Traveling With a Dog
Traveling With a Dog – A New Kind of Adventure
Traveling with a dog is a wonderful experience if you are properly prepared.
Deciding Where to Go
If you don’t have a specific place in mind where you want to go, start by searching through our City Pages. You can get to these from our homepage. Simply type in the city name in the search box “Plan a Pet Friendly Trip” and you will come to a page that has listings of the pet friendly parks, beaches, restaurants, deals on hotels for that particular city, events and special activities that are pet friendly.
Traveling with a Dog Via Airplane
The second thing you need to do when traveling with a dog is to decide if you want to drive or fly. While this may be dependent on the distance you are traveling and the time you have to vacation, you also need to consider your dog’s size and personality. Size matters because some airlines will only allow dogs in the cabin up to a specific size. While no one truly enjoys flying their dog in cargo, it often is just as hard emotionally to leave him at home. If your dog does fly in cargo, the airlines are good at making sure he is comfortable and the weather is neither too hot or cold to keep the dog out of harm’s way.
Traveling with a Dog Via Driving
Driving is a great way for traveling with a dog. Most dogs are used to car travel, as they have had to go to and from the veterinarian, kennels, doggie daycares and other places with their human. In fact, there are many dogs that really enjoy traveling in a car. If you have a puppy start him off at an early age. The important thing about traveling with a dog in a car is to make sure they are restrained and that their paws cannot scratch leather seats. A seat cover should suffice. Carriers are good for smaller dogs and a harness type of restraint is good for larger ones. If your dog is very large and the car you are driving is an SUV, then you may want to use a cage type of barrier in the back so the dog has a smaller but comfortable space. This video will give you some tips.
RVs also are a great way for traveling with a dog. There is plenty of free homey space for them to enjoy, just as humans do. Plus, the same restraints used in cars can be used in RVs. Many RV parks are pet friendly. You can find our list of these pet friendly RV parks and campgrounds on our City Pages…again, just by typing in the city name and clicking on RV Parks and Campgrounds.
Finding a Pet Friendly Hotel
Now that the transportation portion of your planning is complete, it’s time to figure out where you are going to stay. While approximately 5% of the hotels allow pets, those that do, often go all out. We’ve found that you are more likely to find a Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt Regency having some kind of pet perks package than other hotel chains. On the other hand, you can count on there being a La Quinta nearby that welcomes pets for those times when you want a place to land. La Quinta is often a sight for sore eyes for many road travelers.
The key is to find the perfect pet friendly hotels before you begin traveling with a dog so you don’t have to think about it once you’ve left home. It’s easy to do. Simply search through our many hotels and you will find some of the best deals online. At any given time, more than 30% of our hotels are having a sale of up to 35% off the normal rate. Plus, at least 40% of our pet friendly hotels offer special perks for those traveling with a dog. These perks range from a free night’s stay to free Internet to free parking. Additionally, search for those pet friendly hotels that offer pet perks such as doggie beds, food and water bowls, a special place for waking your dog and handy treats. Some go so far as to have the chef whip up organic treats for your furry friend that are hand delivered to your suite. Regardless of where you make your reservations from, whether it be at Pet Hotels of America (we hope) or by calling the hotel directly, you still need to call the hotel several days ahead of leaving to remind them you will be traveling with a dog. Here is an article you may want to read.
What to Bring When Traveling with a Dog
So you know where you are going, how you are getting there, where you are staying and a good idea of the parks, hiking trails, beaches, restaurants and activities offered. All that’s left is to figure out what to bring. Make a checklist that includes the following staples:
- photos of your dog in case of separation
- food & snacks
- water (there are portable water, food and bowl combinations great for traveling)
- car restraint (you can find great deals on these at Traveling Pet Supplies
- carrier or kennel
- hiking gear (underbody protection)
- If you are extra protective and you plan on doing hiking where your dog could run off, you could even use a GPS tracking collar
Plenty to do When Traveling with a Dog
There is so much to do with your dog. America has great hiking trails, beaches, parks and activities that are sure to keep you entertained. Check out how much fun a day at the beach can be:
Or, how dogs can make something as cold as snow seem so warm and friendly. Larger dogs especially love the snow and the freedom of romping around and playing. Watch this video. It’s sure to make you laugh.
Plan Your Day Around Your Dog
Planning your day around your dog can be a good thing by introducing you to activities you wouldn’t normally do or places you wouldn’t typically visit. For instance, if you want to have a relaxing morning and afternoon but a fun night out, spend the day with your dog: explore the town or city, have lunch in a dog-friendly restaurant, spend the afternoon reading. If you find yourself needing some alone time to visit a museum or want to go out for fine dining to a restaurant that doesn’t allow pets, you can find kennels, pet sitters and doggie daycares on our City Pages as well.
When traveling with your dog, try to keep him on his normal schedule. This will help prevent any “accidents” and is a good way to ground him amidst all the newness of the travel.
Here are some other good reads if you are considering traveling with a dog.
Your first trip will be the hardest. Once you find how easy it is traveling with a dog, you will soon discover a whole new world. It’s easy and fun. We can almost guarantee, you won’t find a more adventurous companion to share your experiences.
We hope these tips have helped inspire you to think about taking your favorite pooch on your next vacation!