loose, leaving you with no chance at getting your dog back. That’s why you need a valuable, advanced backup to keep your dog located at all times.
If you haven’t done it already, this is the time to get the dog microchipped. The injection is painless and can be done by the veterinarian you are visiting regularly.
Dog travel mistakes: Improperly restraining your dog
When you are traveling by car, you will probably get the idea to let the dog enjoy some free range inside. Of course, during a lengthy trip, you don’t want your pet to be locked in a restraint. But when you think about it, this is far better than not restraining them properly.
Imagine this scenario: you have to apply the brakes and your dog is not restrained. If you don’t use your own arm to restrain him while driving with the other hand, the dog will probably get hurt. Or, you’d have to carry it in your lap, which is never a good idea while driving.
A restraint keeps the dog safe, but also keeps you and other passengers safe. Use a carrier to transport your dog safely and get a stress-free trip. If you are worried about your pet staying in a closed space for too long, take breaks along the way.
Don’t forget that your dog might feel scared or anxious during a trip. If this happens and the dog is not restrained, you are in for a lot of trouble.
Dog travel mistakes: Failing to locate a vet
Unexpected things happen, both to people and their pets. Same as you, your dog might also need medical assistance on your trip. When you are traveling, you should always be prepared for such emergencies, often by locating hospitals and other important locations such as the police office in the new location. The same applies to your pet.
Since your pet cannot really go to the veterinarian by itself, you need to locate one before you go on the trip. Find a good one in the area and note down his phone number and address. You should have this with you in case something happens.
Dog travel mistakes: Forgetting your dog’s health certificate
Have you flown with your dog before? If you haven’t, you should definitely read the rules and regulations of the airline. Most airplanes that allow you to take your pet with you will require a health certificate.
Such certificates must be up-to-date, meaning that you should take care of the pet vaccinations and get your dog examined within 10 days before the travel. Usually, every licensed veterinarian can provide you with such a certificate.
Note that in most cases, you will probably need a set of certificates issued if your trip is longer than 10 days. Read the rules and regulations of the company you are using for traveling and make some arrangements to get a new certificate before your flight back.
Dog travel mistakes: Giving your dog bad food
Bad food does not mean spoiled food or food that does not taste well. In fact, it can even mean food that your dog eats often. During your trip, give your pet food that they are supposed to eat and cannot make them feel bad. You want the food to last the dog during the trip and not cause him troubles.
This also means that you need to carry enough food to sustain him during your trip or have an idea as to where to buy an appropriate food for your dog. If you choose the latter, look for food your dog has already tried and responds well to it.
Dog travel mistakes: Booking at a bad time
Always, always plan the trip at an appropriate time if you are traveling with your dog. Late in the evening or early in the morning will help you avoid those extreme differences in temperature. Such differences can be troublesome for the dog, both for his mood and his health.
If you are traveling by plane, remember that the space for pets is limited. Therefore, book your flight ahead to avoid the crowd.
Traveling with a dog can be great or terrible. You cannot really anticipate what will happen on a trip, but avoiding this mistakes will certainly aim you to the better option.