Without a doubt, the best cure for the summertime blues is a vacation. There is something undeniably exhilarating about hitting the open road with friends or family and exploring world one roadside attraction at a time. For many of our clients, a road trip is the ideal opportunity to vacation to with your four-legged family as well. But traveling with a dog does take some prior planning if fun is to be had by all.
Where to Go?
Among the considerations to planning a vacation the entire family will enjoy (including Fido) are these: where you are going and what you are going to do when you get there. Not every vacation is pet friendly, especially this time of year. And while it’s always great to have your dog along for the ride it’s important to consider whether or not your pet is going to have fun once you’ve arrived.
Some destinations are a natural fit when it comes to vacationing with your pet. Camping, the beach–anywhere where nature reigns supreme–is the ideal location for family fun when pets are involved. Even visiting loved ones can be great fun, provided where they live is pet friendly.
However, if the city is where you’re itching to get away from it all, you may want to reconsider traveling with your pet. Likewise, if you’re traveling to somewhere hot (and we mean really hot, like Arizona, Texas, etc.) you may want to leave your pup in the caring hands of our Bed and Biscuit boarding facility.
What to Do?
Part of the joy of traveling with your pet is doing things together, so be sure that the adventure you embark on will be fun for everyone, including your pet.
Planning ahead for your pet’s happiness while on the road will increase your own as well. Taking frequent pit stops while driving will get you all out and exploring what nature has to offer in places you might not typically think to look. Make sure once you’ve arrived that you take the time to do things your dog will enjoy too. You didn’t bring your pet all this way to just leave him or her in the hotel while you go out and have all the fun. Take hikes, go for a run, or find a new and exciting dog park or pet store to check out, whatever it is, just be sure it’s something you can do together.
Likewise, instead of grabbing a quick bite to eat on the road, or even once you’ve reached your final destination, take the time to stop and find a café with outdoor seating so your pet might join you too (even if it is on the other side of the fence). Not only are the sites and smells something new and interesting, but it’s also the best (and in many cases, the only) alternative to leaving your pooch in the boiling hot car.
Where to Stay?
If you’re planning on camping, make sure that your chosen campsite is pet friendly, and be prepared to be a good citizen with regard to keeping your pet on-leash and picked-up after. Consider yourself and your pet to be the ambassadors for everyone traveling with pets, and conduct yourself accordingly.
Depending on where you’re headed, finding a pet-friendly hotel can be a challenge, especially on the fly. Take the time to research the hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts along your route that are willing to take pets. We all know the best-laid plans can go to waste, so knowing of back-up accommodations along the way is an important part of your prior planning.
Often, having a crate for your pet can be a definite plus when it comes to staying in an unfamiliar place. Not only will your dog appreciate having a safe space to get away from the stresses of traveling, but it can also make leaving your pet much less stressful for you, should the need arise.
Finally, make certain before traveling with your pet that he or she is wearing current tags and is up to date on his or her vaccinations. Should you need to bring your pet current before hitting the road, please contact us.
And don’t forget to send us a postcard!