Pet Friendly Vacation: Important Tips to Keep in Mind Before Vacationing With Your Dog
Written by Catherine Workman
For many of us, our furry friends are more than just pets. They are members of the family. We celebrate their birthdays or adoption days, buy them presents for Christmas, and even bake homemade treats for special occasions. The internet is filled with photos of adorable dog ring bearers, pet-filled family photos, and yes, even canine puppy announcements complete with a framed due date. It's all evidence that dogs really are “man’s best friend.”
So if we can hire stylists, purchase Halloween costumes, and order “puppuccinos” for our dogs, we should definitely have the opportunity to take our dogs along during our next vacation. Nowadays there are plenty of amenities to accommodate you and your pet. So whether it's your first time traveling together or your 50th, keep these few things in mind in order to make the most of your pet-friendly vacation.
Vacationing with a dog isn’t much more expensive than a typical trip. The pet friendly vacation hotel prices are comparable to regular hotels. There shouldn’t be added food costs, because you will have your supply of the regular amount of dog food per day. Also, most dog-related activities can be found at free parks or outdoor locations. The only things you may want to add to the typical travel budget are the fun items you can’t help but purchase for your dog before the trip, like a grooming appointment, adorable bandanas, and lots of extra treats.
When you are choosing a vacation destination, make sure you consider their anxiety levels around other people, their desire for attention, and their need for exercise. Then try to match those needs with a location. A theme park, for example, may not be a great vacation spot for your pet. Most theme parks will not allow pets inside the park. This would require you to leave your dog at the hotel and you would need to make frequent visits back to the room to take care of them. On the other hand, outdoorsy locations are much better vacation options for your pet. Taking hikes in the woods, running along a pet friendly vacation beach, or visiting a lakeside cabin might be the most convenient, worry-free spots for you both.
Some hotels are pet friendly, allowing your pet to stay in the room with you. Make sure you read the guidelines of the facility before you book a room. Specifically review their kennel and leave policies, and see what type of outdoor pet areas are included in their amenities. After reviewing the policies, you may decide that the trip isn’t conducive to the needs of your pet. If that is the case, you can hire a dog boarder. Should you decide to take this route, check your dog’s collar tag to be sure it is updated with the right home address and phone number. Also make sure you call the veterinarian to give the boarder permission to bring them in for emergency purposes. But don’t worry about the health and safety of your pet while you’re away; a dog boarder may give them the staycation they’ve always wanted.
Remember to pack things like travel food and water bowls, a towel or two in case of wet outdoor conditions, and a bone or a toy to keep them occupied while traveling. If you are traveling by car, map out your stopping points ahead of time so that you can avoid messes. If your pet is anxious on long car rides, consider going on a few preliminary test drives to a local dog park so that they can get more familiar with traveling to an exciting place. It will also help you become more familiar with what other items you mind need to bring along on a trip.
Pet friendly vacation time spent with your pet can breed a lifetime worth of memories for you both. The great outdoors and time in the car and can be a fantastic bonding point, while relieving you of the concerns of separation. So for your next vacation, plan ahead to bring man’s best friend.