Taking Your Pup on Vacation

As many of you probably know, I have a 6 year old pup named Jade. She is a Maltese/Shih-Tzu mix and the love of my life. Since we love to travel, we try to incorporate road trip that she can accompany us on. Traveling with a dog can be challenging if you haven’t done it before. Here are a few tips and tricks we have learned over the years that may save you some headaches if you decide to bring your pooch along.

  1. Research, research, research! Make sure the place you are traveling to is somewhat dog-friendly. Many places, such as beaches, festivals, and national parks have rules on whether or not you can bring your dog. Be sure to make sure it’s okay to avoid any issues.
  2. Make sure you have dog-friendly accommodations. Check with your hotel/Airbnb to make sure it’s OK. There many be an extra fee associated with having your pet along. We recently stayed at the Aloft in Jacksonville Florida, and they were super accommodating. Not only do they allow dogs, but they have rooms on the first floor specifically for people with dogs, with a separate entrance that leads to a relief area. They also had a goody bag ready for her when we checked in that included treats, toys, paw wipes, and poop bags.
  3. Know your dog. Is your dog a good car rider? Do they get car sick? How long can they handle a traveling stretch? For us, luckily, Jade loves car rides. She hasn’t been car sick since she was a lot younger, but we still avoid feeding her before long road trips, just in case. She also gets time to walk and relieve herself every couple of hours.
  4. Safety first. Depending on the size of your dog, there are different safety measures you will need to take to make sure everything is good with your dog, both on the road and in your hotel room. Jade is small enough to sit on my lap while we ride, but if she were bigger, I would have her in the back with a pet belt on. When I am driving and she is in the car with me alone, she has a car seat. It keeps her safe and clipped in so if we get in an accident, she is safe. We also travel with her playpen, so that she has a confined place to be in if we have to leave her in the room for a bit.
  5. Dogs and the Outdoors: take into consideration where you are going, the climate, and the elements. For instance, when we took her to the beach I made sure to have sunscreen for her nose and top of her head. We also had a tent that she could sit in to get out of the sun, as well as plenty of water. It sounds silly. but dog have skin, and it can burn. When I take her in the woods we use sunscreen, and because I use a natural one, she can use the same one as me. I spray the top of her back and if it’s cool enough I have her wear a dog shirt so that some of her skin is covered from bug bites. If it’s raining, she has a waterproof jacket. If it’s really cold, she has a coat. For some people that probably sounds crazy, but I want her to be comfortable as I would want to be.

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