Vacation Tips For Dog Owners

When most dog owners take a vacation, they hire a pet sitter or book a room at a kennel to make sure their dog is cared for while they're away. They assume that taking the dog on vacation would be too much trouble or would make it difficult to enjoy planned activities. However, it's easier than most people realize to take a dog on vacation. The following are some tips for traveling with a dog.

Pack A Bag

When taking dogs on vacation, don't forget to pack their bag. Dogs need a supply of food to cover every meal away from home. Measuring out portions in sandwich bags can make it easier to get the right amount. Don't forget medications, shampoo, food and water bowls, a leash, bedding, toys, and treats. People who plan to do a lot of outdoor activities may want to pack a dog backpack as well. According to, backpacks are ideal for carrying small to medium-size dogs.

Travel By Car If Possible

Air travel tends to be riskier for dogs since they travel in the cargo hold area, out of sight of people. Occasionally dogs are injured or even die from temperature extremes or inappropriate handling. When traveling by car, dogs should stay in an anchored crate to prevent them from roaming around the vehicle or sticking their head out the window. Most dogs feel calm when they are confined in a small, but comfortable, space.

Plan For Stops

Dogs need frequent breaks for water, exercise, and bladder relief. Rest areas make great stopping places because they usually include large grassy areas where dogs can walk or run around. When planning a car trip, schedule stops every few hours. It's also a good idea to find out where veterinary hospitals are along the route, just in case of emergency.

Research Pet-Friendly Hotels

There are hotels that allow dogs, and there are hotels that go out of their way to make dogs feel at home with doggie daycare and spa services. Before traveling, find out the hotel's policies regarding pets, what special amenities they offer, and what extra charges they impose. If it's too difficult to find a hotel that is sufficiently dog-friendly, it may be possible to find a high-quality boarding facility nearby. Another option is to avoid hotels altogether and go camping instead. For long hikes, check out the dog carriers at

Pet Safety

A dog should wear a collar with an identification tag at all times, and the tag should show the owner's current phone number. Some pet owners microchip their dogs for an extra layer of security. A microchip is a form of identification that is implanted under the skin and can be read by a scanner. The advantage of a microchip is that it can't be removed; however, it's not a replacement for an ID tag that is visible to anyone.