Our pets are part of the family for most of us so it stands to reason we want them to go with us on family vacations. However, folks sometimes forget that Fido has special needs. Here are five things you need to be sure to pack:
1. Large water bowl (Fido can easily become dehydrated in summer heat).
2. Collar and leash (Fido needs to be leashed when outside and you should keep his collar on at all times in case he gets loose. Hopefully, you have put your cell phone # on his ID).
3. Dog bed (Fido doesn’t like sleeping on the floor as he is used to his bed just like you! If Fido is an older dog it is not good for his bones and joints to be on a hard floor. If you can’t or don’t want to bring his bed be sure to make a bed using blankets and/or beach towels).
4. Dog food and treats (Fido still has to eat and he’s on vacation too so he wants treats too! It may be hard to find dog food, especially in Fido is on a special diet. Besides, who wants to chase down dog food while on vacation? Bring baggies labeled with each dog’s food and the same for treats).
5. Life vest (Fido needs a pet life jacket if he will be near water such as on a boat or in the surf. You can buy these cheap online at Amazon).
It’s also a good idea to bring a couple of his toys from home so that he has something to play with and is surrounded by something familiar. Pets can become anxious in new environments so something from home will soothe your dog. I didn’t discuss cats because I don’t think it’s a good idea to travel with them. They may run away or get run over if they get outside and tend to be more skittish about new environments than dogs. It is best to board cats or have a trusted friend or family member (or hire a reputable pet sitting service) to come to your home to stay or check on your cat(s) once a day while you’re away.