After many months of COVID-related shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, a lot of people are eager to start traveling again. Summer vacations were just a dream for most of us this time last year, but industry experts expect to see domestic travel – and in some cases international trips – take off this summer as travelers feel increased safety because of vaccine availability and lighter caseloads in many areas.
If you’re planning a road trip this summer, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to bring your dog along for the ride. As with most decisions, there are advantages both ways. It’s important to look at your itinerary from your dog’s point of view and consider what is in his or her best interest.
When it comes to safety and comfort, what sounds like fun to you and your family or friends may not be best for your dog. Remember that it is not safe to leave your dog unattended in a locked car, even for a few minutes. Cars heat up more quickly than you might think, and dogs shouldn’t be left alone even if the doors are locked. As the hours and the miles roll by, your pet will need plenty of breaks. Be sure to stop frequently so your pet can use the bathroom and stretch. And remember to never let your pet out of your car without a collar, ID tag, and leash! Keep fresh, cool water on hand and have a water bowl handy for those breaks as well.
The safest way for your dog to ride in your car is in a crate that is anchored to your vehicle (either by a seatbelt or other secure means). And remember that front seats are for humans! Should your airbags deploy while your pet is in the passenger seat, your pet could be injured (even if your pet is crated). Depending on how far you’re going, the ride may be more stressful than fun for your pet.
Cost and convenience factors are also significant. Do all of your lodging facilities offer pet-friendly accommodations? Are there extra fees to consider? If you stay in a hotel or condo, will barking or access to the outdoors be an issue? Are you planning to enjoy activities where your pet can be with you (like fishing at the lake) or not (like a long day at an amusement park)? Every situation is different and making a good decision for your trip will require some research and careful planning.
If all of this sounds too hectic or risky, bring your pet to stay with us at Heritage Pet! Our loving staff will care for your pet just like family, and they will stay busy and happy with plenty of playmates and activities at our premium dog boarding. When you get back home, you will all be relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on a new season.