Holiday Travel: Should Fido Come Along This Year?

November 21, 2017

Holiday Travel Plans are in Full Swing, but Consider Your Pet’s Needs as you Design a Getaway with the Family

Should you travel with your dogThe final, two weeks of the year are often dedicated to excitement with family members. Year-end holidays bring everyone together, including the family pet. Before you plan any grand adventures, however, think about your pet’s feelings. These chaotic times may be incredibly stressful on them. If you’re considering a trip around the holidays, prioritize your pet’s needs. Ask yourself if they should come along, stay at home or attend a dog boarding facility. Your decision is a personal one that requires a lot of contemplation.

Consider Individual Temperaments

Your dog is as unique as the human members of the household. Before you consider a holiday trip with or without your pet, think about their temperament. Some dogs are extremely quiet and relaxed when it comes to new places and acquaintances. These are the pets that will successfully handle a trip outside of your Lakewood home.

Nervous pets or barking enthusiasts may not adhere well to a holiday retreat. Be prepared to contact a dog daycare that can house your furry friend for the trip’s duration.

Remember Dogs are Similar to Toddlers

Leaving your dog at home alone isn’t typically a good idea. This scenario only works if you have a secure, outdoor area where a loved one visits several times a day for socialization and feeding purposes. Scientists know that dogs’ minds are similar to a two- or three-year-old child. Their brains don’t mature past that point. With that fact in mind, you wouldn’t leave your toddler at home alone over the holidays.

Ask your Golden neighbor about watching your dog over the holidays. Extended periods of being alone isn’t ideal for any canine.

Outfit Your Pet With Microchips and ID Tags

Regardless if your pet is coming with you or heading to the kennel, it requires some sort of identification. Lost pets over the holidays are common because of stress. From loud parties to blinking lights, dogs quickly become disoriented and wander off. Be ready for any situation by adding an identification tag to the pet’s collar. Include your contact information that’s engraved on the tag.

Go even further with safety precautions by installing a microchip under the pet’s skin. If the pet runs off, any animal-control facility can scan the chip for identification purposes.

Decide Between Carrier or Leash

Your pet may be a graduate of dog training, but stressful situations make it nervous and restless. If you plan on taking your pet on a holiday, choose carefully between a leash or carrier. Smaller dogs tend to fit snugly into a comfortable carrier where they can sleep for most of the transport period.

Large dogs should be leashed when you’re traveling outside of Lakewood or Golden. Use a short leash so that the pet is under constant control during any trip.

Be Prepared to Stop

If you compare the various ways to travel, taking a road trip with your dog is the best alternative to a kennel. You can’t treat the driving as if it’s a marathon, however. Your dog will be restless after several hours. Plan to stop every three to five hours. This planning gives the pet a chance to run around and eliminate waste.

Use the stop to exercise your own body. Throw a ball, or walk over to the bathrooms at the rest stops. Holiday traveling can be enhanced with your dog tagging along for the ride.

Try an At-Home Stay

Your pet may prefer its own surroundings. Taking it on a holiday is just too stressful for every canine and human. If you don’t want to send it to a dog daycare facility, try an at-home stay. Personal services are possible through online platforms. Search for a pet sitter who can visit on a regular basis.

A neighbor or family member can also perform the pet-sitting services. Leave many details surrounding the animal’s feeding schedule, preferences and quirks. You and the sitter will feel better about the holiday excursion.

Get Together With a Boarding Facility

When you’re sure about leaving your pet home over the holidays, find a safe facility for them to enjoy. Consider a boarding facility, such as Pet Peeves. These companies take in dogs with updated vaccinations and good-behavior records. Introduce your pet to the facility well before the holidays. You might try an overnight stay to familiarize the pet with the environment. With some luck, the pooch might see a holiday stay as a vacation on its own. A relaxed transition is always the goal.

Pack for a Stress-Free Stay

Don’t forget to pack the pet’s favorite toys and bedding when they travel. These items remind them of home so that their stress levels remain under control. Bring along favorite treats too. Anything that’s familiar and rewarding is a great way to spend the holidays.

Prepare Your Pet

Deciding to take your dog along on a trip takes some preparation. Create a space in the car that supports the dog’s blanket or small bed. Use securing harnesses to avoid any sudden jolts during the ride.

Boarding your pet requires different preparation steps. Visit the facility before the big day. Allow them to play and socialize with the other dogs. Give them enough time to sniff the place. Preparing your pet for either the trip or a boarding visit keeps it calm for the duration of the transition.

In most cases, your pet will be thrilled to see you after the holidays if you select a dog boarding facility. Don’t feel guilty about leaving your furry pet with the professionals. They acclimate to the situation and may even receive dog training that’s perceived as a fun time. Do what’s best for your four-legged friend so that the holidays are a thrill for everyone involved.