As I prepare for a road trip with our dog, I’ve started the process of thinking about every little thing this furry creature in my life needs. We’ve taken her on several dozen road trips, so we’re pretty much pros at this point, but I remember the first few trips where we had potty accidents in the car, or maybe forgot to give her enough water.
Traveling alone is definitely easier than with an animal, as I only have my own needs to think about, but pets are part of our family. Keeping her around adds value in the joy we see when she wags her tail, versus the sad face she gets when taking her to the kennel for the weekend. We’re grateful for the companionship she provides in our lives, and that includes taking her on trips. Not to mention, it’s also sometimes cheaper to take her on the trip, than pay for a pet sitter.
With all the details to keep track of, traveling alone can be tedious enough, but with a little planning and setting expectations, you can make sure its a smooth ride for both you and your pet. I’m lucky, my mid sized rescue pup of 10 years is pretty low key, so all I really have to do is provide a soft place to sleep, bring enough for her to eat, and remember to water her.
Embarking on a road trip with your four legged friend is no small feat. If they are overactive, you have to think about keeping them in their place, not jumping out of vehicles, or keeping in their place so as not to disturb the driver. Here are some planning tips I’ve learned along the way to make a road trip with doggo as easy as possible:
Think about the trips pets might like
Living in Vancouver, we’re lucky to have a few cities within driving distance that we can bring our pup. But even though wandering the streets for the perfect doughnut, or tasty cocktail might be fun for the human, is it fun for the dog if there are no parks nearby? I prepare by looking at maps around the areas we are staying to pinpoint the closest park for potty breaks. I also try doing some research on any city ordinances that might limit me from taking your dogs places. For instance in Seattle, we can take our dog into Starbucks and certain restaurants with no issue, but in Boston and Vancouver, we’ve learned the dog has to remain on the outside of the restaurant, limiting our restaurant choices to places with a patio.
Think about accommodations when traveling
When going on a road trip with our dog, I start the preparation by making sure we have pet friendly lodging options. I love finding dog friendly Airbnb’s for traveling with my pup. It’s often our first choice for the ease of having a house with a yard, and having enough space for her to roam around in. Often times, certain Airbnb’s will let you bring the pup with an added cleaning fee. Many hotels are also pet friendly with a cleaning fee, but you can also score hotels with no pet fee. I’m a big fan of Westin, W, and Kimpton for their pet friendly policies. Kimpton properties especially always allow dogs and never have a pet fee. As an added bonus, some hotels even come with a pet kit, complete with bed, food bowls and treats. Score for man’s best friend!
Think about what puppy will need when traveling
Of course I bring enough kibble to last the duration of the trip, but I also try to think about my dog’s non human needs. Is my dog on any medications that I need to remember to bring? Have I researched what vets might be available in the area in case of emergency? What if I forgot something, is there a pet store nearby to replenish any supplies? Planning in advance can limit those “Oh shoot” moments of panic so I have a game plan if things go wrong. Afterall, she is my child 🙂
Do you have pets that you like to take on road trips? If so, what types of things do you think about?
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