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Surviving Holiday Travel with your Dog


pexels-photoThis week, many people will be traveling to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family.  For some, family pets will make the trip as well.  If this is your first time taking Fido home for the holidays, listed below are helpful tips to make sure he is welcomed back next year.

Your pup is bound to be excited by the change in environment and new people to bug for attention.  Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog; and a happy dog makes for happy hosts.  Take your pup for extra long walks in the morning and provide plenty of play time.  Start a Thanksgiving Day tradition by letting your dog tag along in the local Turkey Trot.

Whereas humans enjoy to switch things up from time to time, dogs are happiest when their lives are predictable.  No matter where you travel for the holiday, try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible.  If feasible, bring favorite items such as bed and toys.

Use Caution with Children
If unfamiliar children are going to be at your holiday gathering, make sure to educate them on the proper way to behave around animals.  Remind them that your dog may not act the same as their pet, and could possibly become scared or anxious.  Never allow a child to hug, poke, tug, or pull on your (or any) animal.

If your host has a dog, he or she may take for granted that your dog’s routine is different.  For instance, be extra vigilant if the resident dog is allowed into the yard off-leash but yours is not.  With the chaos of the season, it can be easy for others to forget that not all dogs behave the same way.

Make Use of the Crate
If your dog is crate trained, consider bringing a travel crate along for the trip.  This way, you can have peace of mind if you ever leave your pet home alone that she will not accidentally escape the house or create a nuisance.

Respect Personal Space
Alternatively, remember that just because you allow your dog to climb on your furniture or lick your face, others may not be as receptive.  Respect the rules that others set forth, and never assume that everyone at the party loves your dog as much as you.  Also beware that some guests may be afraid of dogs, particularly elderly relatives or young children.

Pack Distractions
No matter how close you stick to your dog’s routine, chances are there will be times where your pup wants to play while you are busy.  To keep your pet from being a nuisance, pack plenty of interactive toys, such as a KONG.

Emergency Backup Plan
Have a backup plan just in case traveling with your pup doesn’t work out.  Create a list of nearby boarding facilities, veterinary clinics, and doggy daycares before you leave.  In addition, print out all the necessary paperwork you might need before you hit the road, just in case.


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Anna Weber

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