Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

February 1, 2016

road trip karaBy Laurie Darroch

If you are thinking about going on a road trip with your dog, be aware that locating pet friendly lodging may limit your travel plans. Not all hotels or motels allow dogs as guests in their rooms. Try some of these helpful tips to make finding dog-friendly accommodations  easier.

Be Prepared

Unless you are on an emergency or last minute trip, plan ahead for your road trip. Dogs need to stop for relief or just to stretch their legs on a long trip the same way you do. They also need to have comfortable sleeping accommodations with room to move, ventilation, and a sense of security. You don’t want to be stuck sleeping in the car with your dog when you end up someplace where there are no pet-friendly establishments.

Check ahead of time for the places along the way that allow dogs to stay. Also look into which rest stops have dog friendly areas for stretching their legs, and what the limitations or requirements are in each place. Even campgrounds may have specific limits or requirements for a pet to stay. Do your research to ensure a pleasant stay for all.

Online Help

If you know ahead of time that you are taking your dog with you on a road trip, the internet is the most powerful tool you have to find good dog friendly lodgings. In addition to lodgings and specific requirements of each place, you can also check for local dog parks, whether or not the hotel has outdoor pet-friendly areas, and if there is any extra charge for a dog to stay with you. You can also look at groups online that offer advice for the specific area you are going to.

Do call the hotel ahead of time, however, to make sure the current pet policy coincides with the online information. You don’t want any surprises that can ruin your travel plans.

Word of MouthDog-Animated-no-offer

Even with comprehensive information available online, sometimes the small personal details are left out on hotel websites. If you have friends or acquaintances who have traveled with dogs to where you are going, they may be the best resource for an accurate, detailed and honest recommendation.

What to Pack

A new place may make your dog nervous or scared. Reassure your dog by bringing along familiar or comforting items. Take a favorite blanket, cuddle toy or chew toy, and some CANIDAE Grain Free treats to reward them for good behavior in the room and to let them know the experience is a positive one.

Bring along both a food bowl and a water bowl for your dog, along with an ample supply of their regular dog food. Unless it is a specialty hotel that specifically caters to pampered pooches, they are not likely to have dog food available. Besides, your pet’s favorite CANIDAE dog food brought from home is a much better option!

Additional Tips

Keep a dog emergency kit with you that includes any medicines, specific care instructions, size, breed and weight. Some hotels require specific information about your dog when you register.

Make a sign to put on the outside of the door so anyone coming to the room knows there is a dog present. That protects any visitors and the dog as well.

If your dog is a barker and can’t stay quietly in the room when you leave, be aware that road trip mattthe hotel may not want you and your dog there. They may also require a crate in the room for a visiting dog.

Leave the radio or television on in the room if you have to leave to help keep your dog at ease and relaxed while you are gone. The background noise is soothing.

Traveling with a dog can be a challenge if you are not prepared for the experience or if your dog is not used to it. Do your research, so you’ll know what pet-friendly lodging is available before you pack up and take off on a road trip with your dog.

Top photo by Kara/Flickr
Bottom photo by Matt/Flickr

Read more articles by Laurie Darroch

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  1. DMatsuura says:

    At CANIDAE we travel with our dogs frequently to many events. I would like to add another helpful tip – always bring a flat bed sheet or thin blanket to cover the hotel beds with. That way if they jump on the bed or sleep in the bed with you, you will not damage or leave hair on the hotel linens. Diane @ CANIDAE