Tips for Planning a Pet-Friendly Summer Vacation

by Little Boogie Shoes

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Vacation, it’s all I ever wanted… Vacation, I had to get away… Summer is synonymous with vacation, and who doesn’t like to get away for a little rest, relaxation, and adventure? I know I sure do. If your family is anything like mine, wherever the humans go, the animals go, too. In fact, this summer, we’re going on a road trip up the coast for a few weeks. Here’s how my humans are planning and preparing to take our pack on the road.

Veterinarian visit. Our first stop will be the vet’s office, where we’ll get a check-up from the doctor, and any vaccines we need before heading into the wilderness. We’ll also got a health certificate from our doctor to show that everyone is properly vaccinated and up to date on all the things we might need. A health certificate is helpful in the event you have to make an unexpected flight, show proof of vaccines at a hotel, or visit a doggie day care during your travels.

Medication refills. When we go to the vet, we’ll make sure to take in all our medications and request appropriate refills. For us, that means allergy medication, a medicated shampoo for me, and a travel aid for my senior pack member, Bruno. He’s 14-ish and doesn’t travel well in the car, but he hates staying home even more.

Update your tags and microchip. In our case, we’ll get new tags because our mom got a new phone number. We’ll also call the microchip company to make sure all the information for each of our microchips is correct. We don’t plan on getting lost, but just in case we do, our tags and microchips will lead back to our parents.

Grooming. Before we leave, everyone will get a nice bath, a nail trim, and a little “expressing” in the tushie area. Everyone wants to look and feel their best when they go somewhere new!

Supplies. The humans aren’t the only ones who need to pack a suitcase. And to be honest, our doggie suitcase rivals our humans’, because with four dogs, we require a lot of stuff. Here’s what we plan to pack for two weeks on the road:

■ Dog crates (collapsible)

■ Dog beds

■ Dog blankets and towels

■ Wee-wee pads

■ Harnesses and leash

■ New collar and tags

■ Microchip certificate

■ Copies of our adoption papers and dog licenses

■ Food and water bowls

■ Food

■ Treats

■ Kongs, snuffle mats, and a few other “chewy-staybusy” treats/toys

■ Doggie wipes

■ Travel water container

■ Travel-size doggie shampoo and conditioner

■ Travel toothbrushes

■ Ear cleaner

■ Poop bags

■ Dog stroller

■ Dog carriers designed for hiking pups

■ Chaos & Cuddles Pet Mess Travel Kit

Hotels/Airbnbs. This is SUPER important! Research pet-friendly hotels and/or Airbnbs well ahead of time and do your best to plan your travel schedule around those stops. Whether you’re traveling with one pet or four like we are, honesty is the best policy. When you book hotels or other accommodations, be honest about how many pets you have with you and what the rules are for leaving them alone in the room if needed. It’s not fun to “sneak” your pets in, stress out about them barking, or “get caught.” More places are allowing pets than ever before, and there is typically a pet fee or pet deposit required for furry guests. Well worth it for a stress-free stop to kick up your paws and recharge for the next leg of the journey.

Doggie daycare and dog sitters. Researching these resources ahead of time will save you a lot of time and anxiety. Let’s say, for instance, the humans decide to go out for the day, but there is a no-dogs-allowed rule along the way. Having a few doggie day care locations or dog sitters lined up to meet and inspect will ensure that your pet is safe and happy while you enjoy your day out.

Veterinarians on the road. If you’re traveling through multiple cities like we are or just spending time in one location for your summer vacation, it’s important to locate the nearest veterinarian’s office and emergency vet office. It’s better to be prepared in case you need a doctor than to need a doctor and have no idea about the local offerings.

Dog-friendly activities. Research ahead of time dog-friendly dining establishments, hiking trails, shopping centers, and other day trips you’d like to experience with your pet on your vacation.

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile this summer, planning is everything when it comes to a successful, safe, and adventurous trip!

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