Family vacations are a staple to life, with the best memories and funny anecdotes formed in a new environment filled with enrichment opportunities, but not every member is often welcome to come. For many, leaving the dogs behind when taking a holiday is problematic; they’re such an integral component to the family dynamic, it’s impossible to leave them in the care of others.
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to find a hotel with dog-friendly accommodation, with hotels and resorts often offering doggy daycare, so their human relatives explore activities not suitable for a canine. But what do you need to be aware of when going away with your dog? Read on, and we’ll delve into the important parts of Planning A Vacation With Your Dog, from hotels and transport to preparations and packing:
Finding a Destination: Hotels and Rentals
While most travel agents are still hesitant to include dog-friendly packages, you can research if a desired hotel offers dog-friendly accommodation, the excess they require to have a dog stay and the facilities provided for
a furry friend. Once you have this information, it’s easier to book the hotel for your human family and add your dog as an extra when finalizing details.
Though be aware that some hotels may require room deposits or higher fees to bring a dog. This is kept in escrow for damages and may be refunded on check-out, subject to the terms and conditions of the hotel, so look around for the most suitable option before you commit.
“If you want to bring your dog but local hotels can’t or won’t accommodate them, have a look at local rental properties! More and more people are renting out their homes when they travel for extra pocket change and if they have pets themselves, they’re likely not to mind yours coming to stay,” says Lucille Davis, a pet blogger at Writinity and Last Minute Writing.
Reaching Your Destination: Travel, Identification and Care
An important thing to consider when traveling with a dog is how you’re going to get there; if you have a car, a car restraint or harness can do wonders for keeping a dog calm and safe during transit. However, if you’re relying on public transport or even planes, make sure to read the fine print regarding what to expect when traveling, including extra fees and booking information.
“It’s no secret pets can cause damage, so expecting higher costs when traveling with a dog will leave you more prepared for unpredictable expenses,” says Gregory Palmer, a travel writer at Draftbeyond and Research Papers UK.
Especially on plains or international flights, a number of arrangements need to be made and the relevant documents provided before a dog can be booked in, and you’ll usually need these at check-in as well, so double check what you need and pack them with your own identification.
Finally, preparation is the key to success in any vacation but it’s of special importance traveling with a dog. To avoid delays, refused travel and stress, read the following list of items anyone planning to take their dog on vacation should consider including in their luggage:
Vaccination Record and Medications
Most hotels, travel companies and doggy daycares will require an up-to-date vaccination card to travel. It’s also wise to have a written list of any medications and prescribed doses with this card, so they're not forgotten.
Pet Transport Apparatus and Restraints
Dogs get restless on long trips, especially when nervous. Keep any seat belts, car restraints, dog strollers or harnesses on hand and make sure you have the correct apparatus required by your travel company.
Portable Bowls and Water Bottle
Allowing your dog access to food and water while you travel is a must, and portable bowls often come with lids and are made to help prevent spills and mess.
Photos and Identification
Some methods of travel or
destinations may need more than updated vaccination cards; going abroad could require a passport. Also, should the worst happen and your dog gets lost, it’s good to have photos or ID of your dog on hand to assist the search.
To avoid carrying more than necessary, make sure to “beautify” your dog before travel. This can include a bath, trimming their fur or claws and cleaning out their ears. This guarantees you can leave cumbersome care equipment at home. It also helps to have a small amount of dry food left for when you return, so you’re not running straight to the store.