It’s vacation time with your family, and you are probably wondering if your dog should accompany you. You are not alone – most pet owners are torn between taking their dogs with them on vacation and leaving them home. You might be riddled with guilt and worry -after all, they are a part of your family and would appreciate a vacation too – or will they? Whether you take your dog or not on vacation finally comes down to weighing the pros and cons.
The pros of taking your dog with you on vacation
Have a worry-free holiday.
No matter how much you trust your dog sitter or neighbor, you might wonder whether your pet is receiving the care he is used to getting from you. Instead of enjoying your holiday, you worry if they have regular walks and timely meals and get some TLC.
It’s a fun time for your dog.
It’s not just us humans who love exploring new places – especially if they are wide open spaces like the beachside or a hilly landscape. Your dog will love the fresh air, new smells, exciting sights, and a chance to get away from the confines of home to mark new territories and make new doggy friends.
Get in more exercise and sightseeing.
Dogs are full of energy and are almost always rearing to go. So, you get more exercise and probably even meet new people instead of being stuck indoors when on vacation, thanks to your furry companion. You will also find that your pet might take you to the most beautiful locations – like a park, a quaint street, or a fantastic location. All you need to do is to follow your dog’s nose.
Take advantage of a pet-friendly world.
Yes, we live in a world that is becoming increasingly pet-friendly. From hotels to airlines and even restaurants – it seems like more and more services recognize pets as family.
Many hotels offer pet services to make your pet comfortable but also ensure you have a fantastic stay. It’s relatively easy to book your dog on a pet-friendly flight. Several pet travel services can help you book your pet on a flight or train and guide you through all the dos and don’ts of traveling with pets. They might also be able to help you find pet-friendly accommodation at your vacation destination.
Get a sense of home away from home.
Traveling to a new location can be tricky for children and adults – even for a short vacation. Dogs reduce stress, and you and your children might settle down quicker with your dog by your side.
Avoid separation anxiety
Some dogs (and humans, too) don’t do well with separation. If your pet is used to having you around all the time, they might develop acute separation anxiety when you are away for an extended period. Having them close to you and maintaining a routine when on holiday ensures both you and they are happy and feel secure.
The cons of taking your dog with you on vacation
Some dogs don’t like to travel.
Yes, it’s true. Some dogs hate leaving the comfort of their familiar surroundings. They value their territory and have what scientists call a “home range” beyond which they feel uncomfortable. New sights and sounds make them nervous; they might even suffer from motion sickness, making it very uncomfortable to be in a moving car, train, or airplane.
Taking a pet abroad is not easy.
Traveling abroad with a pet is not simple. You will have to get an animal health certificate from your vet just before you travel, and you might be unable to fit in an appointment at short notice. Your pet might require to be microchipped, vaccinated against specific diseases, and given treatments like flea, tick, and tapeworm, which can be stressful.
Pet travel can be expensive.
Pet travel can be expensive depending on how far you are going and where you are going. You also must consider that this is a vacation, and you will have to return home eventually, so you must buy a round-trip flight for your pet. Pet-friendly hotels can charge quite a bit for pets unless you find a hotel that has a “pets stay for free” policy.
Whether you travel with your dog depends on their nature and where they will be most comfortable – with you in a strange place or back home within the comfort of their territory. You don’t have to feel bad about leaving your dog behind as long as they have everything they need and a good sitter. But if you think your furry family will love the adventure – don’t hesitate to take them with you. Either way – happy vacationing!