Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Vacation Tips for Traveling with Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

The warm weather of summer often has us humans making vacation plans and heading out of town. For those of us who want our canine pals to have a summer vacation with the rest of the family, we have some choices and preparations to make to ensure that it’ll be a safe and fun trip for everyone.

Road Trips

Taking your dog with you on a long road trip can be enjoyable or traumatic, depending upon the dog. For dogs who like to ride and don’t get carsick, it’s a fun thing to go on a road trip. For dogs who don’t like to ride or get carsick, it can be a miserable experience for everyone involved. Be sure to take along a bowl for food and water, a fresh bottle of water and some dry dog food. Also pack paper towels and check with your vet for an anti-nausea remedy. Don’t forget the leash for rest stops and a comfy place for Fido to curl up when he’s tired of looking out the window. Read “What to Pack for a Road Trip with Your Dog” for more tips.

Vacation Rentals

Nearly all places that offer vacation rentals have at least a few properties that are dog friendly. You may have to pay an extra deposit and ensure that your dog has a crate for when you have to leave him at the strange house all alone if you and the family go out. Be sure to bring along his favorite CANIDAE treats to reward him for being such a good dog, and his favorite blankie or bed so that he feels safe and comfy in the vacation home.

Pet Friendly Motels

Along the way toward your destination, you may need to plan an overnight stop at a roadside hotel or motel. Try to plan ahead and follow the handy instructions in our article “How to Find Pet Friendly Motels.” A portable crate is a good idea, as well as making sure you have a leash on hand. Pet friendly hotels may retain the smells of other pets that have visited – and dogs have such wonderful noses! – which means you may spend a lot of time trying to keep him from marking the territory as his own. You may want to take an odor neutralizing spray with you, and spray any areas that are of particular interest to your dog.

Regardless of where you plan to travel to, there are a few things you’ll need to pack for your four legged traveling companion. A pet first aid kit, food, water and containers are the basics. Collar and leash and any medications your dog may take regularly also need to be kept close at hand, not buried beneath suitcases. You should also make it a point to locate the nearest vet to your vacation destination, just in case.

Traveling with dogs can be done, and it can be an enjoyable experience as long as you are a responsible pet owner and plan ahead. As you travel, keep in mind that not everyone loves pets and some people are very allergic to dogs. This is why many places that offer lodging are strict about their “no pets” rule. Take the time to find vacation lodging that welcomes your dog, and always follow leash rules and keep your dog under your control.

If you aren’t able to take your dog on vacation with you, there are a few options. You could hire a friend or relative to come and stay in your house to take care of your dog while you are gone, or you can check with your vet to find a trusted and safe boarding kennel.

Photo by Elisha Marshall

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie


  1. It would be fun to take your dog on your vacation. But some dogs, like my two really don't enjoy going in the car. They like the idea of going for a ride but then once we get going, it isn't much fun for them. But thanks for really good points. Great post.

  2. We would love to go on a vacation with Mom and Dad. But they usually go far enough away that they fly and that would be a lot for us, plus it is too hot at this time of the year to fly. We all love to ride in the car. Ciara used to get sick as a pup if she went for a long ride, but she seems to be doing better now that she has had lots of shorter ones.

    We love your helpful posts.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  3. Good ideas. I wish I could bring Charlie with us, alas.

  4. These are good travel tips. Many dog owners forget that dogs are just like them, experiencing the same kind of anxiety when in travel.


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