Taking dogs on vacation is becoming a more common practice. In 2018, 37% of American pet owners said they take their pets along with them on trips, compared to just 19% in 2008. And now in 2023, that number is closer to 60% according to Wag Walking! Having your dog with you as you vacation can be a super fun and fulfilling experience for both you and your pet, but like any part of vacation planning, preparation is key!
At Lizzi & Rocco’s we love traveling with our pets when we can, and we have put together a handy guide for traveling with your dog based on our experiences!
If you decide that this year’s vacation would be incomplete without your dog joining the fun, do some research to ensure your dream vacation spot and itinerary is dog friendly. For example, if you plan on taking a vacation to Disney World and being in the parks for 12 hours a day, it may not be a good idea to take your dog since your dog cannot enter any Disney World parks.
Look for the following things when planning a dog-friendly trip:
Before leaving on a big trip, schedule a checkup for your dog with your veterinarian. Ensure that all vaccinations are current and bring along the necessary shot records. If you are traveling by air, check with your airline for their specific requirements for your furry companion.
Also remember, not all dogs enjoy traveling to new places and living the adventure lifestyle. You know your dog best, so keep your pup’s personality in mind!
Make sure that you pack a very durable leash and collar/harness. Just in case your dog takes off, make sure that your dog has an identification tag with your dog’s name, your name, and cell phone number. If you are staying somewhere for a few days, it might be a good idea to get an extra tag that has your temporary location and phone number. Also, make sure that your dog’s rabies vaccine tag is on the collar as well.
It is a good idea to research the nearest veterinary emergency hospital and program the number into your phone in the rare instance your dog gets injured adventuring or gets sick.
When it comes to packing for trips with animals, it is always better to overpack! It is good to be prepared for anything than to be caught unawares with nary a pet store in a 100-mile radius. This is ESPECIALLY true if your dog has allergies or special needs. Here is our list of the essential things to pack when traveling with a pet!
Make packing for your pup a breeze with this handy packing list!
It is extremely important for everyone’s safety that when driving your dog is safely restrained – in some states, it’s even the law! This keeps your dog safe in the case of an accident and prevents your dog from distracting the driver. Read about our recommended ways to keep a pet safe in the car here!
If your dog hasn’t spent a lot of time in the car in the past, get them used to the car before a major road trip.– You can start by letting them sit in the car with you while in your driveway, and then practice with some short drives to fun places!
Here are a few pro tips for car traveling with your pup!
And no matter what, never ever leave your dog unattended in a hot vehicle without cool air circulating. Car temperatures rise very quickly in the hot weather, even in the shade!
Hooray! You have made it to your vacation destination with your dog, family, and sanity in tow! It is time to kick back and relax. To keep your dog safe, make sure to use caution if let your pup off of its leash in a non-enclosed area, as dogs can take off running in areas that are unknown to them. If your dog doesn’t have great recall skills, it’s best to keep the leash attached!
Also, if you leave your dog unattended in a hotel room or rental, make sure they are comfortable with plenty of water and comfort toys! Dogs can easily panic in unknown houses and become destructive in a very short time period (like in the time it takes to grab a quick meal), so a crate and some calming supplements may be helpful tools to bring along.
The MOST IMPORTANT vacation tip is: have fun and make lots of memories! We hope that no matter where you go on your vacation and what you do that you have a wonderful, safe time!