You know that I love to travel with my dog. Maxie is a great travel companion, and we took her on both short trips – one-day trips to the seaside, to the mountains, to forests – and in longer vacations, like the one in the Apuseni Mountains, Romania. But sometimes, you should leave your pet at home, as it is safer for them – and for you! So here are my pet travel tips: when you should leave your dog at home. They come from years of experience having pets (cats, dogs) and traveling with our dog.
While I am the first one to say that you can definitely travel with your pet and have amazing trips, I am also the first one to say that sometimes it’s best for everyone to leave the dog at home. Most importantly, it is best for the pet, and that’s what really matter.
Put your dog first
Before getting into the pet travel tips and situations when you should leave your dog at home, let me emphasize the fact that the dog should come first. Your pet’s safety should be your primary concern, and not your pleasure in having them with you in a given trip. What’s best for them trumps what you would like.
I am saying this because, unfortunately, I sometime see animals that would #have been better left at home. Or situations in which the pet owners aren’t pleased with how things are unfolding, or the things they need to pass because they have their dog with them.
So remember: put your dog’s needs ahead of your pleasure of traveling with them!
But let’s see the pet travel tips regarding the situations when you should not take your dog with you on your travels.
When they might be killed/When it is not safe for your pet
Sounds scary? Well, it should be. Maxie is a street dog we adopted. She is a gorgeous animal with Border Collie roots. But she is not a pure breed. We have no problem with that but, unfortunately, there is a country in Europe where she’d be instantly killed just because she is a former street dog.
So an important travel tip is to always do your research, especially when it comes to traveling with your pet. Look for special rules and regulations – breed, transportation, health requirements, etc. in order to be sure your pet will be safe where you want to go.
When they would not have what to do
Please, don’t take your dogs somewhere where they don’t have what to do. Just letting them stay next to a tree or somewhere similar isn’t good. Would you like the same treatment if you were a dog?
As a travel tip, when you plan a trip with your pet, make sure you include activities for them too. Of course, that doesn’t mean that your whole time will be dedicated to them, but you should think of special things they’d love to do – find playgrounds, places to explore, etc.
When you can’t take care of them/spend time with your pet
When planning your trip and making your itinerary, ask yourself this: will you be able to take really good care of your dog? Will you be able to make sure nothing bad happens to them? Will you be able to spend time with them? Yes, this is related to the previous item, because your dog isn’t an accessory. And try to make road trips fun for both you and your dog.
If you are not sure you’ll be able to take good care of your pet, then the dog should be left at home.
When your dog’s health might be in danger
There are many breeds and sizes of dogs, and each comes with its special needs and things to pay attention to. So, as another pet travel tip, you should know very well when and where your dog can go. For instance, if you go to the seaside, you should know how much time can he spend in the sun, how to make sure you keep your dog hydrated at all times, avoid heat-stroke, and so on and so forth.
At Maxie’s vet cabinet I saw many dogs coming in with heat-strokes during the summer. And they are no jokes – a dog can easily die because of a longer exposure to the sun. and, keep in mind, this is just an example, as there are many more situations when your dog’s health might be in danger.
As a side note, don’t think that all health issues are related to the weather. No. Some dogs are anxious and they don’t like new environments, nor crowds. So they will be better at home, with a friend that will feed and love them, rather than on a strange territory. Not all dogs are the same. Some are friendlier, some don’t get along with other dogs. All these factors should be taken in consideration when deciding whether you should travel with your dog or not.
When they can’t travel any more/When their health isn’t what it used to be
This is the saddest moment: when you realize your dog can’t do what they used to do, can’t go where they used to go. We all grow old. Our pets faster than us.
With age come certain health issues. Unfortunately. But these health issue prevent pets to do all the things they used to do or stand the same weather conditions they used to stand.
Age is always an important factor – so don’t forget to take it in consideration. Ask your doctor what your pet can and cannot do, where they can or cannot go. Again, put their well being first.
When the dog doesn’t want to go
I mentioned above anxious dogs. But it may happen that a dog who loves to travel doesn’t feel like it on one occasion. For instance, on a Christmas even we decided to take a short trip to the mountains. But the car was new and Maxie just didn’t want to come with us. So we left her at home, for about six hours, and it was better for everyone. So yes, animals have their own preferences. Take those under advisement and try not to force them do something they don’t want to do.
I tried to include on this list my best pet travel tips when it comes to the health of the dog and traveling. Like I said, I love to travel with my dog, we all love to have her along, but there are situations when you should leave your dog at home. I hope the information above will help you make the best decisions!
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