How to Ensure Traveling with Your Dog Is Fun for You Both

How to Ensure Traveling with Your Dog Is Fun for You Both

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How to Ensure Traveling with Your Dog Is Fun for You Both

Are you and Fido ready to pack your bags?  When you and your canine companion decide to get away from it all, the last thing you want is for your adventures to be fraught with troubles.  Here’s how to ensure your travels are fun, positive, and successful for you both.

Homestyle accommodations

Deciding where to lodge can be a conundrum for dog owners.  While the AKC notes around half of the hotel chains in the US are pet-friendly these days, many dog owners find renting a house is more agreeable.  For one thing, if your dog barks, he is unlikely to disturb other travelers.  On top of that, a house with a yard gives your pooch room to stretch his legs and play, which can help to burn off any pent-up energy.  Many dogs find a house more comfortable than a hotel as well, especially if they haven’t navigated that kind of environment before.

Choosing destination cities

When choosing your destination, think about places which are generally dog-friendly and offer things for you both to enjoy.  It’s no surprise that some experts note Colorado as a top choice among dog lovers, with an abundance of restaurants, parks and boutiques for you and your pooch to explore.  As a bonus, Turnkey points out Breckenridge is one of America’s favorite ski resort towns, and therefore a hot spot for tourism.  It’s a prime location for setting up a vacation rental, which would be big fun for you and your dog as a regular destination.  If you have it in mind to purchase or convert a property for renting, it’s an ideal location for dog owners and sure to have a steady flow of guests.  

During your travels, bear in mind dogs can get upset when they are alone in a new place.  If you decide to hit the slopes or do another activity Fido can’t participate in, consider hiring a pet sitter.  Even if your pooch doesn’t normally suffer with separation anxiety, the change of location and routine can be distressing.  

Flying vs. road trips

When it comes to traveling with your dog, both flying and driving have their share of pluses and minuses.  If you decide to fly, SmarterTravel points out direct flights are easiest on your dog, especially if he needs to ride in the cargo hold.  Taking your dog into the cabin with you is the safest option. However, airlines dictate how large the dog can be and how many dogs can travel in the cabin on each flight.  You will need to examine each airline’s individual policy to know what is involved.  If your dog isn’t used to crowds, noise, and airport-style activity, spend some time acclimating him to groups of people and various experiences before taking him on a flight.

Road trips can also be challenging.  Keeping your dog comfortable and entertained can be tough, especially if your trip is lengthy.  One idea is to get your dog used to traveling in a crate so he has his own compartment on your adventures.  Keep something from home in it to provide comfort and something to do, like a favorite toy and a blanket.  You should plan routine breaks for your dog to stretch his legs and potty, such as at rest stops.  Keep in mind that older dogs, nervous dogs, and very young dogs will need more frequent breaks.  If your dog tends to get nauseous in the car, touch base with your vet before your trip, since a medication to settle his tummy could help.  

Accident Prep

It should go without saying that you need to prepare for accidents when traveling with your dog, but when planning a trip, some things are easy to put out of your mind. Always be sure to travel with enough waste bags, pee pads or anything else to make accident cleanup easier. If you’re driving, consider taking a handheld vacuum to help keep up with dog hair wherever you’re staying. There are plenty of models that are easily portable and stowable. Remember, it’s always better to leave as little trace as possible to ensure you’ll be welcome back another time.

With a few preparations, traveling with your furry family member can be a wonderful experience for you both.  Set yourselves up for successful adventures by making sure you and Fido will be comfortable wherever you go and however you get there.  Now, pack your bags, and have fun!