Thinking of bringing your dog with the family on vacation? Everything’s better with a wagging tail and puppy dog eyes!
But having your pup in tow means you’ll need to be a little more mindful of where you go and what you do. Thankfully, most destinations are becoming more and more dog-friendly, so both your family and your pup will be in good hands.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on traveling with your dog.
Where to Stay
Not all accommodation is dog-friendly. If you aren’t staying with pup-loving family or friends, you’ll need to find a place that loves dogs as much as you do!
Do thorough research on this topic. Some dog-friendly hotels or accommodation charge an extra fee per night for your pooch. Others allow small dogs for free, and some won’t allow large dogs at all. You should get in touch and find out before you head off with your pup in tow.
You may need to invest in a dog crate if you plan on leaving your pup in a hotel room by themselves. It’s also a great idea to take their favorite chew toy so they don’t end up gnawing on the furniture while you’re out or asleep.
BringFido is a great resource for finding dog-friendly hotels in the area you’re visiting.
Where to Eat
Don’t assume that pet-friendly hotels will provide food for your dog like they do for you! Take their own kibble with you, or find out if there’s a store nearby where you can buy some while you’re away.
If there are dog-friendly hotels in the area, chances are there’ll be at least one dog-friendly restaurant. Again, you’ll need to be thorough with your research, as some places will allow dogs to sit with their owners at outside tables, but won’t let them inside.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting a very dog-friendly place, you may even come across a restaurant that has its own dog menu!
If you’re in an area that doesn’t really allow pets in restaurants and stores yet, you can always picnic! As long as your dog’s on a leash and doesn’t bother others, this is a good meal option.
What to Do
You’ll need to consider activities that your dog can partake in with you! If you’ve gone to the effort of bringing your dog with you, you can’t just leave him in the hotel room while you’re out having fun.
If you have an itinerary, you can always contact the places you’re planning on going to double-check if your dog will be allowed to visit with you.
Generally, hiking and biking in outdoor areas can be done with dogs if they’re leashed. Some areas may even allow kayaking, paddleboarding, and other activities to be done with your pup.
Most places also have dedicated dog parks! You can take your pooch along to one of these to allow them to run free and have some fun.
Some other places that may allow dogs (although you’d need to check) include:
- Water or activity parks
- Cultural attractions
- National or state parks
What to Know
As nice as it would be, you can’t just pack your dog in your luggage and waltz into whatever country or state you’d like! Make sure you follow rules and are aware of restrictions.
Know the Pet Travel Laws
Generally, traveling from state to state isn’t a problem. If you’re planning on traveling internationally with your dog, you’ll need to prepare a bit more thoroughly.
Certain areas may have travel laws that you’d need to abide by. Check this very carefully – if you get it wrong, your dog may not be allowed into the country.
Some of the things you may need to get for your dog include:
- A veterinarian-approved health certificate).
- Identification, either a microchip or a tattoo.
- A doggy passport.
- Proof of rabies vaccination.
- Treatment against certain diseases.
- You may need to notify authorities in your destination country.
Keep in mind that different airlines also have different rules for transporting pets! Do your research beforehand, and decide beforehand if you’re okay for your dog to travel in cargo or if you want them in the cabin with you.
Not all airlines will allow you to keep your dog next to you. Some may let you keep your dog up front with fragile luggage, while others will only allow you to send them through cargo. Double check!
Rules for Dogs in Public
As much as we may love our pups, not everyone is a dog person. Out of respect for others, your dog should be kept on a leash at all times, even in outdoor areas like when hiking.
If the spot specifically states that dogs are allowed off leash, then you’re good to go. But keep an eye on your pup to make sure they’re not getting boisterous or too close to others.
Don’t forget poop bags! Cleaning up after your dog is important and necessary. Take the necessary supplies with you and dispose of it in a trash can.
Remember your dog’s safety, too! If you’re going to be out for hours in the heat, he’ll need water. Hiking on hot trails could be hard on his paws, so doggy booties are a good idea.
Make sure you clean up well after your dog in your hotel room, too. If he sheds, take precaution so he doesn’t leave a mess. Take him out regularly, and make sure he doesn’t have a chance to chew on furniture!
Find the closest vet to wherever you’ll be staying and keep their information with you. It’s a good idea to keep a small dog first-aid kit with you, including basics like topical ointment, bandages, breath freshener spray, and vet-approved anti-diarrhea medication. But in case of emergencies, you want to be able to get to a vet as soon as possible without having to frantically Google for information!
Bringing your dog along with you when traveling adds an extra element of fun, love, and photo-worthiness to your trip! As long as you and your pup remain respectful of others and don’t cause havoc, you can both have a wonderful holiday.