Owning a dog while traveling often presents challenges. You might worry about leaving your pet alone, leading to separation anxiety. Finding a reliable dog sitter might also be tricky. On the one hand, traveling with your dog brings its own issues, like restrictive regulations and potential stress for your pet. Lastly, providing proper healthcare consistently may not be feasible when you’re frequently on the move.
Despite these obstacles, balancing both responsibilities is entirely feasible with careful planning. Here are five effective strategies to help you navigate the journey of dog ownership while frequently traveling:
1. Prioritize regular training and socialization
Dog training isn’t just about teaching commands; it’s about fostering good behavior and habits that can make both your lives easier. Start training early and sustain it consistently. Train your furry friend to be comfortable with different situations and environments, which can help ease travel-induced stress.
Socialization is equally important. Expose your dog to a variety of people, animals, and situations. This will build confidence and ensure they can cope better in unfamiliar settings.
Bear in mind that training and socialization aren’t one-time events but ongoing processes. Hence, keep rewarding good behavior and reinforcing positive habits, even while you’re on the road.
2. Consider hiring a trusted pet sitter or boarding facility
Next, think about who looks after your dog while you’re away. You could consider hiring a pet sitter who’ll care for your pet in the comfort of your home.
When choosing one, first ensure they’re reliable and experienced. Check their references and reviews. Meet them in person to see how they interact with your dog. Discuss your pet’s routine, diet, and any special needs. Ask about their emergency protocols. Make sure they’re insured for added protection. Remember, your pet’s comfort and safety should be your top priorities, so take your time selecting the right person.
Alternatively, dog boarding facilities can be a viable option. They offer professional care, socialization opportunities, and ample exercise. Ensure your chosen facility is clean, well-staffed, and has a positive environment. Visit the place yourself to assess its suitability before making a decision.
Always remember that the safety and well-being of your pet should be paramount. Spend ample time selecting the proper care provider for your dog.
3. Integrate technology for pet care
With the rise of smart technology, keeping an eye on your dog while traveling is easier than ever. Pet cameras can be a lifesaver, allowing you to monitor your pet’s activities and even communicate with them remotely.
Invest in a GPS pet tracker. If your dog gets lost, this tool will help locate them quickly. Such devices often come with additional features like activity tracking, which can be beneficial for monitoring your pet’s health.
Also, don’t forget about virtual vet consultations. If your pet falls ill while you’re away, online vet services can provide immediate help and guidance.
Moreover, subscription models for online vet services offer convenient, round-the-clock access to professional vet advice. By paying a regular fee, you get direct access to vets who can answer health-related questions, provide guidance for emergencies, and even conduct virtual check-ups. They can save travel time and reduce stress for your pet. They’re especially beneficial if you live in remote areas or have a busy schedule.
4. Prepare for traveling with your dog
As a dog parent planning to travel with your pet, you’ll need some handy dog parents travel tips.
Your first task is researching. Look for accommodations that welcome dogs. Check for nearby parks or walking areas for your pet to enjoy.
Understanding travel regulations is also vital. Each airline has different rules about traveling with pets. The good thing is that such regulations are considerably lenient, and many transport companies allow people to travel with their furry friends.
Consider that, each year, 78% of American pet owners travel with their pets. Such numbers tell you it’s possible to move around with your dog.
Furthermore, packing is crucial for a successful trip. Food and water are essential but don’t forget your dog’s favorite toys and comfortable bedding. These familiar items can help your pet feel more at home in new surroundings.
Medications are another thing to consider. If your dog has a prescription from their vet, pack enough for the trip. Also, include common over-the-counter medications for minor issues.
One tip that dog parents often overlook is the importance of pet health records. Keeping these documents accessible can be a lifesaver in case of emergencies. They’ll help a new vet understand your dog’s health history, making treatment quicker and easier.
Lastly, your pet’s comfort during the journey is a priority. Consider airlines known for their pet-friendly policies. A NerdWallet analysis of ‘The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines in 2023’ ranked Alaska Airlines first with a score of 4.1 out of 5, followed by Southwest, Frontier, American, Spirit, Delta, JetBlue, Hawaiian, and United in that order.
If flying isn’t an option, a pet travel service can provide a stress-free alternative. They specialize in transporting pets safely and comfortably, easing your worries about your pet’s journey.
Remember, successful travel with a dog is all about preparation, understanding their needs, and making informed choices.
5. Maintain routines
Dogs thrive on consistency. Even when you’re traveling, try to keep their feeding, exercise, and bedtime schedules as normal as possible. They need to sleep for about 10 to 12 hours daily. Remember this while traveling so you don’t overtire your dog.
If hiring a pet sitter, ensure they understand and adhere to your pet’s routine. A disrupted routine can cause anxiety and behavioral issues in your dog.
Also, when traveling with your pet, maintain familiar routines like daily walks or playtime. It’ll make them feel more secure and comfortable.
Being a frequent traveler doesn’t mean you can’t be a responsible dog owner. Balancing both roles effectively is possible with proper planning, resources, and a good dose of patience. Don’t let your travel lifestyle deter you from the joy of having a furry friend. Your adventures can coexist with responsible pet ownership.
Happy travels, and enjoy your time with your canine companion!