Around 37% of Americans travel with their pets every year, up from 19% just 10 years ago. Our beloved pooches and kitties are increasingly seen as important parts of the family and, since vacations are a time to create lasting memories, it only seems logical that Fido should be invited to join the party. Depending on where you are going, however, different considerations should be kept in mind. It all begins with the planning, including choosing a destination that is as suitable for everyone in your family as well as your pet.
1. Travel Easy
Families traveling with little ones and pets are increasingly choosing road trip destinations instead of those requiring plane travel. For one, long airport waits and very strict requirements for pet travel mean that depending on your pooch’s size or wait, he may not be able to travel with you in the passenger area. If you will have to transfer planes, the situation can be even more stressful for your pooch and your kids, since transfers increase the likelihood of delays. Kids can begin to feel restless on long haul flights, while pets risk being sent to the wrong destination, encountering heat stress, or simply feeling uncomfortable being ‘caged up’ for so long. Road trips, on the other hand, allow everyone – including your dog – to travel in comfort and to stop for a breather as often as is necessary.
2. Pack All Your Pooch Needs
Dogs can take time to adjust to new surroundings and abodes. Thus, he may display anxious behavior at the hotel or home you are staying at. Try to bring a few creature comforts so he feels more at home. These can include his favorite blanket, chew toys, and snacks. Try to keep him in your company as much as you can so he does not feel the anxiety of being home alone. Don’t forget to bring foldable water bottles as well.
3. Pack a Doggie First-Aid Kit
If you will be heading out into a natural spot where hiking and time in the sun will be involved, you will need to pack a few medical essentials for your dog. These include eye ointment (particularly important if you have a brachycephalic dog breed, since their muzzle is short and eyes are prominent), antibacterial ointment, gauze, tape, scissors, etc. Also, don’t forget their flea and tick treatment and make sure they have taken worm medication prior to your departure.
4. Pick a Destination Your Pooch will Love
Americans spend around 90% of their time indoors, and so do their beloved pooches. Why not make vacation time all about getting active in the great outdoors? Think the seaside, beach, or mountains. If you will be swimming, getting your dog a certified quality flotation vest is key, even if he already knows how to swim. If you will be near a body of water, make sure someone is always swimming with your dog, so he is always safe and secure.
5. Choose an Authentically Pet-Friendly Hotel
There are many hotels that will accommodate your furry friend, but not all hotels are alike. Some provide garden-level accommodation (making it easy to take your dog out for a midnight pee), special dog beds, treats, water bowls, etc. Those that go all-out show a real commitment to their clients’ pets and should definitely get top preference at the booking stage.
One of the best things about traveling these days is that there are many more facilities for pets. From hotels with beautiful gardens to those that create a special pampering experience for your pooch, there are many ways that a holiday can be just as special for Fido as it is for you. Make your list and check it twice, ensuring your dog has all it needs to be safe, entertained, and healthy throughout your family vacation.