Taking a pet along on your summer vacation can add to the fun, but traveling with a dog requires thinking ahead if you are both going to enjoy the trip. Take your dog to the veterinarian to get current shots before you start out, and bring his vaccination records along with you. Airlines require those records, and they can come in handy when you travel by car. Bring along his medications and his regular food and some local, or bottled, water. Take his leash and collar with identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your home phone number. Pack a picture of your dog in case he gets loose and you need help finding him.
A crate will keep your dog safe in the car, and airlines require them. Crating your dog will protect him if you have to make a sudden stop while driving. You’ll also be less distracted driving if you don’t have to worry about restraining your dog. Crates are also a good idea to keep your dog out of trouble at the hotel or your host’s home.
Make sure that there are no projections in the crate that can harm your dog. Remove any hazards that might strangle your pet such as loose collars and leashes from the crate. Stock the crate with a comfortable mat and your dog’s favorite toy.
Take the dog out for a walk before you put him in the crate so that’s he won’t be restless. Feed him sparingly and ration water before you start the trip and there will be less chance of unhappy accidents while he is in the crate.
Take frequent stops during the drive to let your pet stretch his legs and take a bathroom break and get a drink. You might take the opportunity give him a snack. Don’t try to feed your dog while you are driving. Never leave your dog in a parked car while you are at a rest stop. Especially during these hot summer months, leaving the windows open won’t prevent the car from turning into an oven.
Letting your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window can lead to eye injuries. Make sure his head is inside the car. Putting your dog in the back of an open truck for a ride is extremely dangerous, and can lead to severe injuries or death.
If you are traveling by plane, call ahead to make arrangements with the airline. Each airline has different rules for pets, and some won’t let your dog fly if it is too hot or too cold. Make sure your dog’s crate carries a “Live Animal” label with arrows upright and your name, address and phone number.
Plan ahead to find hotels or motels at your destination that will allow your dog as a guest. Many lodgings will not even consider letting your dog stay. Others that will permit you to bring a dog may have restrictions on size or breed. Find out where the motel will let you walk the dog, and make sure you pick up after your pet. Don’t leave a mess. Don’t leave the dog behind when you go out seeing the sights. Many dogs will bark if left alone in strange surroundings. Others will destroy property.