I Want to Travel But I Have a Dog! Problem Solved.

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If you’re thinking, “I want to travel but I have a dog,” don’t despair.

Doggone it, you can do both!

It’s true that when you have a dog, enjoying a rewarding travel experience comes with its challenges. Should you leave your dog at home? Take him with you?

And then there’s the planning around your decision.

Whether you’re taking a road trip or flying cross country, you’ll need to prioritize your dog’s well-being and happiness.

Below, you’ll gain insights to make the best decision about dog-friendly travel plans. Discover the important safety tips, essential travel products, and guidance you need to decide whether to board your dog or take him on the road with you.

Buckle up, and let’s embark on this adventure together!

I want to travel but I have a dog!
If you’re thinking, “I want to travel but I have a dog,” you can do both!

CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn some dog-friendly solutions when you’re thinking “I want to travel but I have a dog,” including:

How to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy When You’re Traveling 

Don’t let your dog keep you from traveling. Sure, you may have concerns about your pet’s enjoyment and safety while you’re making travel arrangements.

That’s only natural.

After all, we are talking about “man’s best friend” here. You always want to ensure your dog is happy, healthy, and well-cared for.

But you can easily plan your travels, because you have two choices as a responsible pet owner. The good news is, they will both see to it that your animal companion lives his best life while you are on your trip.

The first option is to board your dog at a reputable facility.

The second is to bring your pet along on the journey.

Let’s look more closely at both options so you have an easier decision to make.

Option 1: Board Your Dog While You Travel

Many pet parents may think of boarding as a cold place where your dog is alone and away from you.

However, it is very different from that. That’s especially because of all the other dogs your pet will find there.

Pet boarding facilities usually have a regular schedule to provide a safe environment for your dog while you’re away.

They also have vast play areas that will feed your dog’s playful mind.

Playing with the other dogs gives your pet an ideal opportunity to increase his social and emotional well-being. Considering this can help alleviate any guilt you’re feeling about leaving your dog behind while you travel – he will have the time of his life!

Here are a few ways you can help prepare your dog for a great experience at a reputable boarding facility. Then, you can head off for vacation knowing your dog is safe, happy, and well-cared for.

1. Familiarize Your Dog With The Boarding Facility

Before you board your dog in a boarding kennel environment, it helps to familiarize your dog with the facility.

So, see if you can take your dog to the kennel’s daycare sessions in advance of dropping him off.

That way, he’ll be more comfortable–maybe even excited!–when he stays over.

Another thing you can do is to bring some of your dog’s favorite items from home to the boarding facility. Having familiar items and scents with him will help your dog feel more at ease.

This may include this favorite blanket, special toys, or the brand of dog food he is used to eating at home.

By getting your dog familiar with the kennel and having favorite things with him, your dog will become more accustomed to the surroundings.

In fact, when your dog gets to know the caregivers and other canines, he might even be looking forward to the visit!

2. Let Caregivers Know Your Pet’s Behavior

Brown Chihuahua
Let caregivers know about your pet’s behaviors, good and bad.

When you bring your dog to the boarding facility, the staff will request information about your dog to ensure proper care during your absence.

Providing them with relevant details will enable them to provide the best possible care. That includes paying proper attention to your beloved pet’s needs throughout their stay.

It will be helpful for the caregivers to know things like how your dog responds to a leash, whether your dog occasionally has seizures, whether he has a problem when people touch its collar, and other behaviors. You can visit technobark.com for more tips.

Reputable kennels will know how to deal with all of your dog’s idiosyncrasies–and will do so with love.

4. Manage Your Pet’s Anxiety

Pet Boarding
Don’t worry. You’re dog will have a blast!

You might worry about how your dog will fit in when you drop him off.

Here’s the thing.

Your dog can detect your anxiety.

This may cause your dog to become agitated, too!

That’s why it’s important to manage your feelings and leave right away after dropping your dog off.

You can take it easy and relax at home with your dog, or give him a few hours of vigorous exercise before drop-off.

Either way, avoid stressing out. Your dog will sense your vibe and likely mirror it.

3. Vaccinations & Proper Paperwork

Most agree that vaccinations are crucial to ensure the safety of all the pets in boarding facilities.

They play a key role in reducing the possibility of contagious illnesses like kennel cough.

Additionally, it is required by law that boarding facilities keep records of pet vaccinations. So, you’ll need to be prepared to provide the proper paperwork.

If your pet’s vaccinations are past due, the majority of boarding facilities won’t let them play. In fact, they might flat-out decline to accept your pet.

So, make sure you find out what’s required and have the necessary documentation in-hand before it’s time to leave your dog at the facility.

Option 2: Traveling With Your Pet

Up-to-date Vaccinations
Stop saying, “I want to travel but I have a dog.” Instead, find a way to enjoy your adventures.

Like the boarding option, traveling with your pet has advantages for both you and your pet.

The most obvious of these benefits is that your pet will get to spend time with you. You won’t have to be worried that he is missing you, because you’ll be together.

This is another great solution to resolve your thinking, “I want to travel but I have a dog.”

However, unlike the boarding option, you need to consider many more logistics when traveling with your pet.

Here are some of the most basic considerations to ensure a great trip with your dog.

1. Ensure you Have a Handy Pet Pack

Bring along a pet pack with the essential things your pet will need throughout the journey.

For instance, a handy pack will include the basic items you need to provide your pet along the way, like:

  • Food and water
  • Any medications your dog needs
  • Familiar items
  • Bags for waste cleanup

Packing familiar items for your pet when you’re traveling can help contribute to his relaxation and may boost his confidence in a new environment.

Therefore, no pet handy pack is complete without your pet’s favorite toys. They’ll help ensure that your dog is more happy and relaxed while you travel. 

Items related to cleanliness and hygiene are important, too. That way, your pet stays clean for the duration of your trip. Cleanliness and hygiene will also ensure your pet is welcome wherever you go or stay.

2. Ensure You Follow the Basic Travel Tips

Traveling with your pet means letting people and businesses know that your pet is not from around when greeted.

It also means you will have to provide the right documentation to allow them to get into the places you are going.

Some basic tips include getting the proper vaccination documents from your veterinarian, as well as their certifications.

This is especially true if your dog is an emotional support animal (ESA). You don’t want to be denied access to your flight or elsewhere dogs may not be typically allowed. The right paperwork can make a difference.

Before traveling with your pet, you’ll need to contact the airlines and hotels in advance. Let them know you’ll have a furry companion with you.

This proactive step will allow them to make the necessary preparations and provide you with the best service possible. It will also give you time to complete any required paperwork.

Additionally, consider connecting with other pet owners in your destination area. They may offer valuable insights and ideas on how to keep your dog entertained during your stay.

3. Use a Dog Probiotic to Boost Your Dog’s Gut Health and Immune System

During travel, your dog may not receive the same regular food or consistent diet as they do at home.

Exploring new places like hotels or restaurants may tempt them to try different foods. This can be exciting for their curious nature!

However, these dietary changes may not always agree with their body and stomach.

It can lead to potential digestive issues.

That’s why it’s essential to be mindful of your dog’s food intake during your travels. You always want to ensure their good health and well-being.

Many dog-owners look to Honest Paws’ dog probiotics to ensure their pets have the best gut health on the road and when they return home. Probiotics can help to supplement key minerals in your dog’s diet, and can boost their immunity.

This can be crucial when dogs are in a new environment. 

As with any supplement you give your dog, check with your veterinarian first. Probiotics can can be a beneficial addition to your dog’s diet.

4. Maintain Your Dog’s Schedule

The final thing you need to do to keep your dog happy and healthy is to be mindful of their routine or schedule.

By ensuring their familiar schedule, like meal time, daily walks, and bed time routines, can minimize your dog’s stress level.

This sense of familiarity in their daily routine will help make them more at ease. Then, your dog will be more likely to enjoy the journey.

Related: How To Avoid Dog Bite Lawsuits: For Dog Owners and Travelers

Final Thoughts | I Want to Travel But I Have a Dog!

When you’re traveling, it is normal to worry about your pet.

But you can put your concerns at ease.

When you choose a trusted boarding facility, your dog will have other dogs to play with in a warm environment, along with the stability of a schedule. And if you choose to travel with your dog, it is an adventure for both of you, as long as you have the basics covered.

Traveling with or without your dog can be a delightful experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration for your dog’s well-being.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can take steps to ensure your dog remains happy, healthy, and safe during your adventures. Always remember to prioritize your pet’s comfort and happiness.

So, please, stop saying, “I want to travel but I have a dog.”

Instead, go create cherished memories that will last a lifetime!


Jackie Gately at the beach


About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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