VACATIONING WITH YOUR GREYHOUND
Vacation season is in full swing, and people are traveling even more than before the pandemic, in spite of high gas and airfare prices. While vacation season once dictated boarding your pet, today more and more travelers opt to include their dogs in their getaway plans. As with any good vacation, some pre-trip planning can make all the difference in making sure your dog has a tail-wagging time on vacation and keeping your stress is at a minimum. Here are some tips for vacation success:
IS YOUR PLANNED TRIP DOG FRIENDLY?
Before you make your trip plans, ask yourself if your hound would enjoy traveling with you. When planning a vacation with your dog, be sure to plan a trip that can be enjoyed by both you AND your dog together. Never plan to leave your pet alone in the car while you make a quick stop; it’s a recipe for disaster.
While a growing number of locations permit pets, many venues still don’t, including most museums, fine dining establishments, theme parks, protected areas such as wildlife preserves and caverns, and more. An app (and website) like BarkHappy helps you find dog friendly restaurants, bars, hotels, parks and more. Even see their pet policies and amenities.
For most pet travelers, car travel is far easier than air travel. The exception would be small dogs who will fit at your feet below the airline seat in front of you. If your dog is too large to fly in the cabin, please consider driving instead of flying your pet. Flying in the baggage compartment of an airplane is extremely difficult for pets and many airlines do not fly dogs during the summer months.
IS YOUR DOG READY TO TRAVEL?
Start by keeping a buckle collar with current identification on your Greyhound at all times. A pre-trip talk with your veterinarian is also a good idea to learn if there are any health considerations for your destination. If your dog isn’t already microchipped, your veterinarian can chip your dog (a quick and easy process) and you can register the microchip number to identify your dog if he should become lost.
Your dog should know basic commands and be socialized around new people before you take him to strange situations for an extended time. You will want to be confident that he’ll be comfortable and safe as he meets new people and other dogs on the road.
Start slowly, unless your dog already loves car rides. Don’t make your pup’s first vacation a cross-country trip. Plan a short outing with your dog to a dog-friendly restaurant or a state park to see how you and your dog handle the experience. If all goes well, plan an overnight getaway (packing your dog’s favorite bedding, toy, and usual diet) to see how your dog handles the night in a new location. Once you see that your dog will enjoy a night away, whether you’re choosing a campground, hotel, or bed and breakfast, you’re ready to make plans.
WHERE TO STAY
Once you’ve pinpointed your destination, you’ll find that overnight stays are easier than ever thanks to the growing number of pet-friendly accommodations. BringFido: This app (and website) helps you locate pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and activities.
When comparing hotels, ask about both pet fees and pet deposits, making sure the deposit is actually a refundable one. Also, check on weight restrictions at your potential hotel; some hotels limit guests to dogs under a particular weight.
Make certain to stop frequently for potty breaks and exercise. Traveling with your dog means slowing down and enjoying the journey. Be sure to plan for more frequent stops along the way—and build some flexibility into your itinerary. Try the app called USA Rest Stops: This app will help you easily find the nearest rest stop in the US, including Interstates, US highways, and state highways! You can browse by state and interstate or you can browse on a map. It’s great for water and potty breaks. Also make sure to bring poop bags along with you so you're able to clean up after your dog, as well.
WHAT TO BRING
- Dog seat belt or crate/kennel*
- Bring his regular food, or at least enough to get you to the next place where you could buy it
- Bottled water and bowls (collapsible - let him get used to using them one week or so before you travel)
- Treats and a toy or two
- Blanket and/or dog bed
- Poop bags
- Medications, if applicable
- Your dog’s medical records, including list of recent vaccinations, and a recent picture of your dog
*Having loose animals in the car isn't advised. They can distract you and can also get into things that they shouldn't. And if you were to get into an accident or stop suddenly, unrestrained animals can get injured or even killed. It's important to invest in harnesses, crates or seatbelts to ensure they are safe and secure in the vehicle. Also, don’t let them hang out of car windows.
HOT CAR WARNING
Although everyone should know this, when traveling with dogs, never ever leave your pooch unattended in a car. Cars act as insulators – they can heat up to exorbitant temperatures very quickly, and a dog can die after only a short time alone in a hot car. If you need to stop, take your dog with you.
To a lesser extent, cars in cold weather can be the same. Temperatures in the car can drop, and your dog may freeze. No matter what the temperature is when you are traveling, don't leave your dog in the car!
A well-planned trip with your dog can make for many happy memories and set the stage for many future adventures together. Vacationing with your dog is a great way to explore a destination, unleashing fun for both you and your dog!
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