Vacationing with your Dog
Don’t want to take a vacation without your four-legged friend? Well, we have good news for you: you don’t have to! There are many possible destinations for you and your dog. However, you should pay attention to a few things and prepare well for your trip. If you do, that nothing will stand in the way of adventure for both you and your pet.
In this article, we will show you what to consider when choosing your travel destination. Depending on where you want to go, there are different regulations for travellers with dogs. For example, not all accommodations are suitable for dogs. We’ll also point out which means of transport are best for dogs; there are a few we would advise against. Additionally, you’ll learn what to remember to pack for your four-legged companion.
Where to go?
First and foremost, you need to find out whether your dog’s breed is allowed at your destination and whether certain regulations apply. You should also look up if leashes or muzzles are a requirement. When you search for “dog beaches” on the internet, you will quickly come across a nice place for you and your loyal companion.
Also, search for a destination where the temperatures won’t affect your dog too much. With a Husky or similar breeds that are used to cool temperatures and snow, you might want to avoid the hotter regions. On the other hand, if you have a dog that already shivers in winter in more moderate regions, you probably shouldn’t take them to cold icy places.
Getting from A to B on Paws
Of course, the mode of transport depends on your destination. We will introduce you to some of their advantages and disadvantages. Then, you can decide for yourself which one is best suited for your trip.
Flying with a Dog
It’s usually possible to travel by plane with your dog, but first, check with the respective airline whether or under which conditions dogs can travel. But we strongly discourage flying with your dog. If your four-legged friend has to hang out for hours alone in the cargo hold of an airplane, this will make your dog very stressed. Some dog breeds shouldn’t fly at all for health reasons.
If you have the possibility of taking another mode of transportation, consider doing so. If that isn’t possible, it’s at least a good idea to accustom your dog to spending a few hours in the carrier. When buying a carrier, make sure that it also meets the airline requirements.
Taking your Dog on a Train
Travelling by train with your dog shouldn’t be a problem if they’re used to it. You can practice this sufficiently before your vacation. In most countries, small dogs are allowed on trains, but it’s best to read the exact regulations of the respective provider beforehand. Make sure you are well informed!
Also, bring a muzzle with you. In some trains dogs are required to wear one. Furthermore, in crowded trains a dog can quickly become stressed and act unexpectedly.
Keep in mind that there may be other dogs on the train, so prepare accordingly in case your dog becomes difficult when encountering other dogs. Take treats with you to keep your dog distracted. On longer trips, however, treats probably won’t be enough.
We recommend regularly taking the train, practice encountering other dogs, doing rest exercises, and getting your dog used to a muzzle. After that, nothing should stand in the way of a longer train ride.
Travelling by Car with a Dog
A very convenient option for travelling with a dog is going by car. When travelling by car it’s important to make sure that your dog is properly secured. Refrain from just tying them up with a leash or simply blocking off a spot between the seats and the trunk. Instead, get a secure crate for the car which will protect your dog in the event of an accident.
You will also have to get your dog used to driving. Some dogs like it, others hate it. But with a few treats and short practice sessions, any difficulties with driving will soon go away.
Another little tip: Teach your dog not to jump out of the car as soon as you open the trunk/crate. Only let them out once they’re on the leash. This will be safer if you want to take a break next to a busy road and let your dog out.
Important: Never leave your dog alone in a closed car! The temperature can change quickly and become life-threatening for your pet!
Going by Bus with a Dog
In some countries, dogs aren’t allowed on city buses, while in other countries that’s no problem. Travelling with a dog on long-distance buses, on the other hand, is pretty much impossible anywhere. Guide dogs and assistance dogs are an exception; these are usually allowed onboard.
Bicycle (trailers) for Dogs
Cycling with a dog is another possibility, even if your dog doesn’t always obediently run next to you. There are bicycle trailers for dogs so they can just ride along. It’s possible that your dog will like it very quickly, but it’s also possible that they won’t like it at all and you’ll have to practice for several weeks to months before your dog accepts the rickety two-wheeled trailer. So once again: practice, practice, practice!
Make sure you get the safest model possible that offers your dog some comfort and is designed for its size and weight. If you have a very heavy dog, an electric bike would probably be advantageous.
Walking with your Dog
If you enjoy long-distance hiking and have an athletic, healthy dog, you can travel together on foot. But for a longer journey your dog needs to be well trained. Watch them to make sure they don’t overexert themselves and find out beforehand what to look out for.One more tip: for the lightest possible pack, take dry food with you. If your dog normally eats wet food, it’s best to change their diet slowly, but in time for you trip.
Finding Dog-Friendly Accommodations
Whether it’s a hotel, vacation house, cottage, farm, tent, or camper – there are all types of accommodations, in which dogs are allowed. Some of these options are particularly dog-friendly, while others are less so. It’s just a matter of doing a little research.
Tip: Your best chance for finding dog-friendly accommodations would be on farms.
Things to Bring for your Dog
In addition to all the things you need for your dog at home (food, bowls, a bed, toys, a leash, poop bags, grooming supplies, etc.), you should also have some form of Health Certificate with you (depending on where you’re going). Think about what other papers might be useful, such as insurance papers or your pet’s microchip ID. Your dog should be registered and identifiable no matter what!
A first aid kit for your dog is never a bad idea either. Tweezers, tick pliers, and anti-tick repellent should also come with you. Even if your dog has never bitten anyone, take a muzzle with you; it may be required in some places.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Starting your Trip
Before you go on your trip, there are a few things to do, like having your dog’s health checked. They may need special vaccinations or booster shots for the trip. Also, find out what you can do if your pet gets injured abroad. Are there veterinarians nearby? Make a note of all the important telephone numbers.
Check whether your dog liability insurance also covers you when travelling abroad. If not, you should definitely get an appropriate insurance. You may also want to get health insurance for your dog if you don’t already have it.
If your Dog Must Stay Home
If reading this article made you realize that your planned trip might only cause stress and inconvenience for your pet, it’s probably better to leave them at home. Not every dog is fit for a trip and not every trip is right for a dog. If your pet can’t go with you, fortunately, there are a few solutions. You can find a good boarding kennel, dog sitter, or just leave your dog with friends or family while you’re gone.
Travelling with your dog is generally possible. However, we recommend some thorough research before you leave, to ensure that the welfare of your pet isn’t endangered under any circumstances. Search for a suitable destination for both you and your dog or travel alone. Surely your friends would enjoy spending some time with your four-legged friend!