Our furry friends are a part of the family. We want to take them on all of our family vacations so they can be a part of the fun. However, you’ll need to make sure your pup is prepared for the adventure. These are a few tips to make sure that they have the best trip possible.
1. Go For a Test Drive
Before you commit to taking your dog on a long journey with you, test the waters. Take a 2-4 hour test drive to see how they will react. Be sure they are able to travel without getting motion sickness, anxious, or agitated. If they are not able to calmly handle a short trip, they will be miserable on a long one and should probably be left at home.
2. Bring Proper Medications and Food
If your pet requires specific medication be sure to refill it before your trip to make sure you have enough. Also, be sure you bring enough food for the entire trip plus a few extra days, just in case. You don’t want to be forced to purchase a different bag of food than they are used to eating, especially if they are on a restrictive diet. It could upset their stomach.
3. Bring Some Not So Obvious Accessories
If you plan on going on new outdoor adventures with your pet these are great accessories to get!
- Booties – trails can be rough on dogs’ feet, protect them with booties! They will probably hate them until they get used to them but they will be grateful in the long run.
- Brush – new climates mean more shedding, be sure to pack a brush so your car doesn’t get the majority of the hair.
- LED Collar Light – when it gets dark you will want to be able to spot your dog, it also makes a great back up light.
- Hiking Pack – let them help carry some equipment, especially if you are hiking they can carry their own water and food.
- Collapsible Bowls – you don’t need to bring their favorite monogrammed hand-carved stone bowl on your journey, get some cheap collapsible ones to save some space.
- Pet First Aid – pets have different medical needs than humans do, buy a good first aid kit for all of the bumps and bruises along the way!
- Jacket – puppies get cold too! Especially if you will be in a different climate a jacket is a must-have! If your dog is prone to anxiety you may want a thunder jacket too.
- Two Person Tent – for safety reasons your dog needs to be in a tent or accommodation you stay at with you. They could get hurt by another animal, the temperatures could be a strain on them, or any hazardous weather could hurt them.
- Hands Free Leash – keep your hands free as you hike or run. You will definitely be thankful for long journeys.
- Extra Collar – bring an extra collar in case the one your dog is wearing breaks or gets misplaced.
4. Get a Check-Up Before Leaving
Make sure that your pet is safe for traveling. This is especially important if your pet has a preexisting condition you’re aware of and needs medication for comfort on the road.
5. Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations
Pet-friendly accommodations can be extremely difficult to find. And just because they say pet-friendly does not mean it’s the right location to take your furry friend. Check their pet policies, see what any extra fees will be, and check the surrounding area for pet-friendly restaurants and parks. Your farm dog would probably not be happy without a little bit of room to stretch his legs.
Check out some of our Pet-Friendly Accommodations (All RV sites allow Pets):
Catherine’s Landing – Hot Springs, AR
Live Oak Landing – Freeport, FL
Medina Highpoint Resort – Medina, TX
Lake Raystown Resort – Entriken, PA
Pine Mountain – Pine Mountain, GA
Yosemite RV Resort – Coarsegold, CA
Also, check out these websites for other pet-friendly accommodations!
6. Get these 4 Apps to Make Traveling Easier
These apps will help make traveling a breeze!
- Bring Fido – allows you to browse hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, beaches and even events that all welcome dogs with open arms.
- Dog Park Finder Plus – find a dog park anywhere you are traveling! It is great to help plan your rest stops.
- Red Cross Pet First Aid – this is an absolute must! No matter what is going wrong you can either figure out a way to fix it or it helps you find the closest veterinarian.
- Dog Vacay – if you can’t bring your dog with you to an activity or outing while on vacation bring up this app to find trustworthy and insured dog sitters and walkers in the area.
7. Choose Destinations and Activities Wisely
Some places will be more suited than others for your pet, choose wisely as to what places allow pets as well as what will be the best place for your dog. A dog who has only ever lived in the suburbs won’t know what to think about a trip to a large city like Manhattan. Don’t throw them completely out of their comfort zone with a new place, new people, new sounds, and new smells. Let them gradually get used to the idea that you are going to a new place. Also, don’t surround them with strangers, it can overwhelm them, and they may not know how to react accordingly.
8. Pack their Favorite Toys, Blankets, and Bed
Dogs are creatures of habit. When you take them on vacation be sure to have items that smell like home so they do feel so estranged or anxious.
9. Have Their Collar with Tags on Them at All Times
Even though you are very careful when you take your dog on a walk you never know what could happen. Always keep up to date tags on them to be sure they will make it home safely.
10. Map Out Pit Stops
Dogs need a break from the road too! Whether they need a bathroom break, food stop, or just to lay down out of the car be sure you plan enough stops that you won’t have any accidents or anxious animals on your road trip.
11. Pack Puppy Pads
Whether you have a brand new puppy or a seasoned traveler, puppy pads are great for adventures. You will want to line their crate with the pads, especially on the road, so any accidents don’t leave the area. They are also great if they decide to take an unexpected swim or step in something less than appealing and you don’t have ample time to clean them off.
12. When you Arrive, Settle in, and Enjoy the Stay
Once you arrive unpack their things and let them settle into the new environment in their own time with their familiar food, toys, and blankets. Then, enjoy your stay with your happy dog!