Whew! It’s vacation time…a time to have fun and joy and it is all about more fun when you take your pets along! Here are a few tips to make your picnic time safe and enjoyable with your pooches.
Like us, our dear pets too need a break from their daily routine to indulge in some fun filled action and get recharged. A trip with your pets is a wonderful way of showering them with some undivided attention and ample hours of joy that you can’t possibly spend with them otherwise, due to your mundane personal and professional commitments. However, since doggy picnics could at times bring along unexpected encounters and unpleasant experiences, it is a good idea to be cautious of all the possibilities and take some safety precautions while venturing out. The following few guidelines should serve as a handy checklist for all you guys planning to go on a vacation with your pet pooches.
- Always keep your pets on leash: Dogs are naturally very inquisitive and may go exploring on their own if not constrained by a leash. While on a trek in a forest area or close to the hills, be careful to not let your pets roam around on their own, as there could be some dangerous reptiles, thorny bushes or marshy areas that you may not be aware of.
- Carry lots of water and food and also the feeding bowls: Some dogs are very fussy about their food and may not try anything new. Carry lots of food that they regularly eat at home. Commercial dry dog food is easier to carry. Carry their regular eating bowls and always keep fresh water available to make sure that they do not sip water from a nearby lake or beach when thirsty.
- Beware of fleas and ticks: Grass and bushes provide the ideal setup for flea and tick breeding. The best option is to use a spot-on or a tick collar beforehand so that they are effective while you are outdoor with your pets.
- Carry raincoats, towels and your dog’s bed: Carry raincoats during monsoons and also towels to keep them clean and dry. When camping, do not make your pets sleep on the barren ground as it could be infested with several insects or could just be very hard and uncomfortable for them. A lot of private cottages and hotels that allow pets have special bedding for them but it’s always good to carry his bed along with you.
- Lots of playtime means lots of toys: Carry lots of toys that will make your pets go wild and crazy. Balls and Frisbees are ideal for outdoor play. Also make sure that you don’t overwork your pets on a hot and humid day as too much of physical activity on a sunny day could result into a heat stroke that is very dangerous and even fatal at times.
- Always be equipped with a first-aid kit: According to Dr Natasha Couto, a canine first-aid kit should have an antiseptic solution like Betadine for wound cleaning, a calamine lotion for sudden skin rashes, a thermometer, medications like Digene or Lomotil for tummy upset, Avil for allergy bouts, cotton pads and crepe bandages to cover wounds, activated charcoal tablets for poisoning, prescription antipyretic drugs for high fever and NSAIDs for arthritic pain. She also insists on carrying ice packs to combat heat stroke and over exertion.
- Carry vaccination logs and contact numbers of your veterinarian or any animal hospital close by: Your pets should be vaccinated against rabies annually, so do check the vaccine status and due dates before leaving. A group picnic where a lot of pets are present could trigger dog fights and in worst cases one of them could get bitten too. So it’s important to get done with any pending vaccination especially if it’s the rabies shot. Also keep your veterinarian’s number handy and seek immediate medical help in case of poisoning or an accident. Discuss these possibilities with your vet prior to leaving and make a note of what needs to be done when confronted with an emergency situation.
- People perspective: With a pet alongside you, you will get lots of smiles and stares. Be careful when children come to pet your dog. Always check if your dog is in the right frame of mind and is not scared of the place, people or children. Also with the people who are not comfortable with a pet around, respect their wishes and take your adorable canine citizen to another spot.
Vacation time is something that we all look forward to and if our baby pooches are to accompany us, the vacation becomes even more special. Have a ball of a time with your beloved babies and make each trip a memorial and well deserved experience for them!