If your dog is part of your family, it can feel like someone’s missing when you vacation without her. At Sandbridge Beach, dogs are welcome in many rentals and restaurant patios, and on the beach, so there’s no reason to leave your baby at home or in a kennel.
Traveling with your dog takes a little planning, though, so we’ve put together a list of tips to help you and your best friend have a good time together at your dog friendly vacation rental in Sandbridge.
And, don’t forget to check out our first article on Dog-Friendly Tips for Vacationing in Virginia Beach.
Packing for Your Dog
Your dog will need her own bag of supplies to keep her comfortable and happy while she’s away from home. You’ll probably want to bring:
- Jug or bottle of water for the ride
- Collapsible water bowl
- Waste bags
- Leash and harness or collar with your phone number on the back
- Vaccination records (just in case)
- Bed or favorite blanket
- Favorite toys
- Old beach towel
- Flashlight for walking at night (it’s dark out here!)
Before you leave, Google the nearest vet or pet emergency room and program it into your cell phone contacts. If you need them, you won’t have to waste time searching for help.
If your dog isn’t use to traveling, start by taking her on several short drives so she gets used to the motion, sights, and sounds of being in a car. Have a co-pilot give her lots of attention, praise, and treats so she recalls riding in the car as a happy experience she wants to repeat.
You’ll also want to find out early if your dog gets carsick. If she does, there are ways to help her cope, such as using a crate with limited views, or a middle seat so she can look out the windshield.
Once your dog is adjusted to the car, give her access to her favorite bed or blanket so she can take a nap once the excitement wears off. For safety, never let your dog ride in the driver’s lap (or in the open bed of a pickup truck).
Adjusting to the Rental House
Once in your rental home, put your dog’s bed, crate, or blanket in a place she will be comfortable. Show her where it is and give her lots of treats and praise.
Take her outside to do her business, so she is familiar with where she’s allowed to go. Walking your dog right away can help her burn off nervous energy and settle down into her new temporary home.
If you’ll be leaving your dog alone at the rental, it’s a good idea to kennel her if that is her routine at home. Otherwise, take a look around the rental and ensure there’s nothing she can get into that would be dangerous.
Spend the evening together with your dog before you leave her alone. That time can help her acclimate and get comfortable with her surroundings before she’s left on her own.
If you’re concerned about barking or your dog’s reaction to being left alone, do a test run before you actually go. Put your dog in her crate, give her a treat, and leave without making a fuss.
Once outside, wait quietly to hear how she reacts. If she barks or seems extremely agitated, she may need more time together in the house to adjust.
At night your dog will probably be happiest sleeping with or near you instead of alone in a strange house. If your dog doesn’t sleep in bed with you, put her crate or bed beside yours, so she still feels like part of the pack.
At the Beach
Drinking salt water can be dangerous or even deadly for dogs in large quantities. Salt water is a laxative, so if your dog swallows a little, you may find yourself with a mess. To keep your buddy from getting thirsty enough to try ocean water, take a jug of fresh water and a collapsible bowl with you to the beach — even if you’re just going for a short walk.
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos thrive in warm coastal areas. Your dog should be on heartworm prevention, and you may also want to consider giving her flea and tick preventive while on vacation. Talk to your vet about what is best for your pup.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
Remember, even on a warm or rainy day the interior of a vehicle can reach 120 degrees in minutes. Never leave your dog in your car.
If you’re planning a family vacation at Sandbridge Beach, bring the whole family. Search for a rental home that accepts dogs, pack her favorite things, and enjoy a getaway without any separation anxiety.