Summer vacations are fun for the whole family. If you have pets, taking them with you can make a vacation even more special, but it will require some extra planning and research.
Preparing for a Trip
Contact your veterinarian to make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations and doesn’t have any health issues that could be problematic. Ask about medication for car sickness and diarrhea, just in case. If your pet isn’t microchipped, consider having a chip implanted so you can be reunited with your pet if you get separated.
Many hotels, campgrounds, and other places are advertised as pet-friendly, but what that means in practice may vary widely. Some go out of their way to welcome pets, while others simply tolerate them and charge extra fees, have strict weight and breed restrictions, only allow pets in designated areas, and don’t allow guests to leave pets unattended in rooms. Before you make a reservation, ask plenty of questions so you understand the business’s policies. Online reviews from previous guests can help you figure out which places do the best job of accommodating families with pets.
Pack any supplies you might need for the trip, such as your pet’s food, bowls, medication, bed, toys, and leash. Bring your pet’s vaccination records since they will be required at hotels, kennels, dog parks, and other locations you may visit. It’s also a good idea to have recent photos of your pet in case it gets lost and you need to create posters or fliers.
How to Have a Successful Vacation
Your pet should be in a carrier, crate, or car harness when riding in a vehicle. Dogs and cats will move around if they can. Having an animal suddenly decide to sit on your lap while you are driving could cause you to lose control of the vehicle and lead to a serious accident.
Don’t try to cram too much into your trip. The most important thing for your dog is to spend time with you and your family. Your dog would rather wander through a park or play fetch for an hour than be rushed to a new place without having enough time to enjoy the first one.
Stick to your pet’s routine as much as you can. Bring along the same food your pet eats at home and keep mealtimes as close to normal as possible. If you walk your dog at the same times each day, stick to that schedule as closely as you can while on vacation.
Make Vacation fun for the Whole Family
If you are thinking about taking your pet on vacation, conduct research to find the right hotels and activities and bring everything you will need to keep your pet comfortable and to deal with any emergencies that might arise.
At DogWatch of Western Mass, we care about your four-legged friends and want you both to feel comfortable and secure at all times. If you’d like to offer them the freedom to roam in the house or the yard, contact us to learn more about Pet Containment Systems and obedience training.