A few weeks ago, I guest posted for Harmony while she was on vacation – in case you missed it, here are my tips for traveling with your pet… Once you’ve read it, though, march your mouse over to her blog and add her RSS feed to your reader – then you won’t miss her cute pics of C or tales of city living OR any future fabulous guest posts she might have!
When Harmony asked Mommy and me if we might be interested in guest posting, we jumped at the chance – after all, Baby To Go is one of our very favoritest blogs AND we had a real life play date with Harmony and Baby C. Finding a topic, though, was another story… what should we write about? A recap of one of our adventures? Travel tips? (HA! Everything we know we learned here…) And then we thunk of it: traveling with a dog! Now that you all have taken Harmony’s advice and are expert at traveling with your infant, we can offer some tips about taking your furbaby along, too. So here we go!
Henry was Mommy and Daddy’s first baby. He fit into the family as soon as he came home, and joins us whenever he can. Before I was born, he made road trips with Mommy and Daddy to Howe Caverns, Mystic Seaport, and the beach. Most recently, he joined us on our family vacation to Ocean City, Maryland – after all, he *is* part of the family! Here are some considerations to think about before bringing your puppy on your travels.
- Consider your pet. Henry is a young, very active Wheaten Terrier. He enjoys spending time with our family and is used to traveling in the car. If your pet is used to a more sedate routine, you might want to take him along only on shorter trips – or it might be better for him to stay home in a familiar environment with a trusted pet sitter.
- Consider your activities and accommodations and plan ahead. While there are *many* dog friendly adventures out there, and pet-friendly hotels in almost every area of the country, think about what your dog will do when you are not around. Will you bring his crate so he can stay in a hotel room without you? Is there somewhere for him to be if you are participating in an activity where he is not welcome? Check the guidelines concerning pets; some hotels only allow smaller dogs, others will accept large breeds as long as you bring a crate; you may need to pay an additional pet deposit. If you are traveling by air, see if they can accommodate your dog in the cabin, or look into the special new pet airline; the cargo area is not ideal for animals. If you *must* have your pet travel in the cargo area, it might be a good idea to go to your vet first to make sure they are fit for it, and let the crew know you have a pet down there when you board the plane. If you are traveling by car, invest in some sort of restraint system; Henry has a harness that connects to a seat belt. Not only is it safer for your dog, in a collision it prevents him from becoming a flying object that could harm you or your passengers.
- Pack a doggy bag. In our family, Mommy packs my diaper bag and Daddy packs Henry’s bag – this way *one* person is responsible for making sure we each have everything we need. Henry’s bag has enough food for the trip, plus a little bit extra, his bowl, his leash, a collapsible bowl for day trips, a full water bottle, treats, toys, a long-length leash and stake, and any medications he may need. It might be a good idea to bring a copy of your dog’s rabies/vaccination records as well.
While You’re Away
- Give your pet time to acclimate to new surroundings. Henry does a crazy run around a new place for about 10 minutes, checking things out, before tiring himself out. Set up his crate and show him where to go out.
- Always clean up after your pet; hotels are more likely to continue to be pet-friendly if you are a responsible pet owner and don’t leave a mess or destroyed property.
- Never, EVER leave your dog in the car alone – not only do temperatures climb to dangerous levels very rapidly, it is also illegal in many states; police can and will break into your car to respond to a pet in distress. On our way back from Ocean City, we stopped to visit Lucy the Elephant. Mommy and I took the tour inside, while Daddy stayed outside with Henry. When we walked around Cape May, Mommy and Daddy took turns going into shops.
Bringing your dog along on vacation can be fun for everyone involved, and is just as easy as traveling with an infant or toddler (which is to say, it’s do-able with a little planning and the right circumstances). Enjoy your travels!
If you want to hang out with Harmony and C and Mommy and me, come join us at the Bronx Zoo on Tuesday! @ me and let me know you’re coming!