Summer vacations: is there anything better than rewarding yourself and your family with relaxing time away? But if you are a pet parent, taking a vacation might take a little bit of extra planning – especially if you plan on bringing Fido on vacation with you.
Traveling with pets can be difficult and stressful for you and your dog. But, with the proper preparation, you can safely travel with your dogs and have an enjoyable trip.
Step 1: Prepare, prepare, prepare
Whether you are traveling by plane or car, preparation is key. If you are taking a road trip, make sure to know which restaurants and rest stops are pet friendly. I recommend downloading the Bring Fido app, which will tell you all of the pet-friendly rest stops, restaurants, shelters, and hotels near you.
If you are traveling by plane, make sure to read the pet policy before the trip. If your pet is a service animal, learn the rules and what documentation you need to bring with you. You may also need to call the airline ahead of time to see what documentation you will need to bring for your dog to be on the plane. If your pet will be riding under the plane, look at reviews of the airline and talk to other pet parents who routinely fly with pets to know which airlines will be respectful of your furry friend.
Step 2: Gather paperwork and medications
Make a list of medications or paperwork that you might need should your pet become lost during your trip, and if your pet is microchipped, check that the information is up-to-date. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Traveling can be extremely stressful for pets. If you have a dog or cat who is normally anxious in the car, longer trips can seem like torture to them. If you have a high stress pet, CBD oil for dogs and cats can help them relax during the ride and experience less stress and anxiety.
One CBD Dog Health customer, Megan Aiken recently wrote in that when she took her small dog on a road trip from Florida to Missouri, using CBD Dog Health’s CALM oil helped her normally high-strung dog to relax and sleep through most of the trip.
If you are putting your pet on a plane where they will be separated from you, using CBD oil can be beneficial to ensure that they are relaxed and as stress-free as possible.
Step 3: Be prepared for different behavior
Your dog might normally be relaxed or calm at home, but traveling can present a whole new set of stressors. Once you reach your destination, there will likely be a lot of new people that your dog has not met before, new smells that your dog has not experienced, and even new dogs or cats that your dog is unfamiliar with. Be prepared and patient for your dog to be more shy, aggressive, or not themselves. If your dog is being met with too many new experiences, it can be overwhelming.
Try to find a quiet place — be it a separate room or a place where you and your dog can take a walk alone– where you can calm down and unwind. Spending time together can reassure your dog that you are not going to leave them in the new place and can help them de-stress from the trip.
Remember to be patient, because dogs can sense human emotions and will likely feed off of your stress. Time alone with your pup can also help lower your stress, so it is a win-win for you and your dog.
Board your pet
If you are not sure how your pet will handle travel, you may want to consider boarding them for a doggy-vacation instead. Find a groomer or pet daycare in your area and ask how often the pet will be out of their cage.
If you plan to leave your pet home alone, make sure that you have a designated responsible person who will come spend time with them. If your pet is anxious, they will need someone to come and spend time with them beyond just filling their food and water bowls.
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm in Lutz, Florida. She also is the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop, and is the founder of CBD Dog Health. Angela is a holistic pet expert and has five dogs, plus 4-10 at any time that she is fostering or boarding; visit www.angelaardolino.comfor more information.