Traveling with your furry best friend can be fun and incredibly rewarding, but not if you’re fretting over their well-being the whole time! The best way to vacation with your pooch is to prep in advance. Time on the road or in the air with your canine requires foresight. But, of course, you’re used to that! I mean, what’s a dog walk without anticipation and poop bags? Make sure your dog is in good health, has his shots up to date, and goes globetrotting with all of his favorite goodies packed and ready to go.
All said, none of that will make a difference if you’re convinced travel is not a safe option for your dog. So before you start scrolling and bookmarking like mad, dispel your fears. Here are five common myths about traveling with your dog. Ditch these and your trip will be that much safer and pup-friendly:
1. Myth: You can feed your dog in a moving vehicle.
Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Feed your dog a light meal three to four hours before you take off and bottle water from your home. When feeding time rolls around again, pull over to stop, serve his food, and give him water that his tummy knows (water from a new place could upset his tummy.) Stopping will be a good excuse to walk your dog and have him go poo, too.
2. Myth: Aircraft pet cargo hold is dangerous.
You will hear that the pet cargo isn’t temperature-controlled or that your pooch has a high likelihood of getting injured. It’s simply not true. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported 17 pet deaths, 26 injustices, and two pets gone missing. While that’s unfortunate news for the pets and pet parents involved, keep in mind that two million pets flew in pet cargo hold last year. The numbers are in your favor.
3. Myth: You’re better off driving with your pup than flying.
That depends on you. If you drive, how often will you stop to walk your dog? What about feeding him, giving him water, and taking him out to poo? If you plan on staying in the car for hours and hours, it might be kinder and safer to jet off instead of hitting the road.
4. Myth: All “pet-friendly” means is that a hotel lets you bring your dog.
Since the term “pet-friendly” isn’t regulated by any industry rules, it’s pretty flexible. It can range from a plain old hotel that lets you bring your puppy in tow to a hotel that goes all out for four-legged company. You might discover that all of the rooms that allow pets are the same as the smoking rooms (yikes!) or that the rooms are specially designed with dogs in mind. The latter might include treats, toys, poop bags, and other little extras to sweeten your pet’s stay. More luxurious pet hotels have groomers and spas!
5. Myth: Administer a sedative or tranquilizer to your pooch 100% of the time.
Nope. It’s simply not necessary. When you consider the risks that sedatives and tranquilizers can have on your furry friend’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily functions, the wiser thing to do is acclimate him with crate training. That doesn’t mean you should never give your dog a sedative or tranquilizer. It just shouldn’t be your first instinct. Use your discretion.