I like traveling with my dog, Ferguson, and I know from your comments that a lot of you do too. So, today, I thought I would put together a few tips to help you to travel with your dog, should you want to.
Finding dog-friendly places to stay
More hotels, B&Bs and private homeowners who rent out rooms are accepting pets. This is great news, but it can still be quite tricky to find dog-friendly accommodation outside of large towns and cities. Sometimes you will need to visit review websites like this one to find them.
Before you book, it is important that you ring and double-check that dogs really are welcome. Unfortunately, some booking websites do not keep their information 100% up to date.
Is the room big enough?
It is important to make sure that the room is big enough to accommodate both you and your dog. If you use a travel crate, which is a very good idea, you need to be sure that it will fit and that there is enough space for your dog to be able to get in and out.
Double check the rules
Before you book, check whether there are any restrictions about where you can take your pet within the hotel. Usually, they are only allowed in the reception area and your room. Plus, in some cases, they will need to wear a muzzle when being taken to and from the room.
If you plan to leave your pet in the room at any time, it is particularly important to find out if this is allowed. Some hotels do not allow this or insist that you leave your dog in the bathroom when you go for breakfast.
Others are happy for your pet to have access to all of the space, but ask you to put the do not disturb sign on your door. This rule is there to stop the maid from going in and frightening your dog who could be disturbed enough by the experience to bite him or her.
Somewhere for your pet to sleep
If possible, take your dog´s bed with you when you travel. They will sleep better if you do.
A travel crate with a nice cushion in the bottom can also work really well. It will provide your dog with a safe, familiar space that they can settle down into while in the room. Plus, of course, you can use it in the car to make sure that you comply with the Highway Code, which states that animals need to be suitably restrained while traveling. This rule is designed to keep both you and your pet safe, especially in the case of an accident.
Acclimatize your dog to the room
The first time you leave your dog in the room; do not stay out too long. Fifteen minutes is about right. This will help your pet to understand that they are not being abandoned. Once you have done this a couple of times they will normally settle down quite quickly once you have left because they know that you are going to return. It is also worth reading this article, which explains how to keep your dog as calm and quiet as possible.
As you can see, traveling with a dog is not difficult. All it takes is a little preparation. Once you have done it once, I promise you that you will wonder why you waited so long to try it.