Traveling with your pet dog, especially for the first time, can be a stressful, intimidating and daunting task both for you and your furry friend. There are definitely some animals that don’t mind the jet-set life and these are the ones that tend to make great travel buddies. Just like humans, each pet is unique that adapts to various situations in a different manner.
As per the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, nearly 70% of the American households own a pet. Among them, around 38% of the pet owners travel with their pets every year. In fact, the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, more than 4 million live animals are transported on planes every year.
Regardless of whether it is your pet dog’s first flight or they’re already a seasoned four-legged traveler, there are few tips that can guarantee a seamless journey. Check them out.
Don’t assume that the answer will be negative
As traveling with animals is increasing every year, establishments are not getting the required time to catch up with their dog policies. There are several places that still don’t have dog policies in the right place or even if they do, the policies are not pronounced properly. Many restaurants still call them ‘dog-friendly’ on the social media and websites while they’re actually not so. So, whenever you are in doubt, ask them whether dogs are allowed rather than assuming that the answer will be in negative.
Have extra copies of documents related to your pet
Are you planning to travel internationally or cross borders along with your four-legged friend? If yes, you will have to organize all sorts of dog’s health records and keep them right at your disposal, just as humans. You have to prove to the authorities that your dog is vaccinated and is fit and fine. Officials often keep the originals or the copies and hence you have to make sure you have enough of the photocopies of all documents. Make sure you also have a virtual copy on your phone.
Dog-friendly apps can help you a lot
There are several dog-friendly apps that can help you when you’re on the road with your puppy. Few of the favorites to include are:
- All Trails: For the largest concoction of trail maps (more than 50,000), download this app. You can read reviews, browse photos and also filter your search by dog-friendly trails so that you know which hikes are dog-friendly.
- Pet First Aid by American Red Cross: This app lets you locate the nearest animal hospital in case of emergencies and also offers a step-by-step instruction which is common for pet emergencies.
- Bring Fido: This is touted to be the Yelp of the four-legged world. You can locate nearby attractions, hotels and restaurants that welcome dog through Bring Fido.
Dodge paying hotel fees
There are several hotels that charge you additional fees in order to accomodate your pet. Fees will charge from a one-time fee of $50-$250 to an everyday charge of $10-$50 on an average. Such extra costs will add to your wallet and increase the price of your overall trip. This automatically puts pressure on your budget. Suppose you book a hotel with $50/night pet fee for a week, you will have to pay an additional of $350. The names of few pet-friendly hotels are Kimpton, Red Roof Inn and Motel 6.
A pet carrier should not be forgotten
Once you visit the market, you will come across a multitude of pet carriers. The favorites among them are k9 Sport Sack, a dog carrier backpack that fits dogs that weigh up to 40lbs. This carrier is available in several colors and it can be personalized with patches. You can also use the Roodie which is a pet carrier hoodie that is capable of holding dogs that weigh up to 15lbs.
Be affectionate to the people you meet while traveling
Regardless of where you go carrying your dog, make sure you’re considerate and honest with people around you. While you may come across people who love dogs, you will also meet people who get terrified at the thought of dogs. You should know the limits of your dog and thereafter be polite to them. Don’t forget that human relationships with dogs vary across different cultures. Stay informed about all sorts of cultural differences.
Double-check pet policies of airlines
When you decide flying internationally with your pet, you should double-check and if needed, triple check the pet policies of the airlines you’re traveling with. These policies keep evolving with time and hence you have to be updated on what they exactly are when you will travel. Ultimately, you have to be extra sure about the fact that both you and your dog should be welcomed properly in the flight. Policies usually depend on the country, the airline, the size and breed of your pet.
Country regulations differ
As long as crossing borders is concerned, there are different rules in different countries for pup entry. While there are some countries that will only ask for a rabies vaccine and other documents from your vet, there are other countries will demand a pet quarantine and hefty fees. In fact, there is also a list of banned breeds where few countries will not allow entry of those banned breeds at all. The countries with the strictest rules are Japan, Australia, Iceland and Fiji.
Pack all dog essentials
There are few things that are considered as essentials when you decide to take your dog for a trip. A leash, a harness, poop bags and ID tags are few of the most important things that you should definitely carry. Pack all the essentials of your puppy in case you are not able to find them on road. You have to remember that all locations won’t have a proper pet store.
Traveling with dogs are indeed a good experience if you do it right. With the help of your dogs, you can visit more places, meet more people and also be able to cherish the present. Dog lovers will know that there is not a better way to appreciate and feel a new place when you carry your four-legged friend.