And Fido Came Too

Tips For Vacationing With Your Pet

When it comes to taking a family vacation and making memories that will last forever, you don’t have to leave your beloved pet behind. After all, how much fun can you have in the sun when you’ve left an integral member of the family back home? These days there are so many options for taking your dog along with you instead of wondering whether he is having separation anxiety at the kennel back home. Here are some tips for having a successful vacation with your pet.

  • Some destinations and vacation types are better than others for being pet friendly. Vacations that involve camping and hiking are usually ideal for taking your dog along, so long as the venue allows pets into all areas of the park. Be aware that some parks will allow pets into their campgrounds but not on to the trails and hiking paths.
  • The type of vacation that involves a lot of visits to museums and stately homes is probably not going to be much fun for your four-legged friend and even less fun for you as you stress over what to do with him while you view the sights. However, there are some cities that are extremely pet-friendly in this regard. For example, Santa Fe, New Mexico boasts art galleries that welcome pets. So if your heart is set on a vacation that includes visits to art galleries and museums, and you are equally determined to bring Fido along, do some homework up front and choose a city with pet-friendly policies.
  • As you travel to your vacation spot, there are many hotels that welcome pets, but once you arrive at your destination, a pet-friendly rental is your best option. You can establish a “home-from-home” atmosphere that allows everyone to relax, including your pooch. And you will avoid all the rules and regulations that are part of the hotel experience. By the way, some hotels charge a pet fee and others don’t. Something to be aware of before you book.
  • It is a good idea to take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up before traveling. You want to be sure that he is in good enough shape to handle any hiking expectations you have of him. Also, you may want to ask the vet for a health certificate which some vacation rental owners require. Spending a few minutes to locate a vet close to your destination is also a good idea. There is nothing like being prepared in an emergency.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date ID tag. Obviously it should have your cell phone number, but you might also consider attaching a temporary tag that has your vacation home address on it.
  • We usually think of packing light as a positive thing, but in the case of your pet, it’s not a good idea. The more familiar things he has about him, the better. Taking along his bed and his favorite blanket is important for his sense of security. Also, this is not a good time to make any changes to his diet. If you don’t have enough room to carry all the food he will need for the duration of the vacation, make sure you can buy the same type and brand at your destination.
  • Nobody wants a stress-filled vacation, and least of all when you are taking along one of the most sensitive members of the family. Animals pick up on our stress level so acutely, which is another reason to make this particular vacation a relaxing one without the running around that often accompanies a tourist-laden destination.

    So you see, with some planning and preparation, there is no reason why Fido can’t be in your vacation snapshots next year!