Saturday, July 29, 2017

Travel Blog 3: Common Courtesy and Sense - Traveling with Dogs

Travel Blog 1 - Travel Essentials

Travel Blog 2 - Common Courtesy and Sense - Vehicle, Pedestrian, Parking and Trash

Traveling with Dogs

Many of us have dogs and love to take our fur-babies with us when we travel. Common Courtesy and Sense goes hand in hand when traveling with your four legged friend.

Traveling with a dog can be fun and difficult all in the same trip. Like humans, going someplace new can sometimes cause your dog to totally forget their training (if they have been trained to begin with which is a whole different ball of wax).

When traveling with your dog:

1) Research WHERE you are going and find out the following:
  • Breed Bans - Some breeds of dogs are not welcome in some towns. Check breed specific legislation laws to make sure your dog is not on their list of "Banned" breeds. Many towns in Colorado have Breed Specific Legislation or Bans. This is a great reference website.
  • Hot Car Laws - many states now have laws about leaving your dogs in cars. In 2017, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper passed a ruling that a passerby can break a car window if a dog is in distress. They must first try to find the owner, notify local authorities and then proceed. Good reference website.
  • Leash Laws - All towns have some form of leash laws requiring your pet be on leash when in public no matter how well they are trained.
  • Vaccination requirements - Make sure your dog is current on all vaccinations and have their tags and information WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. Like your travel essentials (see Blog 1 Link above) - your pet has travel essentials too (see list below). 
  • Lodging - what hotels accept pets and their requirements. 
  • Veterinarian Services - is there a vet in town and can you get a hold of your vet easily to confer in case of emergency. 

2) Research WHAT you can do with your dog in the area you are going:
  • is there a dog park or a dog walk? 
  • do they have trails, river walks, etc. the dog can go on? 
  • are their pet friendly businesses?
  • are there indoor or outdoor places to take your pet that won't disturb others? 

As with anything traveling, research is key!

Pet Travel Essentials

Here are the main pet travel essentials:
  • Vaccination Records – Proof of vaccination is required by most states, cities, towns, dog parks, groomers, and doggy day care facilities. Keep a copy of these records in your go-bag along with tags and your Vet’s contact information.
  • Collar and Leash – a REAL collar and leash, not the cutesy collar with the diamond-faux studs or a harness and a “flexi-lead” that goes out 15-20 feet, but a sturdy collar and 4-6 foot leash that can easily control your Dog in ANY situation. 
  • Dog Carrier – a Dog friendly road trip you need a way to restrain your Dog in the car and lodging. Dog Carriers are important for travel as they keep the Dog safely in one spot in the vehicle, as well as give them a space to call their own in a lodging facility.
  • Water – Pack it for yourself and your Dog - water. Your Dog is used to water from where you live – packing a container or two of water to from your home to carry with you to mix with the water from where you are staying or purchasing bottled water for your Dog is the best idea. 
  • Food and Treats -  Don’t forget they like their food and snacks too! It is best to take food and treats with you, especially if there aren’t stores in the area that carry the brand of food you need/want. 
  • Travel Bowls – Food and Water bowls are essential to get the water and the food into the Dog! 
  • First Aid Kit – Humans and Dogs both need first aid kits because let’s face it – accidents happen. Check with your local veterinarian to see what they suggest is best for your first aid kit for your specific dog and where you are traveling too! 
  • Waste Bags – PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG! Carry waste bags with you at all times. 
  • Dog Wipes – Pre-moistened wipes are convenient for cleaning up messes of all kinds. 
  • Medication – If your Dog requires medication - make sure you bring it with you like you would your own medicines.
  • Flashlight – For those late night potty runs.
  • Towels – Rain storms, puddles, ponds, lakes, rivers, etc. your Dog is going to get wet and need a way to dry off. Lodging facilities frown highly on their towels, blankets and bedding being used for dogs, even if it is a pet friendly facility. 
  • Extra Leash and Collar– Always keep an extra leash and collar on hand, just in case one breaks, or you come across a lost dog who needs a little help getting back home.
  • Photos of your Dog - In case something happens and your Dog gets separated from you, you can organize a quick search party if you have a photo to pass around. Good photos that show all sides, head, rear and distinguishing markings. 
  • Beds and Toys – if your Dog has a favorite bed or toy – bring it with – this will give them something from home to feel secure with. 
  • Backpack - let your dog carry his own water, food, snacks, etc. 


Rules and Regulations

While you are traveling, please follow the rules with your pets. Please be aware and vigilante as you travel with your dog.
  • Wildlife and dogs do not mix. It's not funny for your dog to chase deer, elk, etc. And some species of wildlife will fight back. It is better to be safe with your pet around wildlife then to have your pet end up at the vet office injured badly or dead.
  • If it says no dogs allowed, then don't think the rules don't apply to you. There are specific reasons - Especially in Colorado and namely in Rocky Mountain National Park, that certain trail systems, etc. say no dogs allowed. 
  • Clean up after your pet. You don't like stepping in turds and neither does anyone else. 
  • Be courteous and train your dog to be courteous. Not everyone likes animals and not having control of your dog can create situations that become volatile with people and other animals. 
Have fun and safe travels.