1. Preparation: Don't wait for the last minute! When you put it all together at the last minute that creates more anxiety and tension for your dog as well as you! When you are prepared your dog will have a more normal experience. If you planning to make hotel reservations there many pet-friendly hotels to choose from.
2. Car Safety: Items to consider having depending on your pet's size and ability to ride in the car staying safe for both them, passengers and you: Pet Carriers, Car Barriers, Car Seats, Car Seat Belts. If you need to order any item on line, make sure you do it in plenty of time. If you are planning on going to a local pet store, again do it in plenty of time...for if they don't have it and your pressing the clock, the anxiety is already high and you haven't even left for your trip!
3. Take a long walk before driving off! A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state during any long trip.
4. If your pet needs extra calming, instead of drugs from your pet's vet, you may want to consider Lavender Scent. Any health food store has that and will not make him/her disoriented or feel uncertain during the trip.
5. Make sure your dog has access to water – enough to keep hydrated but not full. Bottled water is perfect. If you need feeders there are many to choose from that are effective and very low cost.
6. Don't forget to bring your dog's food, favorite toy and blanket to keep them happy and balanced.
7. Make sure your dog has clear and effective identification. Be sure that the identification has your contact information while you are still away from home.
8. Put together a doggy first aid kit for the trip. If you are not sure what that may include it's best to call your vet for he or she knows your dog!
9. Always use a leash and stay with your pet at all times. Dogs are very curious and in new places may try to run off and explore. If you have trouble walking your dog any time you may want to consider mastering how to control your dog.
10. Never ever leave your dog or any other pet or child in a hot car even if you roll the windows down. A car in the sun can reach temperatures of near 200 degrees causing heat stroke and even death to pets & humans left in them.
11. Never leave your dog alone and unattended in his or her carrier. Unfortunately kidnapping of your dog is a very real possibility. You may want to consider a GPS system to ensure your pet's safety.
12. Ensure your dog has the chance to potty every few hours. We have noticed when the owner is calm and relaxed throughout the trip (and that includes the preparation!) the dog will also maintain a calmness. It is common in unfamiliar places like this your dog's regular potty schedule will be interrupted and you don't want any embarrassing issues. If traveling to a theme park check with employees about places setup for your dog to potty in. Most will have areas around the park for you to use.
13. Take a break every hour. This will allow them to not only relieve themselves but keep the circulation on all vital organs. Plus, they will learn by smell that they are going to a different environment. It is important for a dog to experience the different temperatures, smells, and feelings that come with a new environment. This will help make them feel that they are part of the process of moving to a new area. Once the sun goes down, you can go eight hours non-stop!
14. Once you arrive at your hotel, or family/friends home, take your dog for a walk! If you are not sure where to go, ask the pet friendly hotel.
If you are driving to the beach:
1. Know the local laws. Not all beaches allow dogs! If they do, make sure you know if you have to keep them on a leash at all times or not.
2. Sunscreen: it's not just for people. Pups need protection too! Talk with your veterinarian about protective goggles and canine sunblock.
3. Protect your dog from fleas. Sand fleas are abundant!
4. Get a Condition Check on the weather and ocean tides, undercurrents and Sea lice, jellyfish. All of these factors can pose just as much of a threat to dogs as they do to humans. Before you let your dog roam, verify with a lifeguard that the environment is safe.
5. Never let your dog drink the ocean Salt /bay / or lake water! Keep your dog hydrated with fresh water. Salt water can make them sick. Please watch for signs of dehydration. You may be use to being out in the sun and water, but your dog may not. Watch for signs. Sand and heat can make a normal exercise routine more strenuous. Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, call your dog back to rest in a shady spot.
6. Watch them at all times, for you don't want them to eat things that wash ashore, like dead fish, fishing lines, plant life.
7. Be prepard to pick up after your dog! Keep the water and beach area clean for others. Respect goes both ways and it is noticed.
8. When you and your dog are done for the day give him/her a bath with fresh water. Find out if the beach has an area to do exactly that before going back to the car or hotel. If not, find out from the hotel where the best place is. The chemicals and sea water can be harmful to your dogs coat and general well being.
These pet safety tips will help you and your best friend in having a safer, happy and balanced trip. Just remember to stay calm and positive with your dog and everyone will benefit. Stay safe and have an awesome trip!