Summer is an exciting time to go travelling and visiting a famous destination. When you’re planning a family holiday, going without your dog may seem unthinkable.

It may interest you to know that according to research conducted by the to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), around 37% of pet owners prefer to bring their four-legged friends on vacation.

If you’re concerned about making pet-friendly arrangements, know that in response to the growing demand, many travel agencies are open to assist you with logistics and rooming options. 

Preparing for the Trip – Begin Training Your Dog

Even as you begin making bookings, remember that pets going missing on vacation is more common than you think. Start training your furry friend at least 4 to 6 weeks before the date of departure. Your dog probably knows that he’s expected to come when called.

Reinforce the lesson a couple of times each day so he remembers it clearly. You may also want to practice him staying on the leash for longer periods all through the day. When visiting an unfamiliar location, your little friend could get frightened or find something really interesting to investigate. If he bolts, it could be hard to find him in the crowd. 

Here’s another tip. In case your pet is not used to being around lots of people, particularly strangers, take some time to habituate him. Take him for walks to the local park or around the neighbourhood and train him to deal with people and other animals including other pets.

Invest in a Dog Tracker 

Most pet owners invest in a tracker when they first bring home their friend. Having one of these gadgets can help you recover the animal in case he gets lost or stolen. If you don’t already have a locator, now is a good time to get one. Like the folks at Go Find Inc. advise, placing a pet tracking system on the collar is one of the best solutions to prevent the possibility of the dog going missing on vacation.

Once the device is turned on, it will connect to a mobile app and show you the exact location of the pet in real-time. If your furry friend manages to escape the leash or get out of the hotel room, the tracker will give you accuracy within 2.5 meters. Even if the dog is moving, you’ll be able to trace his steps and bring him back. 

Talk to Your Vet About Getting a Microchip

Getting your pet microchipped is one of the safest methods of keeping him protected. Your vet will place this tiny chip below the skin of the animal using a syringe. Like the American Veterinary Medical Association informs you, the device is absolutely safe to use and will not hurt your little friend in any way. The unique identification number on the chip can be read using a low-frequency scanner.

After getting the microchip, you’ll register your name and other personal details as the owner with a national database. In case your furry friend goes missing on vacation, the finder can get him scanned to find the number and contact you. Getting one of these devices along with the tracker is absolutely essential to avoid your pet ending up in an animal shelter and never being found.

Replace the Collar if Needed

When attaching the pet tracking device, examine the collar carefully for fraying and wear. Make sure the collar fits snugly leaving only about two-fingers’ space between the animal’s skin and the band. At the same time, the collar should not be so loose that it slips over the dog’s head and comes off. Check that the ID tag is in place and has the information clearly visible.

If you have the address and phone number of the stayover at your destination, add them to the tag just in case the pet goes missing on vacation. Writing your cell phone number using a permanent marker on the webbed collar is a great idea as recommended by this feature on VetStreet. Attach the pet tracker to the collar a few weeks before your scheduled departure so the dog has time to get used to it.

Bring a Few of Your Pet’s Favorite Toys

Should you consult a dog-training expert, one of the first things you’ll learn about dog behaviour is that the animals are most likely to run away if they’re bored or frightened. To keep your friend comforted and protect him from going missing on vacation, bring a few of his favourite toys and place them in the room.

At any time, if you need to leave the dog alone in the hotel while you go out on excursions, it helps to have familiar objects around. Chew toys, a couple of bones, or a t-shirt with your scent on it help your furry friend feel safe. Like this article on The Spruce Pets explains, choose toys that challenge your dog’s imagination so he stays busy and won’t want to go out exploring on his own if he gets a chance. Keep an eye on the live signal from the pet tracker that reassures you that he’s safe in the room.

Avoid Triggers that Can Make Your Pet Go Missing on Vacation

Having lived around your pet almost all his life, you’ll know exactly what makes him want to take off. Plan your holiday with him avoiding all those triggers. For instance, he could be scared of loud noises. If you want to bring him, choose to vacation in a tranquil mountain or beach resort. If your little friend hates being alone, work out your itinerary so he can accompany you everywhere.

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Is the pet neutered? If not, be extra watchful so he does not go looking for companionship. Is the dog uncomfortable in unknown places? Leaving him behind with a sitter would be a wise idea. Or, bring along a familiar crate that can be a home away from home. 

While you can take the best of precautions so your dog does not go missing on vacation, a smarter move is to plan for the possibility that he does get away from you. Prepare for worst-case scenarios by getting trackers and microchips for the animal. Enjoy a stress-free holiday and every moment of your time with your little friend. 

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