5 Essential Dog-Friendly Thanksgiving Travel Tips
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s time to start making your travel plans. Are you hitting the road for a cross country car trip or are you flying to your destination? Is your dog coming along for the festivities? Whether your dog is coming along with you or staying behind, you need to plan in advance – trust us, you’ll be thankful that you did! Here are some tips for traveling tips with your dog this Thanksgiving.
Road Trip Safety: If Fido is coming along for the ride, you need to make sure that he’s not only comfortable but safe as well. Your dog should be safely strapped in with a harness. If he’s making the journey in a crate, then the crate needs to strapped down. He should not be wandering around in the car – if you get into an accident, you, your dog and other passengers could be seriously injured by a projectile pet. To make the trip comfortable, lay out a blanket or pillow for him to sleep on and bring along a favorite toy to keep him company. If your trip is a long one, plan regular stops for bathroom and feeding breaks. Keep your dog on a leash during these pit stops, because you don’t want him to run off and get lost in an unfamiliar area.
Keeping on Schedule: You’ll be enjoying your Thanksgiving getaway with your dog for a few days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stick to your dog’s schedule. Your dog may get anxious if his routine is interrupted, so stay as close to your established routine as possible. Get your family members to come out on your daily walks – it’s the perfect way to work up an appetite!
Pet Friendly Hotels: If you’ll be staying at a hotel during any part of your Thanksgiving travels, ask to see if they allow dogs in their rooms. Some hotels don’t allow pets at all, while others will be equipped for your dog (for a fee increase). Booking far enough in advance will ensure that your dog will be able to sleep soundly with you in the hotel room.
Traveling Solo: For whatever reason, you may not be able to bring your dog with you (family members’ allergies, flight anxiety, etc). Who’s going to take care of your dog when you’re away? If you’re lucky, a trusted family member or friend will happily dog sit for a few days. But if no one is available, you’ll have to leave your dog at a kennel. This may be the first time you’ve ever had to board your dog. Not to worry – we’ve got a list of essential questions you need to ask when boarding a dog.
Flying High: If you’re planning on flying to your destination this Thanksgiving, you may be tempted to bring your dog along with you. More airlines are catering to dog owners these days, but you have to weigh the pros and cons the plane ride will have on your dog. Is it worth the anxiety, to both you and your dog, for such a short stay? If your dog is a seasoned traveler, then this probably won’t be an issue. But if you have an anxious dog, it may be best to leave him on the ground (with friends or at a kennel).
Are you bringing your dog along with you this Thanksgiving? What tips would you add to this list? Please leave them for the community in the comment section below.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
More by Amy Tokic