How to Make Your Dog Your Adventuring Sidekick
Taking a vacation doesn’t have to be a dog-less affair. If you find yourself avoiding vacations because you don’t know what to do with your furry friend, have no fear. Most pups of all shapes and sizes love outdoorsy vacations, such as snow trips, beach days, and outdoor hiking. With a little prep and planning, traveling with pets is a no-brainer. And who knows, your dog could become your new favorite adventuring sidekick.
Do your dog-friendly research before you leave
Before you leave, research the dog-friendly hotels and motels you plan to stay in on your trip. Not all hotels have the same rules, as some have different restrictions based on:
You should also make sure to look up your potential hikes and trails ahead of time. Not all trails are dog-friendly, while others might only welcome dogs on a leash. This is the same for places to eat - map out some restaurants with patios that allow dogs so you aren’t left scrambling in a new city.
And finally, because you and the pooch aren’t planning to kick back at a luxury resort, these outdoor adventures could — but hopefully won’t — take a left turn. Always make sure to look up the number of a local animal hospital and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) ahead of time.
Pack a doggy bag
Water bowl? Check. Poop bags? Check. Extra food? Check. Make sure you have everything you need (and then some), including treats, clicker training items (if you do that), your dog’s bed, extra towels for mud and sand, and maybe even a travel size container of dog-friendly shampoo. It sounds like a lot, but you’d pack like this for yourself, so why not for your puppers?
Make sure your dog has all the gear they need
Outdoor adventures like hiking and swimming call for extra special canine gear. Prepare for inclement weather with a doggy parka, hat, shoes, or (if your dog is cool enough), some cool sunglasses. It's also worthwhile to invest in a daypak that your pup can wear on his back and fill with any supplies you might need on your adventure.
Get your dog in good shape for the trip
If your pup only goes outside to pee and sleeps the rest of the day, they may not be up to the adventure. In order to avoid exhaustion in an out-of-shape pup, be sure to get your pets up and moving well before your high-octane adventure.
Some of the best ways to keep your pet active are with:
● Long walks
● Local hikes
● Trips to the dog park
● Plenty off time in the yard
A quick check-up at the vet wouldn’t hurt either and definitely make sure your pup is up-to-date on their vaccines. You might even need an interstate health certificate if you plan on crossing state lines.
Do some car ride test runs
Some dogs are bonafide car lovers, making road trips a natural extension of your relationship. But unfortunately, some pets just don't do well on car rides.
To make sure your dog travels well, it’s best to have a car with plenty of cargo space for them to crawl in. You can also invest in a plush backseat cover or blanket to keep them calm and keep your backseat clean from hair.
Before you head out on a full-blown road trip, be sure to take some test-runs with your dog. Take them with you in the car on your usual grocery store runs, to the dog park, to a nearby hike. This will help your canine companion feel at ease in the car before the big trip.
Don’t let your busy lives slow down your fun – bring your best friend along for the ride! Who knows, the rest of your lives may be spent on the road with your dog’s head out the window, riding into the sunset.
More About The Author
(Lexi Carr is a writer passionate about living life to the fullest with her Australian Blue Heeler, Bruno. When they aren't on the open road, you can find them cuddled up watching the latest episode of their favorite shows on Netflix, or researching all the latest dog fashion!)