Around 85 million families in the U.S. own pets and for over 35% of them, going on vacation without their much-loved pooch just wouldn’t be half as fun. Although there are many ways to travel and destinations to choose, Northeast Tennessee is one area that appeals greatly to those travelling with children and pets alike, owing to the many outdoor activities it offers. From camping in the wild to visiting the Doe Mountain Recreation area, there are so many ways to get closer to nature and travel in a way that is comfortable for human and canine members of the family.
Bring the Appropriate Gear
If camping and mountain treks will be prominent activities during your stay in Northeast Tennessee, make sure you are well equipped. If you will be camping, for instance, make sure your pooch has a warm blanket and if you will be taking early morning hikes, a nice dog vest or knitted shirt (depending on the time of year) to keep your dog nice and warm. Clothing is especially important if your dog has a short coat. A site like Doe Mountain contains 8,600 forested acres and over 60 miles of trails, so you may wish to stop several times in just one day to take pictures, rest, and even enjoy a picnic lunch. Ensure you have all the supplies you need to keep your dog happy – including a foldable water bottle, snacks, and toys like frisbees.
Pack a First Aid Kit for Fido
Anytime you are going on a holiday with kids and pets, you should ensure your first aid kit is well-stocked. For kids, the kit might include bandages, blunt-ended scissors, gauze, anti-bacterial cream, sunscreen etc. These same items will come in handy if Fido should develop a scratch or scrape while trekking. If you will be out in the sun for various hours, use a dog-friendly nose balm to stop your pooch’s nose from cracking or drying out. You should also bring an Elizabethan collar and eye ointment, just in case something gets into your dog’s eye. If you have a brachychephalic dog, know that they are at a greater risk for eye injuries. See your vet before you leave, as the latter may recommend a general lubricating artificial tear gel for days in which your dog’s eyes seems a little red. Your kit should also contain fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide, used to induce vomiting if you are instructed to do so by animal poison control or a vet.
Ensure Your Dog Travels Safely
Whether you are traveling in an RV or car, make sure the crate your dog is travelling in is secure. Simply placing your dog in a crate is insufficient. Your dog should be safely secured to one spot through the use of a dog car harness. When purchasing a harness, look into features such as whether or not a seatbelt is included, and whether or not the harness has been crash tested. Note that only a few have been certified by the Center for Pet Safety.
Travelling with your dog to a place like Northeast Tennessee can provide you with unforgettable memories. The plethora of nature-filled spots and parks mean that you can enjoy walks, picnics, and games under the sun; and, make sure to pack a few creature comforts for your dog, including his favorite blanket and toys to make him feel right at home.
Written for Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association by freelance writer Jane Miller.