Regardless of how you are traveling (plane, train, or automobiles) you will have to accept some compromise when it comes to bringing the family dog along. Most dog owners have considered leaving Rover behind when embarking on a vacation or holiday trip. But the reality of the situation is not so simple.
Even self sufficient dogs are going to need to have someone looking after them (including feeding and general care) during the time when you are away. The only other option is to bring the dog with you on your trip. Traveling with a pet can be easy and enjoyable if you’re driving up to your cabin in the woods or beach house. But how about when your travel plans require more of a long- haul trip?
The challenge on long-distance trip with your dog, is ensuring that the trip is enjoyable, and trouble-free, for both dog and human. If you can master making the trip enjoyable, the next challenge is to make to trip fun for your dog.
TRY TO KEEP YOUR DOG ACTIVE
Most dogs will want and need to get some sort of exercise on the trip. Exercise is important for both you dog and yourself. Hyper dogs bouncing around a moving car can be dangerous. Mine likes to push buttons (literally and figuratively) and to try to sit with daddy as he is driving. If driving long distance, you will have to plan some stop-offs, complete with a short walk, during the trip. As with young children, bringing toys and treats on the trip can help with boredom and provide some activity. Even for humans, we like or need a chance to stretch our legs when driving long-distance.
ALLOW SPACE FOR YOUR DOG TO STRETCH OUT
Driving is often a cause of nervousness for a canine. They will frequently seek some comfort from their people while on the drive. Some dogs can be counted on to cuddle up to someone in the car. Whether snuggling or resting, a dog will want to have some space and environment to lie down, relax and even sleep to pass the time. Some drivers consider it worthwhile to take two cars to accommodate all the people, luggage, and pets.
PLAN AHEAD AND FIND PET-FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS, RESTAURANTS, AND ACCOMMODATIONS
Generally, the trip can be as exciting as the destination itself. When doing your research and planning, it is important to consider locations that will be pet-friendly. That can mean different things to different travelers, but generally means hitting our national parks or choosing an AirBnB home rental that explicitly allows dogs. With good advance research you can plan to enjoy your journey and avoid being forced to leave your dog in kennels for the duration of the trip. You can also look for places to make compromises so at least some of your group can visit non-pet-friendly destinations with at least one traveler left to mind the dog.
Traveling with your canine buddy can be a fun time for all involved, as long as you make the itinerary adjustments and decisions ahead of time. If you take the opportunity to research where you’re going, and keep in mind who is coming along on the trip, having the dog along should only enhance the good times.