The Care and Well-being of Dogs
When we go on vacation, it is always hard to leave our beloved pooch behind. After all, they are part of the family and leaving them home is like leaving a family member behind. Besides, why shouldn’t your dog join in the fun too? I want to offer some dog vacation ideas as well as tips everyone should know.
There is a lot to consider when bringing your dog while traveling. If your dog is fine with driving in the car for long trips, then that is a great start. You will have to make several stops along the way for your dog to stretch out and relieve himself. Not a big deal, right?
Types of Places My Dog Would Enjoy
Think about what would make a good vacation for your family and your dog both. Ask yourself some questions. Does my dog like crowded or secluded place? Does he like to be around other dogs? Is excitement or quiet, calm places the better route? The answers will be helpful in determining where to go.
What You Need to Bring-Be Prepared
There are essential items to pack that will make things more convenient on your trip. Make sure these items are easily accessible.
Dog Food, Of Course–It is handy to separate meals in quart-sized baggies for the entire trip. This relieves yourself of measuring and sorting out meals at a later time.
Snacks/Treats–Bring some snacks with you in a sealed baggie. Your dog may want to eat what you are eating while traveling, however, you don’t want to upset your dog’s stomach so eating familiar snacks will work better.
Water and Water Dish-This is something you should always have on hand. It is so important to keep your dog hydrated especially in hot weather.
Lint Roller-For obvious reasons
Your Dog’s Favorite Bed-This is something to bring if you feel your dog would be more comfortable. It is a large item and would take space in the car so only bring if you feel it necessary.
Medication–If your dog takes medication, bring enough for the entire trip.
Ice Chest-If your dog eats homemade meals, you will need to keep them in an ice chest. Replace ice as needed or use ice packs. Keeping water in there is a must in warm or hot weather.
Waste Bags-A must!
Leash with Tags–Not only do you need a leash but make sure you have a dog ID tag on your dog’s collar in case you get separated.
First Aid Kit For Dogs–It’s not a bad idea to be prepared in case of a crisis.
Back Pack-This is an important necessity as it will hold a lot of the supplies you will be bringing. This convenient pack will hold your water dish, water, snacks, waste bags, first aid kit, toys, etc.
Blankets, Sheets and/or Towels– It’s good to have blankets, sheets or towels in the vehicle for your fur baby to relax on or perhaps even in the hotel room.
Planning Hotel Stay and Restaurant Visits
Reserving a hotel room will require a little research on your part. You want to ask some pertinent questions. Your first question will be if they are pet friendly. Pet friendly does not mean all dogs are welcome though. Some bully breeds are not allowed at certain hotels and cabins. Also, ask if the size of your dog is welcome. Some hotels may charge extra for bringing your pet. You want to find a hotel that is accommodating to your situation.
You need to think about restaurants. Find restaurants that offer outside patio seating and call beforehand to make sure you can bring your dog. Usually restaurants that allow pets will bring you a bowl with water. Bring your own in a backpack just in case.
Don’t leave your dog in a hot car while you eat or in a hotel room alone. This may cause anxiety in an unfamiliar place.
Look for activities your dog will enjoy. There is hiking, dog beaches, dog parks, etc. Hiking is a great activity for everyone to get exercise. Inquire online ahead of time to see if the hikes you want to go on are dog-friendly. Also, know ahead of time how much hiking or exercise your dog can handle. Check the weather to make sure it won’t be too hot for hiking.
Bring plenty of water and treats for your hiking day. Don’t forget their leash and bowl! Investing in a dog hiking backpack may be a good idea. If the sun is beaming down on you while hiking, your dog is probably feeling much hotter than you are. Stop for a lengthy water break and find shade.
My family and I recently took our border collie on vacation to Utah. Most of the time she was able to go with us on hikes, go to state parks, and ordinary parks, however, national parks are restrictive to dogs. We wanted to hike at Zion National Park. This was a positive experience for us because we were prepared.
Since we are a family of four, we took turns hiking in Zion (two of us at a time). While two of us hiked, the other two took care of Lexi, our fur baby. In the town, Lexi was still able to go for walks, to a park, and to pet-friendly restaurants. If one of us would go inside a store, the other one would stay outside with Lexi.
Since we were prepared in advance, Lexi had a great time in town and we had an awesome time hiking in Zion. This experience was a success!
There is always the option of pet boarding for a day if you are going to do a non-dog-friendly activity. Look into pet boarding place near your vacation spot. You may need to show proof of your dog’s vaccinations. Always check reviews first and never leave your dog if you don’t feel 100% comfortable.
Have a Blast
Having fun is the most important thing. I mean, hey that is what a vacation is all about. For some final thoughts, check with your vet in advance to be sure your dog is healthy and good physical condition for traveling.
Always keep in mind your dog’s physical activity level. Other factors to consider when traveling is your dog’s age, breed and size. Not all dog breeds can do the same level of activity. If you have an older dog, you may have to take short walks and do less strenuous exercise
I know your dog loves spending time with you so a vacation is a great way to keep that strong bond active. Make vacations a favorable experience for the whole family.
Please feel free to comment or share your own experience below. Thank you for visiting!