There’s nothing quite like heading home for the holidays. And if you’re playing on taking your canine with you, well that can only add to the holiday travel experience.
But before you step out the door, here are a few things to think about when you travel with a dog on a Thanksgiving trip to Grandma’s house.
We’ve always found that bringing things that are familiar helps ease any anxiety especially when traveling to a house your dog has never been to. Pack a travel bag just as you do for yourself. Include treats, plenty of dog food, any medications, toys and cookies. It’s good to invest in some collapsible travel bowls and also include a couple of leashes, an extra collar with ID tags and pick up bags.
For food, we like to use baggies for one meal servings. We throw in any extras like dental chews, and then don’t have to worry about lugging a large bag. Pack the individual baggies into gallon sized food storage bags to keep everything together.
For small to medium dogs, they tend to feel more comfortable in a pet carrier when they’re traveling. It keeps them safe and, if they use this crate often, they will feel the security of something familiar.
Carriers can be soft or hard sided depending on your preference. A soft carrier with plenty of openings for air and light can be placed in your front seat.
Canine Seat Belts
For larger dogs on a road trip to Grandma’s, outfit her with her very own pet harness seat belt. This will restrict her movements but will also keep her on one place should there be any road issues like ice or snow.
If you’re flying with your dog, do some research well before the big trip. Find out if you can have your pet in a carrier under the seat in front of you rather than in the cargo hold.
Typically, small dogs in carriers that fit under the seat can ride in the cabin with you.
If your dog is too big and must fly cargo, get an airline-approved carrier a month in advance and leave it out so she gets used to it. Leave the door open and let her go in and out at will. If you find her sleeping in her crate, you’re golden.
If you are on an early morning flight, make her last meal the night before. You won’t want to feed her food or much water within a couple hours of flying because of the possibility of an upset stomach.
If you’re forced to stay in a hotel because of travel issues. Make sure your dog is a canine superstar. Many hotels are happy to put up travelers with pets and some have weight and size restrictions. Do a bit of research ahead of time and have a game plan if you need a hotel.
Having a dog around for the holidays is a special treat and make sure she is welcomed with open arms because she’s on her best doggie behavior.
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