Are you heading out on a trip but constantly worrying about what’s going to happen to your dog? Does your heart break at the thought of leaving them or are you simply unable to find someone to take care of them? It’s not impossible to take your dog on your travels with you, but it does demand a little forward thinking. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself to work out whether it’s wise to take your pooch globetrotting or not.
Are they good to go?
The very first thing you should do before thinking about taking your pet anywhere is to get their health checked out. There are some conditions that might make them unfit for travel and they may need a health certificate to be allowed to go abroad in the first place. You also need to think about the particulars of the destination. Most countries need them to be inoculated against rabies alone. However, some countries have regulations that state they should also be protected from tapeworms. You might also want to consider the health risks that a particular country might pose to your dog. You don’t want to take them anywhere that makes them more likely to get sick.
How are you taking them?
The method of transport might also require you to do some extra planning. Most dogs do not like traveling by plane and you might find that the majority of airports don’t like it and many airlines do not allow it. If your pet is an emotional support animal, you can get certificates that allow for some exceptions. Otherwise, you might want to find more info on transport options that allow dogs to sit with you instead of having to spend time amongst the cargo. If at all possible, you might want to think about taking them by car, instead. Of course, some dogs can get anxious or nauseous by car, so the method of transport also depends on how well you know your pup.
Will your accommodation allow it?
Just like airlines, there are plenty of hotels, B&Bs, apartments, and villas that do not allow dogs. It’s understandable, they want to avoid the risk that a bad pooch might end up tearing up their wallpaper and furniture. However, it’s becoming much easier to find pet-friendly accommodation, as you can see here. Just make sure that you have it clarified in advance. If you suddenly arrive at a hotel with a dog that they weren’t expecting, then you can expect to have them turned away at the door. It might not seem fair, but it’s an unfortunate reality of traveling. If you’re planning on camping with your dog, then you need to do further research on what they might need to stay safe and secure at the campsite.
Can you help them get around?
Depending on the type of vacation you have planned, you might end up moving around more than your dog is physically able to. Some dogs love the exercise, but a hike might be a little too much for them. Similarly, if you’re riding a moped or a gondola around, you want to make sure that they are safe and secure as possible. Doggy backpacks and carrier bags are becoming a lot more common, so learn more about which might be suitable for your four-legged friend depending on their size and physical attributes. Doggy bags are also making it much easier for pooches to fly on planes, so if you are flying you might want to consider getting one.
Can you plan around them?
Packing is always a chore when it comes to traveling and it should be no surprise that having another traveler alongside you is going to make it even more demanding. You shouldn’t pack light for convenience’s sake when it comes to your dog. Check out this checklist detailing everything your dog needs while you’re traveling with them. You have to also consider their needs when you arrive at the destination. They may need to take a break from the road or from walking more regularly than you. Similarly, if you’re planning on lazing at the beach all day, make sure you find the time and opportunity to exercise them. Just because it’s a vacation doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for your pup.
Is there emergency care nearby?
Even if you prepare as thoroughly as possible, you should always anticipate the potential of something going wrong. This might include your pet getting injured or sick. If that happens, you need to have the contact details and the address of a nearby pet prepared in advance. Look for more information on vets in the area near you. If you’re abroad, then you want to make sure that you find one that speaks your language. If the area you’re visiting has no vets that you can go to in an emergency, then you simply shouldn’t risk taking your dog with you. If something happened to them, you might never forgive yourself.
Are you keeping track of them?
Injury and illness aren’t the only things that can go wrong. Letting the dog out accidentally or having them slip the lead and runoff can be stressful even when it happens at home. What about when it happens in a foreign land that you don’t know nearly as well? If you’re taking your pet abroad, then you should definitely consider using a GPS tracking device. Find out more about those that work with your phone, and you will be able to rest easy that even if your dog runs off, you can track them down again. It will probably still be just as stressful as it usually is, but you’re much more likely to get them back safe and sound.
Your dog could not only join you on your travels, but they can really add something to the experience and might even keep you safer. Just make sure that both you and the pooch are prepared for the extra hurdles that might involve.