How to Prepare for a Vacation with Your Dog
February 05, 2019 | 3 min read
Updated October 18, 2023
By Clara Hallifax
Summary: If you're wondering how to vacation with your dog, this blog tells you everything you need to think about before heading on an adventure together...
How To Vacation With Your Dog
Leaving your best friend behind while you go on a vacation away can be a heartbreaking thought, so taking them with you may seem like the only right thing to do! However, there are certain things to think about and prepare before you go adventuring together, so here are a few tips to help you get on that getaway with your furry friend.
Is your dog ready for the adventure?
Essentially, you need to know if your dog is ready to go somewhere new, and of course, ready to have the best time ever with you! It can be scary going away to a new environment, so it might be worth going on day trips with your dog beforehand. Let them explore new surroundings, get used to the different smells, and see how they deal with the journey there.
Just as important as being mentally prepared, is being physically ready. If you’re unsure of your dog’s health conditions, it is a good idea to take them to the vet to check for anything. If you have any doubts about your dog’s happiness, consider leaving them with family or friends, or in a reputable, safe kennel.
Will they behave?
Do not underestimate the importance of your dog’s behavior! If you find it exhausting to take them on a walk around your local area, imagine what it will be like in a brand new setting.
Obedience training your dog is an essential part of your's and your pup’s life. Read our essential tips for training here! Making sure they’re trained before embarking on any trip away from the home will ensure both of you enjoy a stress-free vacation together.
Are you going to a dog-friendly destination?
The next thing to know is, will the local area love your dog as much as you do? Inevitably the answer is no because nobody loves your dog as much as you do, but you need to make sure that your dog will be welcomed.
Check the hotels or rental houses to see if you can bring your dog, and if you’re planning on eating out, do some research on restaurants to see if your dog can come with you. Remember, you don’t want to go on holiday and then leave your dog alone in your accommodation for too long – this can induce anxiousness.
Are you going somewhere hot? Is your dog comfortable in the heat? Make sure they won’t suffer in the climate you plan on going to.
How do you plan on getting there?
The most comfortable way for dogs to travel is by car (and it’s also the best way to take in views for you!), so avoid flying if you can. If you have to fly, check with airlines because they might have certain restrictions and extra costs.
Smaller dogs may be able to come on board with you but have to stay in a travel crate. Otherwise, they may be required to go in the hold. This can be incredibly traumatic for some pets, so really consider if this is the route for you both carefully!
If you make the decision to drive, there are also many things to think about. You should plan out your route carefully, but don’t forget to be flexible, so plan for excursions and stops that are not on route. Having said that, do not stop too much, otherwise, your pooch won’t be able to relax and get comfortable! Bring plenty of supplies for the journey, like freshwater and snacks.
Before you set off, do not feed your dog too much before or during the trip, as dogs are prone to travel sickness. That would not be fun to clean up! And, we suggest you take them for a long walk or run before setting off so that they are tuckered out whilst you’re traveling.
If you’re worried about them settling for the journey you could try using a non-drowsy natural doggy calming aid that may help support a relaxed disposition and maintain calmness. Look for a blend of ingredients like chamomile, valerian root, and passionflower, which can all help target stress supporting balanced behavior – ideal for when your pooch is a nervous traveler! Remember, always source supplements from a reputable and ethical pet brand!
Pack the essentials
Now that you’ve got the logistics all panned out, it’s time to pack! Bring any medication they need and the everyday necessities. Sometimes we humans can cope without home comforts, but our dog friends can feel a bit stressed without theirs, which is why it is important to pack their favorite toys.
If you are going by car, think about bringing their bed or blanket that smells and feels like home. You want to make your dog feel at ease, and as they are creatures of habit, bringing their valuables and sticking as close as possible to their routine can make the holiday a home away from home for them!
How To Vacation With Your Dog
It’s hard knowing what your dog is thinking, but you know them best. If you think you’re both ready to go away together and have a great time while staying safe, then get ready to go!
The most important thing to be sure of is your dog’s happiness – are they going to be comfortable? Are they healthy? Are you prepared to be flexible in your plans? If you can answer yes to all these, great! Go and make wonderful memories with your beloved best friend!
A lover of all animals, especially dogs! I love to learn about the way they think, and what we as pet owners can do to better their lives. So what better way, than to write fun, informative content?! When I’m not typing away, you can find me trying to cook a new recipe (and failing), or of course playing with the dog