Are you getting ready to put in some miles on a great vacation trip with your dog? Prior to taking off, you need to take a look at the following 10 steps to make sure things are safe and end up enjoyable for everyone.

Call your veterinarian

Prior to your trip, especially if your dog hasn’t had a check-up for a while, you need to get him to the vet. Be sure all their vaccinations are current, and see if there are any special ones for wherever you are heading, i.e. Lyme disease.

Additionally, take any extra medications as well as copies of your pet’s medical file just in case you are gone longer than planned. Plus, be sure to look up phone numbers for emergency vet clinics along the way and at your final stop.

Plan the route

You’ll want to make sure you schedule in places to stop for potty breaks. Dogs (and people too!) need them to stay comfy and happy. Plus it’s good for your dog to get a chance to walk around a bit and see new things.

You should plan for breaks every four hours of around 15 minutes to a half hour. It will make your trip even better if you also plan out a few stops at places where there’s things for pets to do, i.e. dog parks.

Know what the weather is going to be

By doing this you will be prepared for things such as rain which might slow you down, as well as avert any possible natural disasters in the area, i.e. a flood, tornado, or hurricane. Use the weather reports to make sure you pack well for both of you, i.e. include warm clothing for you and your dog if the weather is going to be cold.

Book accommodations that are pet-friendly

After planning the route, you need to plan for your accommodations. Some hotels, motel, and camping grounds don’t allow pets. You should call the places you plan to stay in advance to see if they have a pet policy, check for any breed restrictions, and if they charge a fee.

A few hotels put this info on their website, such as Best Western, which is pet friendly.

Coordinate care for your dog at the destination

Are you going to be attending some sort of events like graduation or wedding? If so, you will need to find a boarding service or doggie day care. Do not leave the dog alone in your hotel or campsite! It may cause him to be very anxious since it is not a familiar place. Your buddy cared for by a professional. Should you happen to have any family or friends in the area, you can ask them to recommend a place to care for your dog.

Use a Crate for your dog

Since you will be in the car for several hours, it’s vital to think about safety concerns. The best and most safe method of traveling with a dog in a vehicle is in a crate. Make sure you have one that is certified and crash tested. Plus, it gives you dog a comfy, safe place to sleep in at your accommodations that he is used to and familiar with.

Pack a suitcase for your dog

Keeping your dog’s things separate from yours makes it simpler to find them as you require them along the trip. Think about everywhere you plan to go and pack accordingly. A few items to pack are:

  • Water and food dishes
  • Water and a water bottle with a bowl
  • Toys for them to chew on and fetch
  • Medicine
  • Protective clothes
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent safe for dogs
  • Water googles
  • Dog towel and blanket
  • Shampoo and brushes
  • Tick remover
  • Flea comb
  • Poop disposal bags
  • Doggie treats

Update your pup’s identification tags

If you should lose your dog along the way during the trip, you’d want to get him back fast. If his identification tag has a home number, that will make it hard. Make sure you get him an ID tag with your cell phone number, as well as an emergency contact number at your destination like a friend or family member there.

Get your dog ready for traveling

Some dogs get car sick. Therefore, it’s a good idea to feed them several hours prior to leaving then, right before you go, take your dog for a long relaxing walk so he will be tired and may sleep for part of the way.

Keep up your normal routine

You can’t likely do everything the way you do when you’re home, but try to keep to your normal routine as much as possible. When you get to where you’re going, be sure to walk and feed your pup at the same times as you would normally. Try to take him on longer walks than usual so he can use up some of his extra energy or any anxiety he may have developed during the trip.

OK! You have prepared the both of you for your trip, so it’s time to relax, enjoy the togetherness and have some fun!

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