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When you’re traveling with a dog, you need to choose destinations, hotels, restaurant, tours, and activities that are dog-friendly. Plan carefully, check airline pet policies before booking flights and remember to pack for your pooch. Read on for inspiration and tips on how to travel with your dog!
Take Your Dog on the Adventure of a Lifetime
Vacations are planned for children every year. Dogs should have vacations too! If you’re a dog lover or dog owner who loves to travel and go on adventures, then perhaps you should bring your dog along for the ride!
It’s not necessary to leave your dog at home alone when you travel. You could bring him along for the adventure or create an adventure specifically for him. Why should your best friend be stuck at a kennel while you’re having the time of your life on the road? Bring that tail-wagging wanderluster along for the ride and share the adventure of a lifetime together!
Not only would it be a good bonding experience for both of you, but it would also help you stay active together. Your dog would get to have a life outside of the house, you’d get to have an exercise buddy, and you wouldn’t have to feel guilty about leaving your furry friend at home while you’re out exploring the world.
Famous Traveling Dogs
Have you heard of the tale of Gobi, the stray mutt who chose her owner while following him on an ultra-marathon in the Gobi Desert? How about Roadside Paco, the dog who almost got run over accidentally by an adrenaline lover and ended up becoming his road dog for life?
These are tales of dogs that became their owner’s trusted travel companions. Those stories are also about active dogs and their owners. Getting inspired? Great, let’s uncover the secrets of dog travel!
Before Your First Dog-Friendly Trip
Traveling with a dog isn’t always that easy. Unless you have a camper, you’ll have to find dog-friendly accommodations and tether him outside when you’re entering an establishment that doesn’t permit dogs.
Luckily, some online businesses including Bring Fido are an excellent travel resource for pet-friendly places. The site lists dog-friendly hotels, vacation rentals, restaurants, beaches, hiking trails, tours – you name it. It’s a useful resource for everyone traveling with a dog.
Obviously, a doggy vacation needs to be an outdoor one because:
A) What dog would want to see a museum, and
B) What museum would allow a dog inside?
You and your dog both deserve to have an adventure-filled vacation with beautiful sights, smells, and picture-worthy backgrounds. If you’re traveling with a dog, plan your adventures accordingly.
Naturally, your dog needs a passport and vaccinations. Make sure to pack also other things, like towels, extra leash, medicines, etc. Check that your dog’s identification tag is up to date.
One more thing before your planned take-off: does your dog have an Instagram account? He might want to pose for some cool shots for his followers to see!
Smaller dogs can sometimes fit in a carrier under the seat, while larger dogs usually have to be checked into the cargo area in a crate. The latter can be stressful for an anxious dog. Therapy and service dogs can fly with their handlers on board, but this designation is for certified animals only.
Check with the airlines to find out their policies, fees and required forms before you book air travel with your dog. You might need to pick a dog-friendly airline to smoothen the adventure for your doggie.
If you live close enough to your destination, driving would be the best option for you and your pet. Besides, who doesn’t love a good road trip?
First, you’ll want to prepare your car for the trip. This could mean having a dog bowl on the floor of the back seat or trunk (if you have an SUV/hatchback), a seat cover to keep fur from shedding onto the upholstery, and a harness to keep your doggie buckled in.
Your dog might be the type that loves to stick his head out of a window, so you can provide a lift if she’s a wee one. Just make sure she’s fastened to a seatbelt, so she doesn’t jump out the window.
A crate might be necessary for some dogs. Your lap is never a safe place for the dog during a road trip. Car safety for dogs is just as important as safety for humans, and some state laws are stricter than others. Remember to make frequent bathroom stops, and never leave your pup alone in a hot car.
Be Active Together
When choosing an adventure, you can make the journey the destination, meaning that getting to your destination can be a journey in and of itself. It is not only possible for active people to stay fit while traveling, but the activity can be built into the vacation spots.
Give your dog the exercise that he needs and have fun together! The activities listed below can be picked up along the way as part of your road stops if they’re not already part of the vacation destination.
Not every hike is dog-friendly, and you’ll usually know when you enter the trailhead and are greeted by a “No dogs allowed” sign.
It may seem unnatural for an outdoor hike to forbid animals whose instinct is to be outside, but the fact remains that many national parks are maintained for human use. There’s the concern that dogs will leave their waste behind, have unfriendly encounters with other humans or wild animals, or stray off-trail into protected or dangerous territories. Anything goes in the unmanned wild, but not in government-managed hiking trails.
During a long car ride, it’s good to stop and stretch your legs. You and your pup can stop for a trail run to keep the blood pumping and the muscles from cramping. Riding in a car all day and remaining sedentary isn’t healthy for either of you, and your dog’s bladder will appreciate the relief. Like hiking, you’ll need to find a trail that allows dogs.
Kayaking and Surfing With Dogs
Why not try a water sport with your dog instead, especially on a hot day? If you find yourself driving by a lake that offers kayaking, make a pit stop/activity break.
Dogs can go kayaking if they’re wearing a flotation device, and they can even jump into the water for a swim to cool off. It might take a little adjusting to get your Princess comfortable, but once she’s on board, she’ll never want to get off that boat.
You can surf with your dog, too! It’s best that you’re a skilled surfer and your dog is calm, fearless and trainable. With practice, it could turn into a new hobby for those who live near a beach.
Final Revelation on Dog Travel
The hardest part of traveling with a dog is getting started. Your first adventure will teach you both a lot. So, plan carefully and take a small adventure for starters: the first trip is always the hardest.
If you’re already a dog travel expert, please share your doggie travel tips and tricks with us in the comments below!
This guest post is written by Zack Spring who travels everywhere with his beloved dog, Ralph, who especially loves to run, play, and to look out the window as they drive down the highways. Check more of his tips for exercising while traveling from his blog, TravelFit.
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