Advice for Embarking on a Pet-Friendly Vacation with Your Dog

Thanks to blogger Aurora James for creating this post. Aurora believes there are no bad dogs. She created to share her dog training tips and advice to dog owners everywhere.

When planning vacations, people often want family and friends to tag along, so it comes as no surprise that dog owners want to bring along their dogs too. After all, many people consider their dog to be a part of the family and a best friend. If you’re planning a trip with your dog, there are some important considerations to make and steps to take to ensure your dog is safe and comfortable on vacation.

You should first consider how much traveling your dog can handle. This will help you choose a location. If flying is out of the question, some vacation spots may be eliminated. In order to fly, your dog should be the appropriate age and in good health. Also, certain breeds cannot travel in cargo, such as snub-nosed dogs like pugs. If you’re on a tight budget, consider that there are fees for flying with pets.

Flying can be pricey, but that doesn’t mean all dogs are up for a road trip. Before taking her on a long trip, ensure your dog does well with shorter drives. Are you willing to plan ahead for every stop? You’ll need to locate rest areas for your dog and dog-friendly hotels. Also, consider what you would do with your dog if you need to stop for food.

Once you come up with the distance you can travel with your dog, determine the type of vacation your dog will enjoy. You have to put her interests first. For example, if your dog doesn’t enjoy the great outdoors, a camping trip may not be a good idea. On the flipside, if she loves going for swims and rolling around in the leaves, a stay in a lakeside cabin with an itinerary full of outdoor adventure is a great idea. For example, New York is home to Cayuga Lake Cabins, which is surrounded by vineyards and forests, so you can hike, kayak, fish, take a wine tour, and more. And best of all, it’s dog friendly.

Before any trip, take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup to ensure she’s in good health and up to date on vaccinations. Ensuring you have all of the necessary pet supplies is also essential. Bring all medications, such as flea and tick prevention (especially if you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors), a crate, toys, leash, and more. Have a health certificate and medical records on hand, as well as a record of rabies vaccination and up-to-date ID tags.

Follow the rules of etiquette when traveling with pets. Have your dog groomed right before the trip, and bring along supplies to help her stay clean. For example, pack wipes to clean dirty paws after walks and a spare towel for a wipe down. Don’t forget to bring dog poop bags so that you can properly clean up after your dog.

In addition to distracting the driver, an unrestrained dog that’s freely wandering the vehicle is more likely to be injured in an accident. Keep your dog safe in a car by restraining her in the backseat with a pet harness/safety belt, travel crate, pet vehicle seat, or pet barrier. Don’t allow your dog to stick her head out the window, as this can cause ear damage or lung infections. Stop every two to three hours for her to exercise and use the bathroom.

When leaving for a trip, be sure to double-check your home security to prevent break-ins while you’re away. A security system and wireless cameras prevent break-ins and give you peace of mind. Be wary about how much information you give on social media as well. “There have been documented cases of thieves using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to discover when their victims will be gone,” warns Redfin. Instead of hiding a spare key, give it to a trusted neighbor. Lastly, become knowledgeable on why and how criminals break into homes.

If you consider your dog a member of your family or your best friend, you may want to bring her along to enjoy your vacation with you. However, a vacation isn’t the same as a short trip to the dog park; you’ll need to adequately plan for a pet-friendly vacation. Following some advice on planning and preparing for a trip with your dog ensures that the experience is enjoyable for everyone, including you, your dog, and other travelers.