Traveling with pets is an enjoyable experience for you and your dog, but there are challenges along the way. If it’s your first time to bring along your pet for a ride, you need to take careful and serious considerations of what could go right or wrong at any given moment.
The growing number of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and other establishments is reason enough to take your Shih Tzu with you when you travel. But that’s not the only thing that you need to think about. If you want a safe and enjoyable trip for you and your beloved pet, you must not overlook problems that may arise along the way.
Are they going to experience one form of anxiety or another?
Leaving your dog behind can be cause for severe separation anxiety, which can have a negative effect on them. So you might as well take them with you. But what if the cause of anxiety is the sudden change of environment? You need to determine which category your dog falls under before you decide to take them with you.
Why not take your Shih Tzu for a trip outside of the city, stay at a hotel overnight and see if they enjoy or hate the experience? You can also try to leave them at a friend’s house.
Do you have the equipment to keep them safe?
If you don’t have a proper restraint, your dog could run out on you and get lost somewhere. Unfamiliar territory can be disastrous for you and them. Taking them for a ride without a way to buckle them up is also as dangerous as driving without a seat belt.
Are you going to pet-friendly locations?
If you do decide to bring your dog with you, make sure you’re heading to a pet-friendly destination or establishment. Don’t risk leaving your Shih Tzu inside the car because pets aren’t allowed inside an office, convenience store or the like. Even when the weather is mild, leaving them alone in the car can make them vulnerable to many things, including someone letting them out or stealing them.
Do you know what you need to do to keep your Shih Tzu in check?
There are several things a dog may do in a new environment – make a mess, jump or disobey. Regardless of how well your dog is house-trained, they can forget all the rules in a new place.
So make sure to use familiar commands the moment they arrive in a new location, and the most important one would be to make them go potty outside upon arrival, and providing them with a treat afterwards. This will eliminate any messy mistake that can happen indoors.
To keep them from jumping with excitement, especially up on other people, use the ‘off’ command or teach them beforehand that the action won’t be received or encouraged. Turn your back on them when they start jumping, and ask friends, family or other people in the vicinity to do the same.
Don’t travel until your Shih Tzu is familiar with the basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, come and down. This is the best way to keep your dog from ruining the furniture, bolting out the door or jumping around like crazy.