Take your dog on vacation

By Rachel Hartman
Info Guru,

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dog in seatbelt
You donít have to leave your dog at home when you vacation
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This summer, you can plan a great vacation for both you and your beloved pooch. With a few preparations, the trip will go smoothly and will be a way to create wonderful memories. Here are some things to consider as you get ready to take your dog on vacation.

Visit the vet

Before you consider taking your dog along, be sure he has all the necessary shots and vaccinations and is in good health. Take copies of all vaccination records and licenses, as well as a contact number for your vet, and if possible, the name of a vet in the area where you will be vacationing. Considering having a microchip implanted to help you locate your dog if she gets lost while traveling.

Take a Test Drive

Before you load up your dog for a ten-hour trek, take him for a shorter test drive. Check for signs of motion sickness. A dog that gets carsick may vomit or drool heavily. He also may get wet around the mouth or have a sick look in his eyes. Also check to see if the dog gets hyperactive. Some dogs feel extremely anxious or excited when riding in a car.

If it is very hard for your dog to enjoy the test drive, you might consider several brief trips around town to get your pet used to car travel. Make each trip slightly longer than the one before and make it fun for your pet with a stop at a park, a visit to a pet store for some new dog supplies, like a new toy or a treat for when you return home.

Using a seatbelt or a traveling doggie crate for your dog will help keep him/her safe. It will also give him/her a certain area in which to ride, so that s/he does not move all over the car. On the test drive, you may want to introduce a seat belt, crate, or other container for the dog to ride in.

Pack a "Doggy Bag"

You'll want to pack plenty of nutritious dog food. Store dry food in a sealed plastic bag or container. Canned food also works well for travel. Dogs sometimes get an upset stomach from eating different food, so take the brand that your furry friend usually eats to avoid tummy troubles. Also bring plenty of water for the trip. If you bring it in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, it can be opened and closed easily. Don't forget a bowl; for each. Collapsible bowls are available to minimize space usage in your car.

In addition to food and water, pack a leash or two for your pooch. Bring a blanket along to cover up any beds or places the dog will sleep. A sheet in the car also works well to protect against messes or dog hair. A first aid kit for dogs is a good idea for emergencies. Plastic bags, a scoop, shampoo and a brush will also help you take care of your dog.

Lodging Options

Many hotels allow dogs to stay in the room with you, but it's smart to call ahead and check before you arrive. Some places only let dogs up to a certain weight enter, while others ask that you do not leave the dog alone in the room. By checking out different hotels, you will be able to find one that fits your needs.

Many campgrounds also allow dogs to stay at the site, but again, it is important to check ahead. The campground may have certain limits for dogs. By asking around, you can find a place that works well for you and your pooch.

Give your dog a rest from the car

When you take your dog on vacation, be sure to make frequent stops. Walk your dog around a park or rest area to let him stretch his legs. Also, dogs should stay well hydrated, so keep water handy. However, if dogs drink too much water at one time, they may vomit. To avoid this, give your dog small amounts of liquid every few hours. There are many places you can go that allow you to take your dog on vacation. By checking around, you will find a good place to get away and relax.

Then take a test drive and pack, and start on your adventure. The vacation will be fun for everyone!

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