There are many options these days for what to do with your pets when you are away on vacation, including the standard kennels, as well as more contemporary venues such as “doggie day care” and “kitty hotels.” However, if you have your heart set on bringing your pet along on the journey, it can be done with some foresight and advance planning. It may not be easy, and it will definitely limit your spontaneity, but it can be done. Read on for some ideas on things to consider.
If you are going on a road trip in an automobile, realize that your pet will be confused at first over the extended period of time confined in a small place. You do not want him to have full freedom to run around inside the vehicle, but it is also unreasonable to expect him to stay seated in one spot for the entire journey. Create a couple of different areas that are acceptable for your pet to move about it. Reduce the possibility of car sickness by keeping a window cracked for fresh air. Stop frequently to allow your pet to run about and relieve himself.
Always call your hotel ahead of time to find out if they are pet-friendly. Be aware that some establishments do not allow pets at all. Most who do allow them often restrict it to dogs under a certain size or weight. A few will allow cats, but it is hard to find ones who will let you check in with any other type of animal. Ask about fees for pets and about rules for leaving them unattended in the room. Some hotels will supply doggie treats and water dishes if they know you have a furry friend along.
Call the city where you will be staying and ask law enforcement or other officials if there are any specific laws regarding animals that you should be aware of. These could include leash laws, noise ordinances and so-called “pooper scooper” laws. If you have a specific breed that is known for aggressive behavior, ask if there are laws regulating their presence in public places such as parks and playgrounds.
Bring along everything your pet will need to be comfortable while away from home, including a bed to sleep in, as well as food and water bowls. Simulate the normal home environment as much as possible. Pack special treats to reward good behavior, and chew toys to help keep him occupied.
If you do plan to leave your pet unattended in either a hotel room or in anyone’s home at any time, bring a kennel or carrier with you. This will keep your pet contained in a safe place, and can give him a feeling of security. Bring a bark collar for dogs, so that neighbors will not be disturbed in your absence. Pack a muzzle if there is potential for your pet to harm anyone at any time. Taking him outside of his normal environment can be traumatizing and instigate aggressive behavior, even in animals who are not typically prone to it.
Vacationing does not have to be for humans alone. Your pets can be a part of the fun if you take the time to plan ahead and implement some of these tips.