How To Travel With Your Pet During the Holidays
By: Jeff Noce, Voyce President
Not so long ago, most holiday travelers made arrangements to board their pets or have a neighbor check on them while they were away. These days, though, more and more people are choosing to bring along their furry family members for the festivities.
If your dog will be your traveling companion this season, it’s important to take a few steps first to make sure the trip is fun for everyone.
Pack for your pal
When packing for your trip, put together a bag for your dog as well. Include food, water, bowls, medications, waste bags, blankets, toys, and anything else that will make your dog feel comfortable and at home. Be sure your dog’s collar has an up-to-date ID tag as well.
AAA found that having a dog in the car presents a safety concern. Petting, getting under foot or sitting in your lap can lead to distracted driving. And an unrestrained dog can result in physical harm to both humans and themselves in the event of an accident. Contain your dog in a crate or restrain him with a specialized doggie seatbelt. And never, ever allow him to sit in the front seat.
It might seem obvious but when staying with family or friends, be sure to ask ahead of time if your pet is welcome. If you’re planning to check in to a hotel, call for their pet policy. Some hotels have restrictions on breed and size while others require a pet deposit.
You might be able to sit in a car for 6 hours straight but chances are, your dog can’t. Take advantage of rest stops and gas stations to let him stretch his legs, relieve himself and sniff some new stuff. Keep him on a leash and always pick up his waste.
Stick to the routine
Even if your dog loves to travel, the excitement and disruption to his routine can cause stress and even stomach upset. Keep meals, walks and bedtimes as close to your regular schedule as possible.
Don’t leave him alone
Most hotel policies prohibit leaving your dog alone in your room and with good reason. Even the most well-behaved pups can bark, scratch and chew when left by themselves in a strange place. And of course, never lock your dog up in a car for long stretches of time, especially if you’re traveling to a location that is very warm or very cold.
Be prepared for vet visits
Hopefully, your holiday trip won’t include a stop at the vet. But just in case, take along a copy of your dog’s most recent immunizations, prescriptions and vet records. If your dog has a Voyce Health Monitor, these records can be added to the Wellness Management System and accessed immediately on your phone, tablet or computer…no matter where you are!
I’d like to hear from you! If you have questions you’d like me to address on this blog regarding pet health or behavior, send an email to email@example.com.