Prepare Your Dog for a Trip Even an easy going well trained dog can have some difficulty when he is faced with unfamiliar circumstances. A couple of weeks before you take your dog on vacation you should begin familiarizing him with the situations he may encounter while on the trip with you. Training is one of the best ways to keep dogs safe. Brush up on some basic obedience commands before you leave for vacation. Do some refreshers on recall and loose leash walking.
If your dog is going to be crated and is not accustomed to a crate, you will want to help him gradually get used to the idea. Follow basic crate training guidelines and feed him his meals in his crate. Use food rewards for going into the crate and begin leaving him in the crate for brief periods. If your dog will be riding in a car, you will want to use his car safety harness. If he is not used to wearing one, introduce the harness and allow him to gradually grow accustomed to it.
The Dog Safe Suitcase Be sure to pack your dog’s leash and a slip proof collar. Use these at every stop. Pack his medications and a first aid kit. Portable bowls and an extra bottle of water along with his food are very useful; especially if your journey has an unexpected delay. You may also wish to take a couple of his favorite toys and some safe chewable items such as compressed rawhide or interactive food dispensing toys to keep him busy and out of trouble. Your dog will also appreciate a familiar blanket or pillow.
Important Documents When you take your dog along on vacation you will want to pack a few important documents that will allow him to access an airplane, hotel or boarding facility should the need arise for any of these things during your trip. Even if you are only taking a short car trip to visit relatives, it is a good idea to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Bring along your dog’s vaccination records, microchip information, a current photograph and current health or spay/neuter certificate from his veterinarian. These documents will also come in handy should your dog get lost and end up in an animal shelter in a strange city.
Proper Identification If your dog has been micro-chipped, be sure that the information on the chip is current. If you have not already done so you should place an engraved identification tag on his collar with your current contact information. If you are going to visit family and friends you may also want to temporarily place a tag with their local contact information on it on your dog’s collar.