Planning is one of the best parts when you’re going on a holiday. You get to decide on the activities you will participate in, where you will be staying, and every other stop you will be taking.
Now, if you’re planning on taking your pet with you, it takes a lot of preparation to ensure you’ll both be having fun. Here are some tips and reminders to heed before you go on holiday:
How to Prepare Your Dog for the Holiday Season
1. Plan Out Your Destination
The first thing you need to do when planning to take a holiday with your pet is where you want to go. You can go on camping trips, hiking trails, or any activity where you and your pet can relax.
Of course, your destination needs to be at the top of your priorities and determine whether your accommodations are pet-friendly and safe.
You don’t want to go on a long road trip and only find out at the last minute that your pets aren’t allowed on the premises.
2. Check With Your Vet
Asking your vet’s recommendations before going on a long road trip may seem excessive, but it’s best to be sure. Your vet is probably the one who is best versed in your dog’s health and safety – aside from you.
Ask for recommendations on keeping your pets behaved during the trip or whether long car rides are safe. They may even recommend a few calming techniques or products to help your pets get accustomed to traveling.
You may also want to check with your vet if your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date to ensure they won’t catch anything during the trip.
3. Help Your Pet Get Accustomed to Car Rides Before a Long Trip
Long car rides are hard on everyone, with long hours of waiting and sitting around. This may be a bit hard for pets, especially if they’re new to car rides. Some pets may even get car sick because of the rocking movements of the car.
To avoid shocking your pet with a long, tiring car ride, take them on short drives around the neighborhood or take them with you if you need to run to the store. This will help your pets feel your car’s movements and avoid car sickness.
4. Be Ready for Car Sickness
Now, in some cases, pets may be more sensitive to motion sickness than others – same with humans. If you’re not sure whether your pet may get car sick, it’s a good idea to plan.
Pack a few garbage bags and pads to ensure you can clean up after them. You may also opt for giving a smaller meal before going on the road trip to avoid upset stomachs during the car ride.
You may also ask your vet for anti-nausea medication or products that can help alleviate motion sickness for your pets to make car rides a pleasant experience.
5. Allot Time for Pet Pit Stops
Your pets will need a few bathroom breaks during your travel. If you like writing down schedules, make sure you include pit stops where your pet can poop or pee — But make sure you clean up after them! A few breaks between long car rides can also help your pet stretch its legs or breathe fresh air for a few minutes.
6. Update Your Pet’s Identification
No pet owner wants to lose their pets during travel, especially in unfamiliar places. Before you go on a car ride, update your pet’s identification tags with their names and contact details.
If your pet is not yet microchipped, this is a good time to consider it. Not only for your peace of mind but ensuring your pets are properly identified will help them get back to you safely if they wander off accidentally.
7. Invest in Car Seats or Crates for Your Dog
Your pet’s comfort is just as important as yours. Cars usually have confined spaces where your pets won’t be able to move around too much.
Investing in car seats or crates can help your pets establish their space and at least be much more comfortable lying down or walking around. Some pet car seats are also waterproof, which will be useful if you ever need to clean up after your pet.
8. Keep Your Pets Inside the Vehicle During Travel
While your pets may enjoy hanging their head out of the windows, it’s highly unsafe for them, especially if they don’t have eye protection. Your pet’s eyes may get damaged or irritated by flying debris in the wind.
Open windows are also extremely dangerous for pets, especially if they’re unrestrained or untrained. They may jump out at any time, which is highly dangerous and even fatal, especially if you’re driving at high speeds.
9. Pack a Doggy or a Kitty Bag
Your pets may get hungry or thirsty during the long car rides. To stop them from getting fussy when they get uncomfortable, make sure you pack fresh, clean water, a few servings of pet food, and treats.
Of course, if you’re planning an overnight trip, you’ll need more servings to keep them satiated at all times. If your pets are on any medications, remember to pack them in your doggy or kitty bag so they won’t miss any dose. You can also throw in a few toys to keep them from getting bored.
10. Write Down Veterinary Emergency Hotlines
Familiarize yourself with possible veterinary emergency hospitals and clinics along the way. Write down hotlines and possible locations for emergency services in towns or areas you will pass through during your car ride.
This will help you be ready if, in any case, your pet figure in an accident or you notice that your pet is feeling under the weather.
To prepare for a holiday with your pet, you can take several important steps. These include packing essential items like food, water, and medication, making travel arrangements, ensuring your pet’s safety and comfort during transport, and finding pet-friendly accommodations.
It’s also important to consider any specific requirements or restrictions that may apply when traveling with a pet, such as airline policies or entry requirements for certain countries.
Following these guidelines can help ensure that your holiday with your furry friend is enjoyable and stress-free for both of you.