Author Paula Sunday shares how she travels with her dog, Tag, and gives tips, tricks and lists to help you travel with your dog over the holidays
My husband, Wayne, and I were invited to visit family over Thanksgiving weekend and to bring along Tag, our 6 year old English Springer Spaniel. Since we were staying overnight I needed to do some planning for Tag! I know from previous trips with my dogs that planning can prevent many stressful (and possibly embarrassing) situations.
To prepare, Tag got a bath the day before we visited and I combed him out really well to minimize shedding. Grooming your pet before visiting is a small consideration. You leave behind memories of time together, not your puppy’s fur.
I took his crate with plush bed. He rides in the crate in our van because it’s the safest way. He sleeps in the crate on the visit just like he does at home (he’s a bed hog!). Since he wasn’t allowed on the furniture at their house I would cue him to go to his bed instead of being on the couch. While he would have preferred to snuggle on the couch, he did well laying on the floor on his bed. Rewarding him with treats in a new location, with new people around, trains him to still go to his bed when I ask.
Some questions to ask your host when traveling with your dog:
- Where will you and your dog sleep? Be sure they aren’t planning for your dog to sleep separately in the garage, basement or someplace he would be stressed or might bark. Use a crate if your dog is used to one so your dog can be safely in the house.
- Can I put the food and water inside the house or would they prefer outdoors? Many families who don’t have pets wouldn’t dream of having a dog eat in their kitchen (like my dogs always do!)
- Is it ok for the pet to be on the furniture? If they prefer not, a bit of training before you arrive will help lessen the confusion and frustration for you and your pet when visiting. (If your dog isn’t crate trained, you might want to do a little in advance. …(link to the crate training video???) Dogs of any age learn quickly with positive training when you make the crate a positive place to be.
For More Tips on crate training your dog, check out our video from the book ARL Iowa For Love of Dogs