This article comes from guest blogger, CeliaSue Hecht, a published freelance writer/editor and dog travel blogger at Have Dog Blog Will Travel (celiasue.wordpress.com). Her work has been published in 40+ publications. She has more than 25 years of experience with a particular focus in writing about books, pets, health and travel and assisting authors and entrepreneurs in getting published in books, newspapers and magazines.
1. Feed your dog a few hours before you leave and wait a couple of hours after you arrive at your destination to ensure that your dog's tummy will enjoy the trip. Food should be easily digestible and healthy, like Nature's Logic.
2. Dogs like to have familiar things around them so be sure to bring them their comfort foods, treats and toys to remind them of home. Pack a separate bag with your dog's goodies, food, treats, portable bowls, toys, bones, pillows, blankets, pet waste bags, and other paraphernalia.
3. Make sure that you keep your dog hydrated. Walk your dog just before you leave and take potty breaks along the way and after you arrive.
4. Call ahead of time to make sure that your pet friendly hotel, inn, motel or B & B knows that you are bringing your dog and that you agree with their pet policies (fees, weight limits, and amenities). Be sure to visit celiasue.wordpress.com to find out about pet friendly places in California that offer dogitude* (a truly welcoming dog friendly attitude).
5. Harness your dog with a pet seat belt or put them in a crate or kennel to keep them safe while you drive.
6. If you are traveling between states, federal law requires a health certificate that shows that your dog has a rabies vaccine.
7. Keep to a regular schedule while you are away, similar to your schedule at home.
8. Be sure that your pet has an ID tag with your contact info (cell phone) attached to their collar or leash, just in case they get lost.
*Here are some tips for identifying an inn with authentic dogitude. Lodgings that truly welcome dogs:
-Provide dog treats, food and water bowls, dog beds, and other canine amenities;
-Provide biodegradable waste bags and conveniently located waste containers;
-Offer safe, easy access to a clearly marked and fenced-in grassy area where dogs can exercise;
-Make guests feel special with memorable extras, such as dog-friendly outdoor dining tables; and
-Have dog-loving and knowledgeable staff available to answer questions, arrange tours, and recommend local off-leash recreation spots, dog parks, pet sitters, doggie daycare, pet stores, and vets.