Being with us is a vacation for our dogs and it doesn’t have to involve travel. Days we are both home, weekends, are vacation days for Kodi. Dogs are happy just to be with us.
Traveling with an animal does involve more preparation, before, on the road, and at the final destination.
They will have “luggage.” A sturdy crate, bedding for that crate, a couple of toys, water and food bowls, jug of water for the road, treats, poop bags, collar, leash, extra leash and absolutely — current medical records showing vaccination dates and any medications they use or may need.
I took Kodi for his checkup and annual vaccinations. The vet insisted his rabies vaccine was up to date. Two nights before we are scheduled to leave I start packing his handled tote bag and find a copy of his records from our last trip. I was right — His rabies vaccine recently expired. The next day we scramble to get him vaccinated.
Would there have been an issue if we had waited until we got back to fix this? Probably not, but I would have worried the entire trip and what if someone even suggested he had bitten them while we were on the road? It would have involved an unknown municipality animal control, their procedures, possible quarantine– it just isn’t worth it.
Make sure your dog’s identification is current. All of our animals are micro chipped. Ask the vet to scan the dog to make sure the chip is still detected before you leave.
Collar tags are also important for quick reunion of you and your dog. Add a travel chip with the phone number of people you are visiting or your cell number. The object is to make it as easy as possible for someone to let you know they have found your dog.
I also suggest the number of a friend or relative that could take care of your pet if you were unable.
Before you leave home do a little research on the animal control offices and humane societies where you are going and enter them into your cell phone. This will save precious time if you and your dog are separated.
Al Fresco Dining:
Traveling with an animal means you are not stopping for lunch in a restaurant. No leaving the dog in the car — period. ‘
When we stop for bathroom breaks we take turns staying with the dog. We pack lunches and stop at a picnic area. There are always fast food restaurants at nearly every exit off the highway. Hamburgers, deli, tacos, chicken….
We take advantage of restaurants that offer carry out for dinner, and most do. When we get to our final destination and the staff knows Kodi I will leave him in the room alone, but when we are on the road I prefer to have one of us with him.
Dog Friendly Restaurants:
More areas are offering outside areas for people to dine with their dogs. Ask the front desk if they know of any dog friendly restaurants in the area. Some with look at you befuddled as this idea is not in the mainstream, but it is becoming more popular. We live on the east coast of Florida and there are many restaurants that welcome well-behaved pets on their patio areas.
This is Kodi’s vacation too and he sniffed his way through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. We take a lot of walks. He is not a Frisbee dog, nor does he play catch, but if he did — we would.
Check activities in the area. There may be an organized dog walk for the local humane society or another special event like ‘Yappy Hour’ for you and your pet to enjoy an evening with other dog owners. Yappy Hours are generally drinks and light snacks and the entrance fee often benefits a local animal group.
There’s a tug at the heart when we have to leave him in his crate in the hotel to go out to dinner or do things that cannot include him. But I remind myself of the other option, left behind. He could have stayed with the same friend Samantha is with, but she works and he would be alone during the day. Still better than a strange, noisy kennel. On trips where flying is the only option he does stay with her, but most times he’s with us.
BREAKS FOR YOU AND YOUR DOG:
Traveling with pets means scheduling events around the animal, including stopping back at the hotel to let him out during the day. This actually can be a good excuse for you to take breaks between activities and visits as well!
NEXT: We say goodbye Corpus Christi and hey! Isn’t that Buc-ee’s