Friday, June 26, 2009

Guest Blog Post by Ask Spike Online: Summer Vacation With Your Pet

Today's guest dog blogger & fellow four legged Twitter tweet all-star is Spike from the famous Ask Spike Online. He has written a bark-tastic article on vacationing with your pet!. We hope you enjoy!

Now that summer has officially begun, the desire to make a break from the office to spend a few days, or even a few weeks, away is in full effect. The kids are out of school and they have been going stir crazy in the house for the last couple weeks.

When you plan your trip, make sure that you also take the right amount of time to decide what to do with your pets. There are multiple options if you do not wish to take your pet along. I do not know why you would exclude such a fun family member from the vacation, but you can seek out a boarding facility, hire a pet sitter or walker, or ask a trusted friend to keep an eye on your pet. For those of us that like to travel, you can certainly take us with you.

Whether you choose a beach, camping, or another tourist attracting destination, make sure your trip is pet-friendly all the way. Not all airlines allow pets to travel, so make sure you find one that does, and make sure they can fly in the cabin with you for their safety. Did you know there is an airline that provides air travel for pets only, called Pet Airways? I have not had the pleasure of flying with them, so I cannot weigh in on their service. There are also many hotels and nearly all campgrounds that allow pets, as do many timeshares and beach rental properties, and you can find many of them at websites like Pets Welcome.

If you are not flying to your destination, and you are making it a road trip, you may want to check out these tips for traveling by car with your pet from my friends over at Theravida Pets. When traveling by car, make sure you schedule plenty of stops for your paw-pal, so they can take some potty breaks. Keep in mind that their usual food and water bowls will be awkward to utilize on the trip and at your destination, so you may want to purchase some collapsible travel bowls to use for your road trip. If you have done a good job training your pup for potty time, you will not have to worry about him or her refusing to “get busy” in a new place. If this is a problem for your pup, I have some suggestions for you to try.

Upon arriving at your destination, let your dog investigate the area fully. There will be many new smells for him to discover, and his bathroom will not be as clearly marked as yours. As a courtesy to others, make sure you bring your biodegradable pickup bags with you, because you do not want to be “THAT family” that did not pick up after your pup at the hotel, on the beach, or along the hiking trail.

Regardless of the area leash laws, I HIGHLY recommend that you keep your dog on a leash, or otherwise confined, AT ALL TIMES during your vacation. Not only is it unsafe for your dog to wander in an unfamiliar area, he may have difficulty getting back to you when his jaunt is complete. Not only will his familiarity be diminished in a strange area, but he can easily be picked up as a stray by animal control or even “be found” by a stranger. Also, dogs do not understand time, so the itinerary you planned so meticulously before you left can be rendered useless by a missing pup.

Obviously, there are some trips that are not very pet-friendly, so you should forgo including your pet on those trips, but there are many activities and fun memories to be had by taking your pet with you on vacation. Sometimes, we all need a little reminder and some tips about keeping our paw-pals safe.

Have a great time on vacation, and share it with the ones you love!

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