When traveling for the holidays, the addition of your dog can really give the trip an increased sense of family togetherness and fun. But, there are problems that could occur if you do not plan well enough beforehand.
Things such as keeping a dog crate nearby and having your dog's medical records at hand while traveling may save you later problems. Booking your accommodations and other activities prior to leaving is also important. This is not all though, many more things exist that are well worth prior consideration.
Before setting off to your destination, it is a good idea to make sure your dog enjoys traveling in vehicles. This is especially important if the journey will be long. To find out if your dog is okay traveling by car, first sit him in the vehicle and turn the engine on and off several times. While you do this, observe his reaction to the noise. If he does not appear to be too disturbed by the sound, take him for a quick ride so that he can become used to the process. Take him with you on simple trips to get him comfortable with driving. However, do not leave your pet in a vehicle by himself for any amount of time. It is dangerous and has caused many casualties. After a few outings, your dog will hopefully be confident riding and ready for a longer trip.
To make the journey as enjoyable for your dog as possible, you should give him lots of snacks and toys to keep him occupied for a large portion of the trip. It is likely that your dog will sleep for a good amount of the trip if you manage to tire him out beforehand. Also, don’t feed your dog while traveling unless it is necessary. The movement of the vehicle may cause your dog to vomit the food he has just eaten. On the other hand, plenty of water is a must. It will stop your dog from dehydrating and keep him happy and fresh. Remember that your dog will need regular stops to do his business. At this point you should also give him attention by playing with him to get rid of build up energy.
Booking as many parts of your trip before you leave will stop issues from occurring later on. It will be far less stressful if you are informed about dog-friendly activities before you even leave. Also, take a look into which restaurants accept pets. Many outdoor restaurants are fine with customers bringing along a dog (as long as he is on a leash). Always bring along your dog's medical documents. If emergency medical treatment would be needed, you will safely be able to get him the care he needs or prove that his vaccinations are up to date. Carry a leash with you wherever you go. Generally, it is against the law to allow you dog to run free (except where clearly marked as allowed). One more thing that should be kept with you is a crate. Some motels require your dog to be kept crated when you're away.