We’re heading into winter, and this means time to book your warm weather getaway. If you plan to bring your dog along, there are a few things you should know that will help you get through your vacation with your sanity intact. So before you grab your suitcase, read on for some helpful tips from The K9 Coach. Doing so may save you from an expensive mistake.
Where to stay
No matter how you choose to spend your time, you should have no problem finding a pet-friendly vacation rental that’s in close proximity to attractions you’re most interested in experiencing. For instance, if you plan to book a staycation right here in Sarasota, Turnkey recommends taking in the cultural scene. You can head downtown to visit an array of art galleries, or if you want to spend time at the beach, try the popular Siesta Key.
Plan to skip the hotel and you’ll not only have more room to roam around, but you’ll also run less of a chance of being asked to leave if your pup decides to voice their opinion a little too loudly after dark. Further, many vacation rentals don’t charge a premium for well-behaved animals.
What to bring
Chances are, part of the reason you’re heading to Florida is to enjoy the surf and sun. Your dog can join you during most activities, but you may need a few pieces of gear to ensure his safety. A dog life jacket and retractable leash are essential, as are portable food dishes and an updated set of tags for his collar. If you have a small dog, a carrier will help you keep them close when you’re in a crowd. And if you decide to bring your cat along for the adventure, look into purchasing some cat toys to keep your feline entertained while you’re off having fun.
You can find coupons, promotions, and discount codes online for both web-based retailers and brick-and-mortar stores that sell everything you could possibly need. Making sure your dog is well-equipped for your activities is the best way to keep them safe and prevent a big vet bill or impound fee if he gets hurt or runs away.
Know airline restrictions before you show up
Flying doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, and if you plan in advance, you can book tickets for not much more than the price of gas to reach your destination. You’ll still have to pay extra for your pet, but some destinations are less expensive than others, so consider where you’re headed before you book.
A word of caution here: make sure your dog is small enough to fit in a carrier in the passenger cabin. This is usually less expensive than having them stored in the cargo hold. You’ll also need to check the weather before your flight. The American Veterinary Medical Association explains that many airlines have restrictions against putting dogs, and especially short-nosed breeds, in the hold when the temperature rises. Showing up with your pup in tow can get you turned away from the flight and left with the fees.
Calm in the car
Driving with your pet won’t cost you anything extra. If he travels well, and you don’t mind hitting the highway, plan to make it a road trip. Unfortunately, nervous dogs can make for a challenging drive. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to reduce anxiety. This might mean bringing along extra toys to keep his attention or, in extreme cases, your veterinarian may also recommend sedatives or antihistamines, according to Cuddle Your Dogs blog. A few preventative measures can save you the cost of an auto detailing if your dog has a nervous stomach.
Now that all of that is out of the way, you can start planning an epic adventure with your pet, and one without any unforeseen dog-related expenses.
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