How to Take an Old Dog on New Trips
Do you have a senior pet? Are you unsure whether or not to bring your pet away with you on vacation? Just because your dog is older, doesn’t mean he can’t join you on a vacation or weekend getaway!
While not all trips are appropriate for all senior dogs, if you and your vet decide it’s something your canine would enjoy, then here are some things to plan for in advance of your trip:
Schedule an appointment with your vet
Your vet will not only help out with any supplies you might need while you’re away (e.g., prescriptions, flea and tick preventatives, documentation needed when crossing country borders), but your vet is a great resource if you’re unsure about whether to take your dog with you on vacation. It’s not always possible to take senior dogs with you and some dogs may actually prefer to stay behind. If you decide your pet may not be up for the trip, ask someone to dog sit for you or choose a boarding kennel.
Older dogs may not be up for traveling by plane, especially since most dogs will need to travel in the cargo hold (check with your airline to see the rules for traveling with pets). Driving tends to be easier for dogs. Just make sure you take the proper safety precautions and schedule plenty of bathroom and leg-stretching breaks.
A few of his favorite things
Bringing some reminders of home can make your dog feel safe and less anxious on your trip. Consider packing some familiar items, such as bedding, blankets, treats, bowls, and his favorite toys. A padded or memory foam dog bed is especially helpful to relieve pressure on his joints during the ride.
Take his food to go
Dogs can be very sensitive to slight or sudden changes in their diet, so make sure you take plenty of your dog’s regular dog food with you. Try to keep as close to his normal feeding schedule as possible.
Dogs can sense if you’re stressed or worried, so speak to your dog in a calm voice and stay relaxed during your trip (remember, you’re on vacation!). If you’re enjoying yourself, your dog will follow suit.
Hats off to you
To all kind-hearted and hard-working people at SPCA: hats off to you. I love animals and admire the work you do.