Don’t feel like leaving your dog behind when you’re traveling?
Good news—it’s easier to bring your pet along on a trip than you might think!
With a little extra planning, you and your furry friend can relax on the beach, explore a city, or head on a backpacking trip through the jungle together.
Here’s a simple guide on how to take a vacation with your dog:
1. Don’t Forget the Supplies and Toys
Double-check to ensure you’ve packed all your pet’s food, medications, and comforts of home. If you’re planning on walking around with it—which you likely are—a leash or harness is an absolute must.
If you run out of essential supplies or accidentally forget something, there’s no need to panic. Most locations have easy access to pet stores. At worst, you’ll have to settle for a different brand of dog food than you’re used to.
2. Make the Trip Stress-Free
For most dogs, car rides are an exhilarating experience. Remember to keep the temperatures in your vehicle mild and, if the weather permits, crack open the window.
For longer trips, you’ll want to make frequent pit stops. These are great opportunities for your pet to stretch its legs and do any necessary business.
If you’re flying to your destination, things get a bit trickier. Ensure that your dog adjusts well to its kennel, and, before the flight, fill it with things like food, water, and toys. Adding a blanket or shirt with your scent on it will help to keep your dog calm.
Related Read: Plane Boarding Rules & Exiting Etiquette for Painless Flying
3. Find a Pet-Friendly Hotel, Kennel, or Boarding Facility
Finding accommodations for a human is easy. For pets, it can be a challenge. If you plan to take a vacation with your dog, you’ll need to make sure it has somewhere to stay. Scope out the location beforehand. Are there any nearby hotels or temporary living arrangements that accommodate pets?
If not, consider booking your dog a stay at a kennel, boarding facility, or pet hotel. For travelers planning to visit landmarks or participate in activities that don’t accommodate or permit pets, this option is ideal. It gives your pet a safe, comfortable, and supervised place to stay while you’re gone.
Some owners might feel antsy about the idea of leaving their dog at a facility. It might ease them to know that any horror stories they might’ve heard are absolute worst-case scenarios. If you plan to rely on a kennel, boarding facility, or pet hotel during your stay, this helpful guide will teach you everything you need to know about boarding your dog.
4. Plan Fun, Dog-Inclusive Activities
You might not be able to do or experience everything with your dog at your side, but if you’re bringing it along, it’s important to include time in your day-to-day activities.
Research the type of activities you can do with your pet, and the places you can take it. High-energy activities, like hiking and swimming, are fantastic options.
If a restaurant has outside seating, you might be able to tie your dog’s leash to your chair or the table. Order simple, dog-safe food off the menu to share with it, or bring a bag full of food and treats.
Some countries are well-known for their relaxed pet policies. France, Switzerland, Italy, and Israel, for example, are fantastic places to take your dog. If you’re traveling in the United States, check out states like Iowa, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Illinois. Popular tourist destinations are usually pet-friendly, as are smaller, rural, and nature-heavy areas.
In places like these, there’s a wider selection of dog-friendly hotels, activities, and restaurants, along with better-equipped boarding facilities and pet stores.
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