One of the best pleasures in life is going on vacation, and being able to take your dog with you makes traveling so much more fun!
However, if you’re already struggling with your dog at home, bringing them along for a big adventure could turn into a nightmare. Fear not though, a few simple preparations makes any vacation with your dog so much more enjoyable.
Practice more structure before and during your trip.
A week or more before your trip take some extra time with your dog to brush up on their obedience skills. Practice having them walk in a nice heel with plenty of attention on you. This will make it so much easier when you’re exploring your vacation destination with your dog.
Practice having your dog place for extended periods of time! This can be as simple as holding them accountable to lying on their dog bed while you make and eat dinner. That way when you’re having breakfast at a coffee shop with them, they’re already really good at staying in one place even when food is walking by.
Plan a dog friendly location.
Airbnbs are usually a great option for traveling with dogs. We also love staying with family and we’ve been to a couple of really nice dog friendly hotels too.
Do your research before hand. And if you’re staying with family, be sure to let them know your dogs are coming too. The last thing you want is to be tired, trying to find a hotel that will accept you AND your dog.
Plan dog friendly activities.
We love taking our dogs on vacation with us because of the fun things we find to do with them. Definitely plan some dog-friendly activities to enjoy with your pupper.
We love eating outside with our dogs and with a quick yelp search, it’s easy to find restaurants with menus for your best friend too.
Hiking, outdoor markets, dog beaches, and stand up paddle boarding are all really fun things to try. We always try to fit in at least one activity specifically for our fur babies when the come on vacation with us.
Use your tools.
If you trained with a remote or prong collar, used a place cot, etc. use your tools on your trip. It isn’t fair to expect our dog to be perfect without any help. Using tools allows you to easily communicate with your dog in a way that they understand.
Bring their food.
You don’t want to risk the chance that your regular dog food won’t be available. This could make your dog sick and seriously dampen your vacation. And bringing it with you makes it so there’s no need to run off to the grocery or pet store immediately. Win win!
Think about where they’re going to sleep.
We highly recommend brining a crate when traveling. Our dogs love their crates and Penny even has a TSA approved Sherpa bag we take when driving or flying.
Even if your dog is great at home, this big change of scenery can make dogs act out of character. Bringing a crate ensures you have somewhere for your dog to hang out if you’re doing an activity that isn’t dog friendly. It also gives your dog a safe place to sleep at night and makes car trips safer by ensuring the driver isn’t distracted by the dog. And in the even of an accident your dog is safely contained.
Last but not least, have fun!
Taking your dog on vacation shouldn’t be stressful. Instead of wondering what they’re up to at a friends house, or waiting for your boarding facility to text you an update, take them with you and include them in all of the family fun!
Did we miss anything? Let us know if you have any other great tips for traveling with your dog, and send us a picture of you two enjoying a vacation together.
And if the thought of bringing your dog with you on vacation stresses you out, let us know. We want to help you make the life you live with your dog as stress and conflict-free as possible.