Plan a Weekend Getaway With Your DogJul 01, 2022
Ahh… spring and summer. The flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, temperatures are rising. And wanderlust is on everyone’s mind.
It’s the official start of vacation season. The perfect time to get the fuck away from your boring hometown and avoid another weekend of Netflix and chill.
The only downside is leaving your BFF behind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Road trips are an awesome way to spend quality time making memories with your pup. Crank up the tunes and get to cruisin’ with our guide to planning a vacation with your dog.
Finding Dog-Friendly Vacation Spots
Some destinations are better than others when it comes to bringing your dog along. Think big - as in the Great Outdoors. Choose a route with parks and beaches galore to give you and your dog plenty of space to romp.
One place to start your research is by asking the fellow dog moms in your life. It’s also a great convo to have with your trainer, vet, or groomer - they often get the scoop on the latest adventures of their other clients, so are primed to point you in the right direction.
GoPetFriendly is a super cool website with road trip info, planning help, and tips. Check them out to get inspired - you’re guaranteed to find a locale that will suit your vacation style and your budget.
Booking Pet-Friendly Accommodations
Thank God for the internet, right? Gone are the days when you had to try your luck finding a place that would appreciate your dog as much as you do. Hotels now, more than ever, welcome pets of all sizes.
Most hotel aggregator sites will allow you to check the pet-friendly box while searching. We recommend PetsWelcome for their kick-ass feature that allows you to choose your starting and final destinations, then search for dog loving lodging at regular intervals along your route. You’ll even find places that take pampering to the extreme with dog-centric activities and special services.
Prepping Your Dog for Car Travel
Prepping, you ask? Prep for the dog whose favorite fucking words ever are, “Wanna go for a ride?”
Most dogs really dig riding in cars, but a longer vacation takes a little more forethought than a quick jaunt across town.
Despite your perfect driving record (right?), accidents can happen on the road. It’s vital to keep your pup secure. Now’s the perfect time to invest in a specially designed seatbelt to keep your pup where it belongs.
Another option is to bring your dog’s crate. Wedged securely in the back seat, it’s a safe haven that your dog already knows well. It may not be quite as exciting as tongue out, ears flapping with their head out the window, but it’s most def safer in case something goes wrong.
Try to avoid allowing your dog in the front with you. The rear compartment in hatchbacks is a crumple zone in crashes, so that’s best left for luggage if at all possible.
One final word on safety: never leave your dog unattended in the car, especially during periods of extreme weather.
What to Pack for Your Pet
Make like a Girl Scout and be prepared. Or is that the Eagle Scouts. Anyway. It never hurts to be a little neurotic and scribble out a checklist before you go. The beauty of road trips is there’s no such thing as overpacking as long as all that shit fits in the car. Take full advantage.
Municipal water (or scummy pond water in parks) can really wreak havoc on a dog’s sensitive gut. Pack plenty of h2o for your trip or bring a portable filter along. Also be sure to pack plenty of food, yummy treats, and everyday essentials like poop bags.
A weekend home away from home is crazy exciting, but tote a few creature comforts along. A favorite toy or four, a blankie, or small bed can help nervous travelers feel the right amount of safe in unknown surroundings.
Not to be all doom and gloom, but pack your pet first aid kit just in case, plus meds and vet records. If you end up in a jam and need a trip to the vet, it’s important for them to know your dog’s history.
Keep Your Dog On Its Leash
Vacays are all about exploration, but don’t give the little bugger license to roam. Even the best-trained dog can be tempted to chase after exciting sounds and rogue squirrels.
Unless you’re chillin’ out at the hotel, make sure your pup stays on its leash. That little bit of peace of mind will let you keep the focus on all the fun in store.
Capture Every Moment
Don’t forget to take plenty of pics to capture every moment of your awesome road trip with your dog. After all, it didn’t happen if you didn’t brag about it on social.
Most of all, have a great fucking time. Exploring new locales with your dog is the ultimate in pet-person bonding. Happy travels and bon voyage!