Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top 5 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

Like it or not, the holiday’s are just around the corner, with that comes lots of traveling and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want your dog by your side. My dog, Harry, is as much a part of my family as I am, so we take him with us on as many of our adventures as we possibly can. Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way…
  1. Make sure your dog is welcome! Be it at a friend or family members home, a hotel/motel or anything in between, make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly. There’s nothing worse than showing up somewhere after a long drive and upon arrival getting the word that your four-legged bestie isn’t invited.
  2. For car rides over 2 hours, plan your route to include a potty break for your dog. We can’t confirm with certainty that they’ve “gone” before we head out of the driveway the way we can with our kids, so make sure that you identify a safe spot to pull to where your pup can find some relief. It’s actually warming to see how many rest stops on the interstates now have fenced in areas for dogs.
  3. Don’t forget their food! Guilty as charged! I once showed up on an island off the coast of Massachusetts with Harry in tow, only to realize I had forgotten his food and was forced to buy him a low-grade grocery store bag to hold him over for the 2 day stay. His system wasn’t pleased. So as best you can, keep your dog on their routine, including food, while traveling.
  4. Pack their “things”. Favorite blanket, plush toy, chew toy, shoe, whatever it is, pack a few things that are comforting and homey for your dog. If you can squeeze their dog bed into the car, even better. Dogs are creatures of habit and the more familiarity they have the better the experience for all of you.
  5. Give them exercise while away! When one travels for holiday’s there tends to be a lot of eating, drinking, talking and just hanging out. Which is great for us humans, but not so great for our dogs. Make sure you give them just as much, if not more exercise when in a strange place.
About the Author: Noella Schink is a writer and dog lover from Portland, Maine. When she travels with her 8 year old shih-tzu, Brutus, she looks to the dog friendly restaurant, hotel and park reviews at Harry’s Picks.

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