May 20 2010 by Cesar Millan
There has never been a better time to see America with your dog. More and more hotels have a dog-friendly policy, and in cities across the country there are restaurants that welcome not just you but your four-legged companion. There are plenty of destinations that offer attractions that both you and your dog can enjoy--as well as offering leash-free parks where he or she can make new friends. But before you head off by car or plane, here are 10 tips to make sure your trip is happy and safe.
- SCHEDULE A VISIT TO THE VET before you leave, to make sure your dog is in good enough shape to travel and that all his vaccinations are up to date.
- BE PREPARED. Make sure you have a sturdy leash and collar with ID tags including your dog's name, your name, your cell phone number, and proof of rabies shots.
- If you're traveling by car, GET YOUR DOG FAMILIAR with the idea by going for short drives. To prevent motion sickness have him travel on an empty stomach (but have plenty of water available).
- MAKE FREQUENT STOPS to let your dog exercise, take potty breaks, and get plenty of fresh air.
- CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINE well in advance of your trip, as rules about pets vary. Your dog will need to be in a crate that meets airline standards. And it's best to book flights with dogs months ahead of time, as there may be restrictions on how many animals can be on a given flight.
- DON'T PLAN ON TRAVELING BY BUS OR TRAIN. Amtrak and most major bus lines don't let dogs (other than service animals) travel. Cruise ships have different policies, so contact yours.
- TRY TO KEEP YOUR DOG'S ROUTINE as close as possible to what he does at home. Take the same food and try to feed him at the same times. If he doesn't have a crate, bring an old blanket or towel to -create a designated sleeping area where you're staying. Figure out a route to walk in advance--your dog will still need regular exercise.
- CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH YOUR HOTEL. Some are dog-friendly but don't allow large breeds.
- CLEAN UP! Make sure you clean up after your dog; that way you will help keep places dog-friendly. Carry a four-to-one mix of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle to remove stains and smells after indoor accidents. Don't leave your dog un-attended in a room, and try to keep him as quiet as possible.
- KEEP YOUR DOG LEASHED wherever possible. A new environment will be full of tempting new sights, sounds, and smells, and a leash will help curb his desire to explore and get lost.
For more tips from Cesar, please visit www.CesarsWay.com.