3 Important Tips You Should Know About Taking Your Dog on Vacation

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If you’ve ever thought about taking your dog on vacation with you, then we’ve got some important tips for you. You’ll find lots of places you can take your dog, but there are also a few pitfalls you’ll want to watch out for. Find out how to have a successful experience traveling with your dog by following the tips below.

taking your dog on vacation (beach scene)
Consider the logistics of taking your dog on vacation for the best experience.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn important tips for taking your dog on vacation, including:

Should You Bring Your Dog With You On Vacation?

When you have a dog, you have, essentially, another well-loved member of the family. 

For many people, this means that their dog will join you on vacation. Just as you wouldn’t leave a family member behind, you wouldn’t leave the dog behind either.

But you can’t simply pack up their dog mattress and take them with you. In addition to packing their bed, there are other logistics for bringing a dog on vacation.

For instance, if you have a large dog, like a chocolate lab, you might find that you need a bigger crate for the plane. If you only have a little chihuahua, you won’t have to fight so hard to get a spot on the plane, either!

This can also mean taking some extra steps when booking and going on vacation to ensure that everyone–including your pet–is happy with the situation. 

Taking your dog on vacation can present lots of pros and cons. So, give it some hard thought and follow your instincts. If it sounds like a wonderful idea to you, give it a try!

Important Tips for Vacationing With A Dog

Here are some valuable tips to make sure you have a happy pup on vacation and that you can enjoy your vacation without any worries. 

1. Choose Where to Stay When Vacationing with a Dog

The last thing you are going to want is to arrive at your destination only to find that there are no hotels or even motels that accept dogs. This is why, ideally, you should try to book your accommodation before you leave home. That way, you can scout out dog-friendly hotels online.

If this is not possible, you may need to call around to a few different places before you find one that accepts pets. You might have to pay an additional fee on the bill to allow your dog to stay. 

Plus, if you do find somewhere that will take dogs, you might find there are weight and breed restrictions that rule you out from staying. So be sure to ask all the right questions about fees and policies.

The best option can often be having your own place to stay and not having to worry about booking into or finding a pet-friendly hotel. For instance, you can:

  • Stay in a dog-friendly AirBnB or similar rental property
  • Rent a whole house or cottage that allows dogs 

You can even buy or rent an RV. You want your dog to get comfortable and feel safe and that way, you’ll feel comfortable, too.

Nowadays, RVs are very spacious and have everything you need – you can even shop for a super-comfy mattress for the best night’s sleep on the road. Check out  https://thesleepshopinc.com/rv-mattress/ for the ideal mattress. 

If this is your first trip bringing your dog along, you might want to start with an overnight or weekend to see how it goes. That way, you can practice the experience without having committed to a long period of time.

Related Article: Read these 10 tips for buying an RV

2. Make A List Of Essentials 

When you are traveling with a dog, you’ll discover many different things that you need to take on vacation with you that you wouldn’t have to take otherwise. Because there are so many, and hopefully you’ll get the chance to travel often with your dog, it’s a good idea to make a list. Then, you can double-check that you have it all. 

Some items that will be of use and particularly essential when you’re traveling with a dog include: 

  • Leash 
  • Collar and tags 
  • Toys
  • Food and water dishes
  • Food and treats
  • Waste bags
  • Paper towels to wipe paws and fur if the weather is inclement 
  • Vaccination papers
  • Any pet meds
  • Dog brush
  • Carrier for small dogs

You might also want to take:

  • A flashlight (so that you can walk your dog in the dark, in an unfamiliar place)
  • Dog bed 
  • Blanket

Having these things with you means you aren’t just prepared, but your dog is comfortable too. It’s especially important to bring toys and other items from home with the right scent on them.  

Here is a handy dog packing list you can use as a guide.

3. Be Prepared for Emergencies

Dogs can get sick or injured just like anyone else. Although you’ll clearly hope this doesn’t happen, it’s wise to be prepared just in case it does. 

The first thing you can do to be more prepared is research the veterinary clinics in the area you are heading to. Look at the reviews and testimonials, and have the contact details ready of the clinic you would prefer to go to should you need to. 

You can also, if you have a long journey, make sure you have the names and contact details of vet clinics along the route too. 

Before starting your journey, why not make an appointment with your home veterinarian? They can check your dog over to make sure he is fit to travel, and if your dog needs any shots, you can arrange this at the same time. 

If your dog takes any medications, be sure you will have enough with you for the trip and there is no problem with the expiration date. And, if you’re going to need a refill, now is a good time to get that taken care of.

You might also ask to have his nails trimmed if this is something that is a difficult task, and make an appointment to have him groomed before you go on vacation.

Finally, remember to take your dog’s most recent vaccination papers with you when you go.

Final Thoughts on Taking Your Dog on Vacation

While it might be a little more work and preparation to bring your dog with you on vacation, it can also be a great joy to have him along. It doesn’t matter where you go, chances are, your dog will just be happy to be along for the adventure.

So don’t let your dog keep you from traveling!

Continue reading about how you can plan a perfectly happy family vacation.

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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