Once upon a time, a vacation for any dog parent probably meant looking for somewhere to board your precious pooches while you were away. But, that need not be the case anymore! Today, more and more people are opting to include their dogs in their travel plans.
However, before you set off with your furry buddy on a vacation, you should know that planning a dog friendly trip requires some serious consideration and planning. Your dog will be relying on you for the whole journey, so you’ll need to plan everything from the mode of transport to the accommodation very carefully.
But, if you’ve done all the work it will make your trip totally worth it, and you’ll be able to enjoy one of your most memorable trips ever! So now it’s time to plan a trip with the entire family—and that includes your pup!
To help you along, here are some useful tips to consider when planning to travel with dogs:
Talk to your vet
Check with your vet before your trip to see if your dog is actually okay to travel. You can also find out if you should avoid any type of travel (for example it’s not a good idea for short-muzzled dog breeds like Boxers and Bulldogs to fly as they can face breathing difficulties in the pressurized airplane). They can also give you a record to prove that your dog is fully up-to-date on their vaccinations!
Make sure your dog has some ID
Tag to your dog’s collar with your ID, including your name, phone number, and address. And if your pooch doesn’t already have one, consider fitting them with an identifying microchip. You should also see if your destination requires your dog to have pet passport to travel there (usually you need it if you’re travelling internationally), if you do, you can find out how to get it from your vet.
Get a great insurance plan
A pet insurance will be a great benefit when you’re traveling with your pet, as it will help cover for any mishaps and healthcare costs that may happen during your trip, especially if you're travelling abroad with your furry friend. 🐾
Decide where to go
Obviously when you want to go on a fun trip with your furry BFF, you need to look for a destination that is dog-friendly! There are lots and lots of places you can choose from, both domestically and internationally.
Choose the right way to travel
Travelling is going to affect your dog very differently than it will affect you (or any other human). Different kinds of travel will also affect your fur-baby differently. For example:
On a plane or train, your dog might have to spend the entire trip in a carrier and might have to stay in the cargo section which can end up being a bad experience for them.
Trains have a lot more space and taking a dog along won’t cost you a lot of money, but dogs are only allowed in First Class compartments, and you might have to book all the seats to avoid bothering any co-passenger.
Unfortunately, most buses in India don’t allow pets to travel with them, except the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and a few private operators. But, buses tend to have very little room and you’ll be required to keep your dog leased for the whole trip.
In a car you can stop as many times as you want to stretch your legs, grab some food, or – ahem! – do your business.
Get the right equipment
Whether you’re taking your furred family member along by bus, train, plane or car, you’re going to need some help to keep them comfy and safe. You can look into getting a dog travel carrier (which can be soft or hard-sided), as even in the car you don’t want your pooch climbing all over the car and distracting you from the road!
Whether they’re in the cabin or in the hold, you’re going to have to make sure that your pooch is safely secured in their carrier before and after the flight. Remember, while cargo might be more affordable, it can be a bit uncomfortable for your beloved dog, so in-cabin travel is always safer. If you sense that they are in any distress after your flight, go to a vet ASAP.
Finding Dog-friendly accommodation
If you do a quick online search, you’ll find lots and lots of dog-friendly homestays, resorts and hotels in India. But when you’re choosing your hotel here are some questions you might want to ask:
Will they provide doggie-food, or will you have to take it?
Do you need to get your own bedding for your dog?
Are there any vets nearby (just in case of an emergency)?
If you need to leave your dog in the hotel room along, can someone check-in on them?
Can you find dog-friendly restaurants in the area?
Make sure your furry BFF is comfortable
At every point during your trip, the comfort and safety of your fur-baby should be a priority! Remember, you are in a new place that can seem strange to your pup so you need to make sure they’re having a good time too. Try to stick to some regular routines (like going for a walk before bed) to make sure your furry friend isn’t too stressed by the unfamiliar experience. You can also bring along a favorite blanket or toy to make them more comfortable. 😊
Hopefully now you know the secrets of planning a pet friendly trip that’s going to be enjoyable for both you AND your dog together. 🐩
Always check if your dog is actually ready to travel somewhere new (for example do they follow basic commands and are they okay around new people?) before you take your pup to a new place for an extended time.
And also make sure you plans are a bit flexible (in case you suddenly discover an exciting new pet-café, or you realize that your dog absolutely LOVES the beach), and you’ll be on your way to having the most memorable vacation ever! 😊