Late this summer I became a mom…
I adopted Peabody, a charismatic little fur baby who we think is a Chiweenie (Chihuahua-Dachshund blend). Life with Peabody has been fun, but not without its challenges. Having a dog in many way is like having a child. Any plans I make, especially concerning travel have to be made with Peabody in mind.
On my recent group trip to Jamaica, I boarded Peabody at his vet. But as the holiday approaches and road trips are in the plans, I’ll be taking Peabody along for the ride.
Here are 5 tips to help make a road trip with your pet a success.
PrePare Your Pet for the Ride
Before hitting the road, check with your vet to ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations. If your pooch isn’t accustomed to taking rides in the car, do a few practice runs in the weeks before your trip. You’ll have a better understanding of how he reacts in the car and have time to adjust before your departure. There are several tips for preventing travel anxiety and car sickness both naturally and via medications. Explore several options ahead of time here to prepare for your journey.
Understand The Rental Car Pet Policy
If you’re renting a car, be sure to understand the pet policy. Most major rental car providers do allow pets, but there may be some restrictions. Review all policies and adhere to their instructions to avoid any additional charges. Use sites like ItsMyTrip.com to find the best rental car rates.
Whether you’re taking your car or a rental, be sure to ensure your dog is comfortable in the surroundings and feels safe. This may include using a crate or restraint or just surrounding him with familiar items like toys or a blanket.
Pack for Your Pet
Food, water and treats are a given, but don’t forget to pack everything you need day to day with your dog. This includes toys, a leash and/or harness, a bed, blankets, a crate, any medications your dog may be taking, waste disposal items, etc.
It may be helpful to write out a packing list for your pet. Here’s a list from Dog Jaunt to get your started.
Select a Pet Friendly Hotel
Are you planning to stay in a hotel? Make sure your selection is pet friendly. Not only will this alleviate stress on your pet, but also on you. Check with the hotel for a list of their amenities. They may have several items that limit what you’ll need to pack yourself.
Arrange Activities for Your Pet
Your road trip and vacation is likely more for you, but don’t forget about your pet. Be sure to build in time during the road trip and at your destination for exercise and activities with your furry companion. This includes stops at the dog park, walks and more. If you’ll need to leave your pet for long periods of time, consider arranging day camp or dog sitting services so your pet is not alone too long in an unfamiliar environment. Petsmart’s Pet Hotel offers great day camp and overnight services.