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Thursday, November 27, 2014

10 Tips for Holiday Travel with Your Dog

The holiday season is quickly approaching and many pet owners will be traveling with their pets. If you are a dog owner, you need to do some pre-holiday planning so that your holiday travel is stress-free and a pleasant experience for both you and your dog.

Here are some timely tips from Paris Permenter, co-author of the published DogTipper's Texas with Dogs guidebook. In addition to Paris' tips, I wanted to add this one. Don't assume that hotels, stores, entertainment venues, family's homes, friend's homes, etc. are pet friendly! If in doubt, ask and seek out pet friendly locations before you hit the road!
10 Tips for Holiday Travel with Your Dog

Ready to go walking in a winter wonderland with your dog? Holiday travel, whether to visit friends and relatives or to enjoy a great getaway, is all the more fun with your dog as a faithful travel companion.

“Traveling with your dog can be a stress reliever during what is a stressful time of year for many people,” explains Paris Permenter. “Not only will you not have to worry about boarding your dog while you’re traveling, but having your dog along can also serve as a great icebreaker at family get togethers.”

Before making plans to deck the halls on a trip with your dog, here are 10 tips to make sure you—and your dog—have a jolly time this holiday season:

1. Plan in advance. Make plans early during this peak travel time. When booking, call the hotel directly and let them know the size and breed of your dog so there are no surprises at check-in.

2. Watch out for ornaments and decorations. Decorations, from tinsel to ornaments to lights, present chewing and choking hazards. Even if your dog ignores decorations at home, he may be tempted in a new environment.

3. Be prepared for accidents. Pet accidents happen, even with the most reliably house trained pets. Carry a roll of paper towels and a cleaner such as Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator spray for quick cleanups and to keep from putting your hotel pet deposit (or your relatives’ good humor) at risk.

4. Make a pre-trip vet visit. If you’re traveling out of state by car or traveling anywhere with your dog by plane, visit your vet to obtain a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). Make sure your dog is current on vaccinations and ask for an immunization record to carry as well.

5. Carry your dog’s food and treats. The holidays may be a time for us to indulge (or over-indulge) on food and treats but our dogs should be kept on their usual diet to avoid tummy upset.

6. Place an extra ID tag on your dog. Consider a special dog tag with your cell phone number. If you’ll be at one location for several days, make a tag with your holiday number and address as well.

7. Buckle up. Icy roads and heavy holiday traffic are two more reasons to always buckle up furry family members, just as children are always buckled up in the car.

8. Keep your dog warm and dry. If you’ll be walking in snow or ice, be sure your dog’s paws are protected with booties. Many dogs also appreciate a warm sweater or coat.

9. Carry the scent of home. Whether a blanket, a doggie duvet, or just a plush toy, bring along the scent of home for time on the road and for your hotel stay.

10. Be prepared to travel more slowly. Just as if traveling with a small child, your holiday travel is going to be enjoyed at a little slower pace with your dog. Make time for more frequent potty stops and at least one hour of walking per day. And don’t forget to work plenty of time together into your schedule. After all, isn’t that what a holiday with your best friend is all about?

About DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs: DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs (Open Road, distributed by Simon and Schuster) features the best dog-friendly destinations across Texas. The full-color book was written by Paris Permenter and John Bigley, founders of the award-winning DogTipper.com. The 10,000+ page site features tips for dog lovers, giveaways, recipes, and more. Paris Permenter, a certified dog trainer and America’s Pet Economist™, also co-hosts the weekly Dog Travel Experts radio show with tips on traveling with your dog. For more information, visit www.dogtipper.com and www.TexaswithDogs.com.

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