April 24, 2018
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Take a safe vacation with the pet dog

By Debra Bell, Custom Publications Writer

Summertime, and the living is easy. But when you’re a dog owner, vacationing with Fido can pose some unique challenges, but with a little preparation, you’ll be good to have lots of fun in the sun with Fido.

Before you go

Before planning a long-range trip, or a day trip, first think about your dog. Does she travel well or does she get anxious?

According to Dr. David Cloutier from Veazie Veterinary Clinic, owners should look at the activity they’ll be doing and decide if it will be a “truly good experience” for the pet. If it’s not, consider boarding your pet or having a family member care for it while you’re on vacation.

Does your vacation include staying in a hotel or the home of a family member or friend? Call ahead and respect the answer you get. “Listen with a sensitive ear to the answer you get for ‘is it OK to bring my dog’,” Cloutier said.

What to pack

• Make a copy of her vaccination records and medical history and stash in your day bag.

• Consider having your dog train for the Canine Good Citizen Award. If she earns it, pack a copy of that with you as well. For some breeds, that slip of paper is what will gain them admittance to events. To find an evaluator near you, visit www.akc.org/events/cgc/cgc_bystate.cfm.

• Make sure her tags are up to date and affixed to her collar.

• Prepare your dog’s road trip container. This container should hold medications, waste bags, travel food and water bowls, and a first aid kit, as well as bottles of water from home and extra food.

• Consider bringing your pet’s crate on vacation with you. According to Cloutier, “crates can be easy to pack and also be comforting to your dog.”

• Pack extra leashes and supplies your dog might need.

Consider these activities that you can do with your dog this summer:

• Attend a dog-oriented event. From breed meet and greets at local pet stores to dog-oriented summer events there’s always something going on for you and your dog to attend.

• Hit the trails. Many parks, including Acadia, allow dogs to hike with their owners. Check out the rules or restrictions ahead of time. Some parks will allow dogs under voice control or on a leash.

• Take a boat ride. Some boat tours, such as the Beal and Bunker Mail Boat Ferry, allow well-behaved dogs on the boat.

• Visit a dog-friendly town. Consider a trip this summer to Millinocket, Bar Harbor, Bangor, Camden, Boothbay Harbor, Freeport, Portland, or South Portland, which are considered dog-friendly towns.

• Enjoy the beach. Many towns have restrictions on when dogs can be on the beach. Always check if the beach you want to go to will allow dogs and when. If there are restrictions, respect them or move on.

• Play at a dog park. Many more towns are adding dog parks to allow pet owners to socialize their dogs. Take heed of any rules and respect them. Monitor your dog to make sure she’s having fun. Dog parks are great ways to burn off summer steam.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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