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Road Trip with Your Dog | Dog Travel Tips

Dog-friendly vacations and traveling tips.
There are a number of things dog owners can do to prepare their dog for a road trip

Hitting the open road with a dog can be a great adventure. There are so many great dog-friendly destinations you can explore, but traveling with dogs can be a challenge if you aren’t prepared. To get you and Fido ready for your next vacation with your dog, I have 5 of my best dog-friendly travel tips.

5 Dog-Friendly Road-Trip Tips

1. Plan Ahead– When taking a road trip with a dog, it’s always easier if you plan ahead. You don’t have to have everything set in stone, but researching your route, dog-friendly accommodation options, dog-friendly attractions, and available dog-friendly restaurants can lead to a much more enjoyable trip.

2. Finding Dog-Friendly Establishments– You might be pleasantly surprised at how many businesses will allow a well-behaved dog into their establishment. I suggest a quick Internet search as your first step. Place your city destination after the following terms; “dog-friendly X”, “dog-friendly restaurants in X”, or “outside restaurants X”. After you find a few options, call or E-mail each potential spot for their current dog policy.

Don’t stop there. Just because you didn’t find something on the Internet doesn’t mean your canine companion isn’t welcome. If there is a specific attraction you would like to visit, reach out and explain to them you will be traveling with your dog and are only patronizing establishments that will welcome your dog. Remember to reassure them he will be leashed and well-behaved.

On more than one occasion I have stumbled upon a great attraction, store, or restaurant and just asked if Dexter could accompany me. I’ve received more yes responses than nos. Again, a well-socialized and polite dog can open a lot of doors.

3. Does Your Dog Want to Travel?– This is such an important question to ask prior to traveling with your dog. If your dog prefers the comforts of home or does not have an adventurous nature, he may be more happy staying at home with a pet sitter or trusted family member. More on that topic in future blog posts.

4. Be Flexible– It’s always great to have a dog-friendly itinerary, but things do happen on the road. You might find that you stumbled upon a great dog-friendly beach where you and your pup are having such a great time, the sun is shining, the waves are just right, that you would rather stay and catch the sunset vs. heading to another destination. And that’s okay. Which leads to number 5 and my personal favorite.

5. Have Fun– Traveling with your dog BFF is one of the best ways to make lasting memories. Put away work, social media, and just be in the moment with your dog. Explore what the world has to offer and connect with your dog. Let him take the lead on where he wants to walk what he wants to sniff. Dogs are only here for a short time. Make the most of each opportunity. Now, pack those bags and hit the road.

For more on traveling with your dog, see Dogs on the Road, BARKS from the Guild, November 2018, pp. 28-31.

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