You’ve been looking forward to your summer vacation for months. Maybe you’re all geared up for a camping trip. Or maybe you’ve booked a week at a fantastic fishing lodge. Or you’re all set to go hiking on some of Northeastern Ontario’s famous hiking trails. Your plans are made, you’re good to go. Now the question is, “What to do with the family dog?”
There’s no reason why your best furry friend can’t share your vacation experience. Michelle McParland, the senior Registered Veterinarian Technician at Baxter Animal Hospital in Sudbury, has five tips for road tripping with Fido.
1. Take Medical records
Start by collecting your pet’s medical records to take with you on your travels. “If an emergency does pop up and you have to take your pet to a vet clinic away from home, you’ll have all their relevant information with you—like their vaccine history,” says Michelle. She adds that it’s always a good idea to have your own vet’s contact information with you as well.
2. be ready for Pet First Aid
Michelle recommends bringing along a pet first aid kit. While some veterinary clinics sell their own first aid kids, you can easily assemble one yourself. Michelle recommends that it include items such as bandages and bandage scissors, tweezers, Benadryl, an antibiotic cream or ointment like Polysporin, and an antibacterial skin soap, which is good for washing out wounds.
3. Check Pet Policy First
If your vacation accommodations are “pet-friendly,” it’s a good idea to find out beforehand what exactly that means. Will your dog always have to be on-leash or will they be allowed to run off-leash? Do guest canines have to stay in a specific area? Are they allowed on the furniture? Whatever the rules, remember to respect the pet policy.
Tip: When researching operators on the Northeastern Ontario Tourism site, look for the green "Pet-Friendly" tags on their profiles.
4. Know the Terrain
If your vacation takes you and Fido on or near the water, find out about the area. Blue-green algae is toxic to animals, and sharp rocks can cut the pads on your canine companion’s feet. If your dog is going boating they should be wearing a properly-sized PFD—just like their humans.
5. know how to find fido, Just in Case
No matter how careful you are pets sometimes stray while on vacation. If your pet does get lost, Michelle recommends that you contact the local veterinary clinics, the local SPCA, and the local animal shelter. Make sure that your pet is wearing ID. A microchip is a permanent way to identify your best friend. And it’s helpful to have a recent photo of your dog on hand.
There’s a lot of fun to be had when you travel with your dog. By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to a tail-wagging good time on your Northeastern Ontario vacation.