Our dogs, Peanut, a beagle mix rescue we got from Stray Rescue of St. Louis, Moose and Magic, our forever-puppy labradors, are exuberant, loving, and perhaps the only members of our family who aren’t fans of travel.
Though the Pronger pups don’t love life on the road, there are countless benefits to traveling with your beloved pets. If everyone’s on board for a trip by plane or car, traveling with your furry friends can be therapeutic, peaceful, and an enjoyable experience for you both. Hotels and resorts have taken notice of the desire for guests to not part with their pets while on vacation and many offer a variety of amenities that any world-traveling hound will adore. And, although my dogs are more comfortable at home with a trusted sitter, I’ve rounded up some considerations for anyone ready to take their pet on their next getaway.
Does your dog like traveling?
Considering if your pet is even a fan of travel should be the first step to planning any trip with your four-legged friend. If your pet would rather stay home than head to the beach or mountains, speak with your veterinarian to get suggestions for special accommodations while you’re gone! If your pet has special health consideration, boarding them at your vet’s office may be your best option. I have friends who’ve used services like Rover.com to find fabulous sitters, and there are a host of qualified caregivers there!
Traveling with Your Pet: Car or Plane?
Whether you’re booking your plane tickets or ready to load up the SUV, traveling with your dog can take some extra planning. Be sure to speak with your airline representative to ensure you’re taking all necessary precautions and you’re ready for what their procedures will entail. Some airlines may deny travel for your pet depending on their age, size and breed.
If you’re planning to travel by car, be sure to plan for extra stops. Allowing your dog to stretch their legs regularly is good for both you and them! Take the extra time to walk, stretch, and enjoy the sights of an entirely new place to your pet. Ask your vet about creating a special feeding schedule for your dog while on the road. Some dogs may travel better on an empty stomach while seasoned road-trippers may enjoy a snack!
Packing for Your Pup
No matter how you decide to travel with your dog, you’re going to want to ensure their tags and veterinary information are up to date. Check with the region you’re traveling to, to see if there are extra immunizations or information you should consider before arrival. You may gain some peace of mind by adding the Pet First Aid app by the American Red Cross to your phone before you go! Packing your pet’s essential medication, bedding, food, and other accessories will prevent extra trips to the store (and added stress!)
Hotel and Resort Amenities for Pets
Bringing your pet along on vacation is a wonderful opportunity to experience your destination in a whole new way. Active dogs need extra exercise – what better way to start the day than with a brisk walk or jog? Take a closer look at beaches, hiking trails, and attractions like restaurants, wineries, and breweries that allow your dog to come along for the fun. Thankfully, we live in a world where all of these special spots can be found with apps like BarkHappy or TripAdvisor. Making special plans to include your dog in a few of your activities will create a bond and lasting travel memories you wouldn’t have otherwise!
Ask your concierge about pet amenities. Some resorts and spas feature treatments for keeping your pet healthy and relaxed while on vacation. Resorts that welcome your dog with open arms may offer things like:
Fresh food + water ready for your pet’s arrival
Pet care performed by expert staff including walking, sitting, & grooming
Happy hours designed for pet play, socialization, and exercise
Specialty pet “cocktails” and treats crafted for their enjoyment
Custom canine menus and room service
Birthday parties and custom celebrations for their milestones
Our dogs can contribute to our wellness by keeping us active and alleviating daily stressors. It’s important to keep them healthy and happy, too. Traveling with your pet can be good for your body and soul – and if it’s done well, you’ll both be eager for your next trip together!
Magic on The Go