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July 1, 2017

VACATIONS: you and your dog

vacation pic 1Vacationing with Your Pet
Yes or No?
I get asked about this dilemma every summer.
Some people are looking for permission to leave the dog at home. We fell guilty, as if they know we will be in Paradise for a week or two. Others want to take their pups, but aren’t sure how it will turn out.
These are the things to consider.
Know you dog, Some dogs love to ride and travel. Others are overly stressed by anytime spent in a car.
Know yourself.  Do you want the added responsibility and work taking your dog entails?
How do you travel? Car, RV, Air
Where will you stay; Friends/Family, Motel, RV?
What kind of trip? What time of year? What will you be doing?
If you want your dog along, start when they are young. Dogs that do not like to travel should be left at home!

My advice to most people is to leave the dog at home. This is easier on you and the dogs.
Plan Ahead
You need to find a pet-sitter/house-sitter or a kennel to board them. Take them for a weekend at least once a year, even if you are not traveling. House sitters are best and your absence will be less stressful. Make sure your sitter has your Vets and your DogWatch dealer’s phone numbers.
Second best is a home away from home. Our dogs love to stay at my daughters. Start when they are young. You don’t want to leave a dog in a strange kennel or place, the first time you decide to spend 3 weeks in Europe or on a Caribbean Cruse.
If you are taking your dog and staying in ’Pet Friendly’ Hotels be aware these hotels charge extra and are notorious havens for fleas!

If you have an RV or camper my advice is different because you are taking a second home with you.  You still loose some freedoms, but if you want your dog with you, it’s the best way to travel.

Well trained dogs travel best. Barking dogs are like crying children; they are louder when they are not yours!
Some breeds are not welcome. Rightly or wrongly the usual suspects: Pit Bulls, Dobs, German Shepards, Roties, Akitas, Chows. Some places do not allow any large dogs.

Make sure you have Shot records and Vet records. Emergency Vets are pricy everywhere.

We take our dogs on most trips because they like to ride and travel and we started them  out as puppies. We also have a 5th. wheel camper. Most of the time they are more fun than bother. Hot summer trips are difficult, because you can’t leave the pet in the car for even a short excursion. Many amusements, and tourist sites prohibit dogs. If you are leaving your dog(s) in your camper for a few hours, tell the campground, in case of power failure on a hot day.  Enjoy your vacation.