Vacationing and Travel with Dogs Tips

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Do I have to keep my dog leashed when traveling?

Leash Advice

Although you may want to take your dog off leash when you're traveling, think twice. Unless you are in a fenced area for dogs or an off leash area for dogs, it's not advisable to walk your dog off leash. You always want to have full control of your dog at all times. This is especially true when you are in an unfamiliar area.

   
How much food should we take on vacation?

Vacation Food

It's time to pack your pooch's meals for that much anticipated vacation. So how much should you bring? Rather than guess, measure out the total number of meals that he'll be eating while you're away and add a couple of days worth. Don't forget to account for travel time. It always helps to be prepared. You don't want to be caught having to hunt down your canine's favorite kibble while you're trying to enjoy your time off.

   
Where can I find hotels and motels that accept dogs?

Plan Your Trip Online

You can plan a trip and take your dog with you. Accommodations include house rentals, cabins, hotels, and motels in every conceivable price to meet your budget needs. To find out more information, you can check out these websites:

www.dogfriendly.com
www.travelingdogs.com
www.petswelcome.com

   
How do I keep the dog out of the food supply?

Pack Away the Food

If your canine likes to dig through the food supply during a road trip, make sure he can't get to it. Pack his food in a plastic resealable container. You can use one that your have in your household to store leftovers or buy a commercial container meant to dispense dog food. You pooch's meal will stay fresh and he'll be ready to eat when you're ready to feed him, not in the middle of a long drive.

   
How can I help my dog through the boredom of travel?

Road Trip Boredom

If you’re heading out for a long road trip, there are many steps you can take to keep your dog comfortable and happy along the way. If he’s not content with watching the world go by, keep a few of his favorite items in the car to help him pass the time. Bring some toys for him to chew on, as long as they won’t distract you or make a mess in your car. Don’t forget a blanket in case he wants to snuggle up and sleep. Try to stop every couple of hours so you can stretch your legs and his, as well as give him a chance to eat and drink. Look up dog parks along your route, especially if you’re staying in a hotel. He’ll get some interaction with other dogs while he’s burning off some energy. Bring a ball or Frisbee to toss, and he’ll be much quieter and calmer when you check into your hotel for the night.

   
How can I prevent excessive gas in my pet?

Gobbling Down a Meal

If you're worried that your pet dines much too quickly and will have stomach troubles during your trip, you can help slow down his eating. Don't let digestive troubles get in the way of enjoying your vacation with your pooch. Whether you're at home or on the road, try one of these methods:

• Feed him by hand.
• Put large, smooth rocks in his dish to slow him down.
• Feed him out of a muffin pan.

   
What activities can I enjoy with my dog?

Skijoring

If you love the snow and you love to ski, consider going skijoring. Skijoring is a sport that involves a cross-country skier who is pulled by one or more dogs. You don't have to compete to enjoy this great activity. All you need is basic equipment, an eager dog, cross-country skis, and you're off. You can pick from numerous beautiful vacation spots to enjoy skijoring. Some of the best places to learn skijoring are frozen lake areas.

   
Should we forget about exercise while on vacation?

Vacation Time Exercise

So you're going on vacation with your pooch and you'd like to spend a lot of time stress free and lounging. Don't forget that your dog may still need to get some exercise time in while you're on holiday. It doesn't have to be a chore. Incorporate it into your trip. Spend an afternoon browsing the local shops with your beloved canine. Or go jogging with your pooch by that gorgeous sandy beach. Fresh air and a hike to see that great view will do you both some good. Whatever you choose, make it fun!

   
How can I keep my dog safe from danger?

Travel Safety Checklist

If you're taking your pooch to a new destination, take the time to consider this checklist before packing your bags:

• A few weeks before you leave, get you dog current on all her vaccinations.
• Plan to feed your dog at least an hour before you leave and never in a moving vehicle.
• Make sure your pooch is outfitted with a collar or harness with an ID tag that has your current contact information.
• If you're driving in a car, harness your larger dog to the seat. For a smaller dog, place her in a crate.
• If you're traveling by air, contact the airline ahead of time to confirm policies. During warmer weather, travel in the early morning or late afternoons for cooler temperatures. During winter months, travel during midday.
• Check hotel policies to make sure you can leave him in the hotel. If you get the ok, consider crating her while you're gone. Leave a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and alert the front desk.

   
How can I prevent gas in my dog?

Preventing Gassiness

One trick to help alleviate gassiness with dogs is feeding them in an elevated food dish. If your canine is a larger breed, it will put less strain on him to reach his food, he'll gulp less air, and be less gassy. If your pooch tends to have digestive troubles, don't forget to bring his elevated dish on your next trip!

   
How can I prevent gas in my pet on vacation?

Eating on the Go

A trip can be stressful on a dog. His routine changes, his surroundings are different, and plane or car travel can be rough. To help keep your dog feeling his best, make sure you keep his diet the same way it is at home. Try keeping his feeding schedule and routine as similar to the one that he is used to as possible. Refrain from making any diet changes and feeding new foods at this time. Try to feed your dog at least an hour or two before you get on a plane or in the car. And make sure that he's hydrated as well.

   
Are pet sitters reliable?

Check References

When you're trying to scout out a pet sitter to care for your furry friend while you're away, make sure that you ask for references. A pet sitter should be bonded and insured, meaning that they have a guarantee behind their work and that they are covered for financial damages. It's even better if you can get a reference from someone you know. Check with family, neighbors, and friends to see if they can recommend a pet sitter for you. If you do the research, you'll have a better chance of getting a professional, reliable caretaker for your dog.

   
Where can I find dog friendly accommodations?

Find Dog Friendly Accommodations

Are you looking for canine friendly accommodations to book for your next trip? There's a number of sources available out there for you. Consider getting a guidebook that will list hundreds of places throughout the United States and around the world. You can check with your local automobile club or bookseller for the title that best suits your location. Or, go to an Online source that lists dog friendly vacation spots, hotels, and vacation rentals. If you travel frequently with your pooch, there are specific hotel chains that range in budget from affordable to posh that will accommodate you and your four-legged companion.

   
May I leave a dog alone in a hotel or motel room?

Hotel Manners

If you're traveling with your pooch and you want to leave her in the hotel room, it's always best to check the hotel policy first. Some hotels will allow it and some won't. If your hotel allows it, consider crating your dog for the time that you're gone and alert the front desk that you will be away. Try to minimize your outings without your pet when you're away from home.

   
Are there vacations geared toward dogs and their owners?

Dog Camps

If you're looking for a vacation idea that is tailor made just for you and your dog, consider going to a dog camp. It's a great way to bond with your dog and other dog lovers while enjoying the beautiful scenery of an outdoor locale. There will be opportunities to take seminars on all things dog related from obedience and agility to massage therapy and first aid for canines. Don't worry about packing your own meals. These camps often supply superb cuisine to keep you well fed.

   
Boarding kennel or pet sitter?

Kennel or Pet Sitter

You're getting ready to travel and it's time to decide what to do with your pooch. Should you kennel him or hire a pet sitter?

Here's a few things to consider. You are better off boarding your dog if:

• Your dog cannot be left home alone for 8 hours or more.
• Your dog has separation anxiety or boredom issues that would cause him to wreck the house.
• Your dog needs more medical attention than can be provided by the pet sitter. (Board him at a vet kennel).

Remember that even if you do decide to board your dog, you have many more options than the kennels of yesterday. Today's boarding accommodations often give your canine open areas for roaming, daily walks, playtime, and accommodate specific feeding needs. You can even sign your dog up for canine massage, spa baths, and extra socialization time.

A pet sitter would be ideal for the dog who's perfectly comfortable at home and would do fine as long as he gets his meals, potty breaks, and a walk for the day.

   
How can I help prevent my pet´s indigestion?

Prevent Stomach Woes

To keep your pooch from suffering from indigestion during traveling, do everything you can to keep his diet and feeding schedules as normal as possible. A sudden change in foods, even for one meal, can give your canine an upset stomach. Make sure he doesn't gobble his food either. Eating too fast can be another reason why your dog could get digestive troubles.

   
Are pet sitters reliable?

Book Early For the Holidays

Don't forget! If you're going away for the holidays and you can't take your four-legged companion with you, book a pet sitter or make a boarding reservation early. Most of the best pet sitters and canine boarding facilities fill up spaces over the holidays early. You don't want to be left struggling to find decent care for your canine while you're gone.

   
How can I be sure my dog gets the exercise he needs?

Hiking and Packing

Going on vacation doesn't mean that your dog has to lose his exercise time. If you've got an active canine and you're planning a trip to the outdoors, you can take him on a hike. Your dog will enjoy the new smells and you can check out the outdoor sights. Specially designed canine backpacks allow your dog to carry his own food and water and give him an extra workout. You'll both get exercise and enjoy a fantastic way to bond. What more could you ask for on a vacation with your favorite four-legged friend?

   
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Sheri Ann Richerson