For many of us, our furbabies are just as much a part of the family as the humans are. So when you’re planning a vacation, it makes sense to aim for dog-friendly options so you can bring your four-legged friends with you on your adventures. Traveling with pets can bring a whole new set of challenges when planning, however; to help you through the process, here are some tips and tricks we’ve learned while traveling with our pups.
Know before you go
If you’re traveling to bask in the beauty of some of our state or national parks, make sure to check with each park to see if they allow dogs. While pets are typically allowed in most state parks, many national parks only allow leashed pets in paved parking areas. Luckily, this information is readily available on the specific park’s website or on pet-friendly travel sites such as BringFido.com.
If you’re staying in a hotel, verify that they’re pet-friendly before making reservations. Expedia makes it easy by making “pet friendly” one of its available search criteria. Typically, many hotels will tack on an additional pet stay fee or pet deposit. The cheapest hotel might not be as inexpensive after you add in the fee, so be sure to check the fine print.
Many rest areas and filling stations have designated dog areas for pooch pit stops. One thing to remember is that some pups need some extra time to acclimate before doing their business, and with new smells and sensory overload, getting comfortable can take some time — which means planning for extra rest time in the itinerary. Don’t forget to bring plenty of bags to keep areas clean of pet waste; the last thing you want is to step in something smelly before getting in a confined car!
Traveling to a city? Consider making a local dog park your first stop. After a few hours on the road, some play time at a park can be great to let off some steam. Many dog parks are free to visitors and can be easily found on apps like Google Maps. A tired dog is a good dog, so if you have a busy day in the city ahead of you, giving your pups some physical and mental stimulation can be good for everyone.
Doggie day care
Going white water rafting with the family? Sadly, Fido probably isn’t allowed. If you’re traveling to a place that doesn’t allow unleashed or leashed dogs, consider taking them to a doggie day care. This can be a great time for your pups and will allow your family to get in some fun activities without your four-legged family members. Just be sure to call ahead to make any arrangements and appointments, and don’t forget to bring copies of shot records, as they will be required when you check in.
With just a little bit of planning and research, you can put together a vacation that’s fun for the entire family — furry members included.
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