Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Your Pooch
The saying “a man’s best friend is his dog” has been around forever and with good reason. He’s always by your side, whether he’s snoring at your feet, fetching a ball, or following you to the fridge. She’s excited every time you walk in the door, even if your trip was just to the mailbox and back. Everything you do with your dog is an adventure in their eyes; their excitement rarely dwindles and just being with you lights up their world.
It’s not always possible to take your dog on a trip, but when it is possible it creates a whole new list of things to do — or not do — while away. It also changes the way you pack for your trip; after all, he has items he needs just as you do.
While packing for your pooch, start with the basics. She’ll need food, a bowl, dedicated water supply (Fill up a few gallon jugs), and, of course, poo-bags for when they need to do their business (Opt for bio-degradable bags whenever possible). You’ll need something to carry his items in while away from your hotel, cabin, or campsite. If you don’t have a bag capable of holding the basics, we’ve got you covered. Collapsible bowls work perfectly for a dog-friendly trip; they tuck nicely and neatly into a bag without being clunky. Look for collapsible bowls with holes for carabiners so you can attach them to your Daytripper while out and about. Same with waste bags: look for something you can hang from your bag or waist while walking so you don’t have to fumble around looking for them. If you’re carrying a lightweight bag like the Gili Tote for a beach day or picnic, clip-on collapsible bowls and poop-bag dispensers will save space for other items.
Preparedness: Emergency, Health, and Identification
Even if you’re going away on a short trip, it’s imperative to be prepared for anything with your pooch. The American Kennel Club recommends looking up the number and addresses for emergency veterinarians local to your destinations. Pack a copy of your dog’s health records and keep them handy. If your dog doesn’t have identification tags, purchase one for the trip that includes her name and your contact information; also make sure her microchip information is up to date! Be sure to bring his regular food along on the trip; changing foods can upset his digestive tract and lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting. And, always be sure to have an ample water supply to keep you and your buddy hydrated. To be prepared in case of an injury on the road, consider carrying an emergency muzzle. Your furry friend is more likely to bite when fearful and anxious when around new people and circumstances, are injured or are in pain. While you may not feel comfortable with the idea of a muzzle, you should consider one if your dog will be in unfamiliar territory.
Traveling can overwhelm a dog, especially if he’s not used to being away from home for an extended time. Bring a few familiar things for her to sleep with or on while in a new place. This could be a shirt you’ve worn and not washed yet, his bed, or a favorite toy. Having something familiar may help him feel more at ease when staying somewhere new.
Planning: Dog-Friendly Destinations
Make sure you know which places are dog-friendly and which aren’t. Know the rules of any parks you’re visiting and what the requirements are for leashes (some parks require only a leash, others require the leash be no longer than a certain length). Check out the local scene online before traveling to see if there’s a dog-friendly patio at a brewery you’ve been wanting to check out or a dog-friendly restaurant. If you’re not sure how your dog will react in certain situations, avoid them, or use extra caution. For example, if your pooch has never been around large crowds of people, be prepared to leave. Parks may have more people during certain times; plan on taking your pooch outside of peak times to avoid her becoming overly anxious.
Bringing your furry bestie along for a trip is a wonderful way to bond and ensure that their life is as enriched as yours. New experiences, unforgettable memories, and all the photo ops with the greatest dog in the world (we’re all a little biased). After all, a selfie is always better with your BFF!