Bring Your Dog: Plan These 3 Things Before You Go
We’ve all seen the gorgeous photos of people vacationing with their dogs; riding the surf together, hiking through the woods, or sitting side-by-side gazing at a lake. Your dog is a huge part of your life, and tied to some of your happiest memories. It can be difficult to decide if you should bring your dog on vacation. Perhaps your hosts invited your dog to come along. You know if you don’t, you’ll be missing your best friend. On the other hand, there are some practical things to consider. Plan these three things before bringing your dog on your trip.
#1 Have a Plan for Safety
Safety first. Before you get caught up in the surfing/hiking fantasy, consider the safety of your dog. We love taking our dogs to the lake cottage we visit in Michigan. Rocky and Tess swim, ride in the kayak, and roll around in the grass. The problem is, the neighbors at the lake have dogs that can be aggressive. And sometimes those dogs are not on a leash. When we bring Rocky and Tess with us, we are careful not to let them off leash or unattended. If we let Rocky and Tess out of our sight, they might wander over to say hello and get hurt. What is your plan to keep your dogs safe from wandering? A simple tether in the yard works for us. We all sit outside together. We also bring dog life jackets for swimming and boat rides. Not only do the dog life jackets make swimming easier for the dogs, the handle makes it so we can grab them when they jump off the raft.
Another important consideration is the safety of the people where you are going. We have family members with dog allergies. It is not polite for us to bring the dogs knowing our family members will be sneezing and uncomfortable with Rocky and Tess around. In that case, we make a plan for a pet sitter. Is your dog reactive or unpredictable? If so, leave them with a responsible pet sitter or boarding facility. Your trip won’t be fun if you are worried about your dog biting or scaring a family member.
#2 Pack for the Journey and the Destination
Do you have a comfortable and safe place for your dog to sleep in the car? Is it easy to clean if your dog gets carsick? What are the sleeping arrangements when you arrive? Do you have a flashlight and a leash for bathroom breaks at night? Food, dishes, poop bags, toys. Plan, prepare, and pack accordingly. Check out the Travel & Luggage link on The Good Life Pup to stay organized on your trip. We have car seat covers and bags designed for dog owners that provide space for food, water, and everything you need.
#3 Determine if your dog will have fun
You know your dog better than anyone. Does your dog go with the flow and chill? Does your dog enjoy car rides? Or is your dog a bit anxious? Does your dog get upset or worried about changes in routine? How much time can you devote to your dog when you arrive?
If your gut tells you to go for it, then do it! Bring the dog! Let the adventure begin!
On the other hand, if you are worried that your dog won’t be happy or safe on your trip, then it’s simple: don’t bring the dog this time.
The good news is that with Rover.com and the rise of luxury boarding facilities, there are many options to keep your dog happy and safe while you’re away. You can hire a professional dog sitter, hire a house sitter to come to your home, schedule a boarding stay, or ask a trusted friend or family member to watch your dog. Whatever you decide, go with whatever choice brings you the most peace of mind.
What advice do you have for bringing your dogs on vacation?
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