While there are some pets that travel as much as their
parents do, most K-9 kids stay at home or go to camp while the family is on vacation.
Sandbridge Beach being so pet-friendly, however, these vacation rentals are a natural place to bring the
Whether this is your first excursion with dog in tow or your one
hundredth, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before heading out.
– Walk Your Dog – Before, During and After
Dogs are walkers by nature. That’s just what they do.
It gives them a sense of their surroundings, makes them more secure and gets rid of energy. Before you put
your dog in the car to leave for Sandbridge Beach, take him/her for a long walk. In addition to providing an
opportunity for him/her to do their “business,” walking will relax them and make them more comfortable for
If you have a long trip, stop periodically to let your dog stretch his/her
legs. Using that pent-up energy will help keep him calm and feeling settled during the remainder of the
trip. Upon arrival, as soon as possible, take your dog for a long walk. (See more in tip #3.)
#2 – Crating Your Dog
Practically no one likes putting his or her dog in a crate.
Truth be known, dogs don’t mind it, provided the crate is of proper size, is clean and is comfortable. Over
time, a dog’s crate becomes his or her “room.” Just like a human child can take refuge in playing and
sleeping in their own room, dogs will take ownership of their crates, voluntarily going into them when they
need some peace and quiet or are ready for bed.
When traveling, it is especially
important to crate dogs for their safety and yours. When a dog is bouncing all over a car, there is the
possibility he/she can distract you, bump the steering wheel and cause an accident or get carsick and make a
mess. Put something familiar in the crate with your dog (a blanket, a toy) and most dogs will be quite happy
to ride along.
#3 – Use Proper Arrival Procedures
To help your
dog get acclimated to the new surroundings, you should immediately take him/her for a walk around the
Sandbridge area upon arrival. When you return to your beach rental, you go in first. According to Cesar Millan (aka, the Dog Whisperer),
your dog will be more comfortable and at ease if s/he smells your scent everywhere. Leave your pet in
his/her crate until you’ve unpacked.
#4 – Be a Pack Leader
your dog will be out of his/her element, he’ll be looking to you for leadership more than ever. Sending the
right cues that everything is all right is crucial. If your dog growls (without lunging) at others while
walking initially, don’t react… keep walking. If he/she barks at night, don’t encourage the behavior by
petting him/her. Instead, be firm, but gentle, and, if necessary, take your dog for a walk to calm him down.
#5 – Travel on an Empty Stomach
Dogs are prone to carsickness, which
can mess up everyone’s trip. The American
Kennel Association (AKA) suggests, “Avoid car sickness by letting your dog travel on an empty
stomach. However, make sure he has plenty of water at all times.”
Document Up-to-Date Shots
People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals (PETA) recommends, “Get a vet checkup. Have your vet issue a health certificate stating
that your animal is healthy and able to travel and that all necessary vaccinations (recommendations and
requirements change frequently) are up to date.”
#7 – Set a
Just like at home, your dog has grown to understand what will happen and when. That’s part
of what makes him/her feel safe. Set a routine for your pet while at your Sandbridge Beach rental, too.
#8 – Keep Things Familiar
While humans are excited about seeing and
doing new things, your dog can get overstimulated quickly, which may cause aggravating behavior to occur.
Bring as much of your dog’s belongings from home as possible, including food/water bowls, blankets, toy(s)
#9 – Get Water Ready
If you plan to take your dog to
the beach, have water toys, a life vest, a small tent or an umbrella for shade, bottled water and his/her
#10 – Don’t Abandon Your Dog
Don’t leave your dog
alone in a strange place for hours on end, day after day. He may get scared and/or bored and could turn to
It’s your K-9 kid’s vacation, too. Following these tips will
help ensure s/he has just as much fun as the rest of the family.