Advice for Taking Your Dog on Vacation
Posted On April 26th, 2023
Of course, we enjoy travelling, but we also have a dog, and while we are away, we really miss her. I therefore make an effort to include her while we are driving.
The fun we have sharing our trips with her makes it all worthwhile, even if travelling with your dog requires a bit more work than leaving her with a family member, kennel, or petsitter. Our dog, Posey, adores beach vacations just like I do (and presumably you do, too)!
Here are some advice for taking your dog or other pet on a trip. Although I’ve only ever travelled domestically by automobile, they mainly apply to air or rail travel as well.
Do you have any further queries or worries regarding taking your pet on a trip? Leave them down here, and I’ll do my best to assist you!
Travelling with pets: Health and Safety
For starters, your dog has to be housebroken, comfortable travelling in the car, and generally well-behaved—not aggressive, excessively barking, or likely to chew up things in the hotel room. This is for both your own sanity and the health and safety of the dog. Dogs with more severe behavioural issues ought to be kept at home.
Make sure your dog is microchipped with current contact information, including your cell phone number, and is wearing a collar. The microchip can be used to find you if the collar is lost.
Make sure the dog has received all necessary vaccinations, notably the rabies shot. A rabies vaccination certificate may be required by some lodgings, kennels/daycare centres or companies before they will accept your dog.
Ensure that your dog is on his monthly topical flea/tick medication schedule. You do not want your dog to leave fleas or ticks in a hotel room, even if you cannot see any fleas on your pet.
Take frequent bathroom and drink breaks. It doesn’t follow that your dog can spend three hours without using the loo just because you (sorry, Kevin!) can. Your pet should travel in luxury for you.
Do not store any food in the car’s cabin if you have a crazy, foraging food hound like we do! We left an unopened quarter-pound wedge of camembert cheese in the car when we stopped for lunch on a recent trip to Mendocino. Posey had eaten it and the most of the plastic wrapper when we got back to the car.
Hotels and other lodging
Only stay at lodgings that accept pets. Never attempt to bring a dog into a hotel or motel undetected. Most impose significant fees on visitors who don’t abide by their rules. Before you travel, do some hotel/motel research. If you’re in a bind, you should phone them beforehand to confirm this before booking.
In a hotel, never leave your dog unattended. The majority of hotel pet rules restrict this, and even if they don’t, it’s not pleasant to your dog to be left alone in an unfamiliar setting, and it’s not nice to other guests, as anxious or lonely dogs frequently bark!
Bring a tidy blanket that will only be used for laying down on furniture that your dog might jump up on. Please try to keep as much hair off of the furniture as you can out of respect for the housekeeping staff and upcoming visitors. Read the restrictions carefully; some may forbid dogs from ever being on furniture. We might use a blanket at one bed and breakfast in Carmel, California, but we always carry our own in case they don’t.
Find out where the hotel staff suggests you take your dog for toilet breaks. Even while you the front lawn and garden to be enticing, they might wish you to avoid them. or they can have a designated place for dog walking. Of course, always make sure to pick up after your dog!
What to Do
Before you depart, do some research on a few dog-friendly places so that you won’t get somewhere hungry and unsure of where to eat.
You prevent your dog from spending the entire trip in the car, make sure you schedule some dog-specific activities. Look for hiking routes, dog parks, or beaches where dogs are welcome, but they can typically be walked (on a leash) along the park’s internal roads.
Think about getting a pet travel manual. A handbook created specifically for travelling with pets can aid you, much as guidebooks are useful for last-minute changes to travel plans while taking an international vacation. We have a copy of the book The Dog Lover’s Companion and we carry it in the car so we can always have recommendations for the local establishments that welcome dogs.
Before you depart, make sure to look into local doggie daycare and pet-sitting services. We reasoned that since it was the midst of winter, it would be chilly and cloudy, and we could leave her in the car while we visited the estate. We were unable to view that attraction as planned because the weather was too nice and warm to leave her alone in the car. Instead, we took a really lovely walk, but I really regret not having prepared for this beforehand!
Packing list for dogs travelling:
- In case of delays, food and any medications they take beyond the days you plan to go
- Roll after roll of poo bags.
- A special water jug and multiple bowls. In order to always be able to offer our dog water, we try to bring at least three cleaned-out plastic cottage cheese containers: two to leave in the hotel room for food/water and one to keep in the car. In an emergency, you can offer your dog a drink by holding a plastic poop bag with the ends folded down.
- Clean blanket intended just for use when reclining on hotel furnishings
- To prevent more hair out of your car, use a separate blanket or pet seat cover to cover the rear seat.
- If it looks like it might rain or if you want to take your dog swimming, use old towels to dry him off.
- Vaccination documentation
- Rawhide, a favourite toy, or a bone (to relax him in the hotel)
- If you need to stop unexpectedly, a dog box or car harness will keep them secure.
- A way to secure the dog at the campsite if you’re camping.