With more and more households that include dogs, it’s inevitable that many people that rent cottages will want their dogs to join them on their vacation. As a dog lover and owner for many years, I don’t go many places without my dog, so it’s no surprise that we strive to represent cottages that are dog-friendly wherever possible.
Bringing your dog along with you on vacation can be a lot of fun for them and the whole family but, like anything else, it doesn’t come without some uneasiness and pre-planning.
Here are some tips to make your vacation with your “best friend” comfortable and worry-free:
- Boating – If you plan on bringing or renting a boat and your dog has never been boating, it is advisable to have a life jacket for them. Dogs can get frightened by the noise and motion and may jump out. If you’ve never had a dog jump off the side of a boat, it can be very difficult for them to get back in, not to mention a very unsettling experience for you both. Keep them safe. Most life jackets for dogs come with a handle on top; easy for you to grab and pull them back up.
- Loud Noise – During the summer there are a lot of occasions for fireworks displays which can be loud and scary, for dogs in particular. There are also thunderstorms which without the lights and buildings of the city seem to be brighter and louder and tend to scare many dogs. During these times, dogs can wander off or run away. It’s very advisable to have a tag on your dog that has his name, address of where you are staying and your phone number, and always bring an extra collar and leash with you.
- Bears – Yes, there are bears in cottage country. If you’re hiking with your dog, keep him safe by putting a bear bell on his collar to let the bears know you are coming.
- Comforts of Home – Dogs will go anywhere as long as they are with their owners but it’s always more comfortable for them if they have some of their familiar things. Bring a familiar blanket, food bowls, food, and at least one familiar toy. If your dog is a fussy eater and accustomed to a particular type of food be sure to bring extra. Not all pet stores in cottage country will carry all brands.
- Safety When You’re not at The Cottage – If you want to take advantage during your rental and frequent some of the local restaurants or events, you will likely be leaving your dog behind at the cottage (an unfamiliar place). If your dog is crate trained, it’s best to crate them if you are leaving the cottage without them. It’s safer for them and will prevent any unforeseen accidents. Bring or rent a crate just in case.
- Emergency Care – If your dog gets sick or injured while at the cottage there is usually one veterinarian in every town. A list is included in all of our cottage manuals.
Stay tuned for details on Dog Fest Muskoka and our new Cottage Dog kits.