In a recent survey by the pet travel website BringYourPet.com, 47% of owners said they travel on vacation with dogs over 40 pounds, and 78% have booked rooms in pet-friendly hotels. Trends like these have made the hospitality industry take notice, and more travel destinations today welcome dogs.
Before you head out with dog in tow, take a look at these smart ways to keep your pooch safe and happy-no matter how you travel.
6 tips for an easier trip
- Tag him: If your dog gets lost in an unfamiliar place it can be disastrous. Be sure his collar is secure, and that your address and phone number appear clearly on his tags. Also affix your cell phone number to the tags with strong tape. Carrying a current photo of him is a good idea, too. It is also strongly recommended that you have your vet insert an identification microchip under your dog's skin.
- Pack his papers: Ask your vet for a health certificate that provides proof of updated shots. Some lodging destinations and all boarding locations require it. Vets can also prescribe mild sedatives if your dog gets car sick, or if he feels nervous on an airplane or boat.
- Take a long walk before you go: A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state for the trip, and is more likely to sleep.
- Limit food before takeoff: Don't feed your dog for at least six hours before plane travel. Some people recommend eight or even a full 24 hours. Do, however, make sure your dog has access to water.
- Carry his comforts: If possible, bring your dog's bedding, bowl, regular food, and favorite toys with you.
- Take a break: On a long car ride, stop every two or three hours during the day for your dog to take a bathroom break, have a drink of water, exercise, and experience the new environment. Frequent stops are also recommended at night.
Finally, before planning your trip, check out www.dogfriendly.com for a comprehensive listing of hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and theme parks across the country that will treat your dog like a top dog.