Many pet owners will find it hard to go on big trips without taking their dogs. A survey found that almost 95% of pet owners would go on overnight stays with their dogs. While most dogs love to travel, planning your trip well is necessary, especially if you want your trip to be more sustainable. With proper planning, you can ensure a safe, comfortable, enjoyable, and more sustainable journey with your furry friend.
So, here are some tips for travelling with your dog sustainably.
5 Tips for Travelling with your Dog Sustainably
1. Research Your Destination
Before you head out for your trip, conduct thorough research on the places you wish to visit. The last thing you want is to spoil your trip because you were refused entry since the place is not pet-friendly. You definitely don’t want your beloved pooch to be kept in a crate the whole time. So, research sustainable places that will welcome dogs with open arms.
Some places that welcome dogs may have rules and policies you need to follow to avoid hefty penalties, so find out about that as well. If you cannot find the information you need on their website, call them to find out.
Once you have figured out the places that welcome dogs, the next thing to research is the activities suitable for your pets. When preparing your itinerary, don’t forget to include pet-friendly activities. For instance, you can visit parks and beaches where your dogs can freely run around.
When researching, find out if the places you visit have amenities to ensure your dogs are safe. Always prioritise your pet’s safety and comfort when travelling. For long road trips, plan the route well and prepare for any necessary stops.
2. Choose Transportation Carefully
Look for transportation options that are safe and comfortable for your pet. Turbulence could upset your pet’s stomach, so that’s something to consider when travelling on a plane.
If your dog is prone to stomach upsets, it may be best to opt for ground transport, such as trains or cars. They are also more sustainable than taking flights. But if you have no choice but to take flights, book nonstop flights that use less energy. Aside from causing less stress on your pet, they are a more sustainable option.
If you will take public transportation, look for pet-friendly transportation. Many public transports, like buses and trains, allow pets. But of course, rules and restrictions will depend on the location and the transportation.
Those that allow pets will require that they be in carriers. Others will ask your pets to be on a leash. So, find out from the carrier beforehand and ensure you have all the proper documentation and vaccinations when travelling to certain places.
Most public transportation allows service animals. However, some require special requirements for travelling with pets. It’s worth noting that emotional support animals are not considered service animals, so the company’s policy on pets will apply.
3. Choose the Right Place to Stay
As more and more people travel with their pets, some of the world’s most sustainable accommodations are allowing dogs on their premises. Thus, choosing the right place to stay should be easy. In fact, you will find websites dedicated to accommodations that welcome dogs, so take advantage of these.
Aside from booking sites, you can turn to review sites like TripAdvisor to search for information about pet-friendly accommodations. These websites are also the best resource to look for places and restaurants that allow dogs. Simply type “dog-friendly” in the review section to filter comments about dog-friendly establishments.
Another sure-fire way to find out if an accommodation allows dogs is to call them before booking. Inform the staff that you plan on bringing your dog with you. Find out their restrictions on pets and other things you need to know about taking your dogs.
Ask as many questions as you can. Take note of the things you need to ask before calling. You need to ask about dog-friendly amenities and any extra fees you need to pay for bringing your dog. Also, find out if you need to present proof of vaccination upon check-in. Find out if you can leave your dog alone in your room if you need to visit places that won’t allow dogs.
4. Consider Your Pet’s Comfort
Comfort should be a priority when travelling with pets. Before leaving, assess your pet’s attitude towards travelling. Is your dog prone to travel anxiety or turning hyperactive around other people? These are things to think about when taking your dog away. You certainly don’t want your friend to feel uncomfortable the entire time.
If your dog cannot handle being in a large crowd, you may consider leaving your dog at the hotel if you need to visit places with plenty of people. When planning your activities, think about your dog’s comfort. If you find that your dog is not comfortable in water, you should not include water activities in your itinerary.
When travelling, ensure your pet is comfortable and calm throughout the trip. Offer treats and water when necessary. For long road trips, take breaks for bathroom breaks and exercises. More importantly, never leave your pet in a car, especially in the summer, as they could get a heatstroke.
5. Visit Your Vet Beforehand
Before you leave for your trip, bring your dog to the vet for a check-up and ensure they have the necessary medications and vaccinations, which is especially important if you will be gone for long periods.
International trips usually require a special health certificate from an accredited veterinarian, something to consider when travelling abroad. While in the vet clinic, take the opportunity to ask the vet for tips on keeping your dog safe and comfortable while travelling. Also, be sure you bring copies of your dog’s health records and prescriptions.
If your dog gets anxious while travelling, your vet might recommend your pet take calming aids or supplements. Your vet can also prescribe anti-anxiety medications when necessary. These medications are similar to those taken by humans who are scared of flying.