It’s not easy being a dog lover and a long-term traveler at the same time. Not only do you have to think of your own safety, you also have to make sure your best friend is as happy as you are. I’ve been on the road for quite a long time, and I’ve seen some people abandon their pets because they couldn’t take care of them anymore. So, my first advice would be, if you’re not sure you can travel with your dog, please, leave them at home and find a dog-sitter or a friend who can care for them. Sure, you’re going to miss them, we all love our pets dearly. But, that’s better than leaving them in some dodgy street in Vietnam or Chile just because you couldn’t cope with the responsibility anymore.
But, if you have decided to take a leap of faith, and travel long term with your furry best friend, here are some things you should keep in mind!
1. Planning Is Everything
The first thing you’d have to think of is your transportation method. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with a giant Great Dane or a small Chiweenie, the stakes are always high.
Are you taking a flight? A ferry? Or maybe you’re using your own car or van for a road trip. Keep in mind that trains and buses in some countries don’t allow travelling with pets, so do your research beforehand.
Our focus here is on air travel, which can be the most stressful one for pets. Of course, you can fly with dogs, though you’ll have to know that your pet will be in a separate area from you and you can’t help them if they get distressed. You need to perform a complete health check on your pet the weeks before the flight, to be sure your dog is fit to travel by plane.
Also, make sure that the airline you’re using allows pets. Some of them don’t, so it doesn’t hurt to make a call to customer services and inquire. And if you’re still not certain, you can use the website Pet Friendly Travel, which has an extensive list of pet-friendly airlines.
And, don’t forget to give your dog vitamins, especially before and after a long flight, since your little friend is going to be as tired and dehydrated as you are!
2. Research Pet-Friendly Accommodation
Not all hotels or guesthouses accept pets. If you’re camping, then this isn’t a problem. But, if you’re renting an Airbnb or a hotel room, make sure to check out that place’s policy. The easiest way would be to go on their website, and if you’re still not sure, just give them a call. After all, you have nothing to lose.
If you’re staying in guesthouses, then know that most of them have a page on the website Hostelworld, where they let you know if they’re pet-friendly or not. Chances are, with a little research, you’ll find the perfect place to stay for you and your best friend.
3. Let Your Dog Adjust To The Weather
Let’s say you live in Alaska, where it is, obviously, quite cold; and you’re travelling to Rio De Janeiro. Your dog is not used to hot weather, and yet, here you are with him in Brazil, trying to enjoy the sun. Your pet might not get used to the weather as quickly as you, so, give him time. And most importantly, don’t chock his body with too many temperature changes. The beach is a great way to do that, as dogs can enjoy the heat, and then freshen up in the water. The only advice I have for you now is: give it time. Your dog will need a few days to adjust to the heat (or cold), and after that, he’ll be as happy as ever!
4. Find People To Watch Him If You Can’t Take Him Somewhere With You
Some places do not accept dogs, such as temples, mosques, or even malls! So, if you’re going somewhere and you’re not sure if your dog is going to be accepted in or kicked out, it’s better to leave him with someone. Maybe a friend you met on the road, or a dog-sitter you found on Craigslist. It should be a person that you trust and know that they’re going to take good care of your friend while you’re out there going on an adventure.
5. Know What To Feed Your Dog
If you can’t find the specific dog food brand you use at home, don’t freak out just yet! You can actually make your pet go all-natural. Not a lot of people know that, but dogs can actually eat some fruits and vegetables, though proteins are important and should of course be incorporated in their diet. But, if you’re still adamant of feeding your best friend proper dog food, know that some companies make healthy, high protein food for dogs, such as Hill’s Science Diet, which is perfect for dogs who need to watch their diet (naughty little things eat too much sometimes, they can’t help it).