Most of us harbour an innate desire to travel and enrich ourselves with new experiences, but loath having to leave behind our pets. Making it up to them by taking them on a short trip to a nearby beach or hill station is a wonderful gesture, and for the more adventurous, one can even fly with them and stay at numerous dog friendly hotels in India. Here are some dos and donts –
Be Upfront with Travel Operators
When booking a cab, book a spacious vehicle such as an Innova or Tavera, even for medium sized breeds. Clearly state at the time of booking the number of dogs that will be coming, and give the operator information regarding their sizes and breeds. Confirm once more with the travel operator before the driver lands up at your home. If you’re planning to drive yourself, it is recommended to get a crate or cage for your dog, as you don’t want to be distracted while driving. There’s no need to feel you’re being harsh, as the crate keeps your dog safe if brakes are suddenly applied or if you’re driving through some tricky spots. The crate might even make your pet feel more secure.
Be Prepared for Motion Sickness
All dogs can get motion sickness, especially if driving down a winding, hilly road. The Ghats are definitely something one needs to be prepared for. Take along plenty of spare tissue papers and wiping cloths, and for extra precaution you can even cover all the seats of the vehicle with a makeshift sheet or an old bed sheet. This is standard practice when transporting a dog in heat, so as to prevent stains. Feed your pet a good couple of hours before your trip, preferably. something lighter than their usual meals.
Pack Treats, Plenty of Water and Constantly Supervise
If motion sickness sets in, or it’s your pet’s first time, they might get a little anxious on the way to your destination. Give them plenty of attention, love and affection and rehydrate them if they get too excited and start to wear themselves out. No need to worry too much, they’ll be too busy having the time of their lives.
Pack An Extra Change of Clothes
As we mentioned above, things can get a little messy. Keep a fresh pair of clothes at hand so you can quickly get back into your comfort zone.
This might be a regular beach getaway or hill station trip for you, but it’s a one in a lifetime opportunity for your dog. Maximize the time they spend enjoying their freedom Dogs love having fun in the sun, so try to get as much daylight as possible.
Don’t forget to take dog bowls for food and water. Take along their regular food or make something special fit for the occasion. If making a day trip, keep in mind that your dog will most probably be too pre-occupied to eat, so don’t take too much. If you’re going to a beach, your dogs might even surprise you by catching some fish on their own. Beam with pride, and watch them make even a medium sized fish disappear in seconds.
Just as we humans love playing football, cricket and volleyball on the beach, our dogs love frolicking around with their favourite toys, especially balls of different kinds. Taking these along can also help calm your pet down if they get anxious during the journey. Frisbees are a great option as well.
Now you’re all set to make that trip with your pet that you’ve been dreaming off. Take plenty of pictures because this is going to be an excursion you’ll never forget.
Next time, we’ll talk about longer trips involving flights and hotels. Have you gone on a getaway with your pet? We’d love to hear about it on the comments below or on our facebook page – www.facebook.com/PetGoLucky
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