Summer is upon us, meaning the best season for travel has arrived. You can get ready to pack light, put on your comfiest shoes, and make way for the open road.
But if you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably felt conflicted about leaving your dog behind when traveling. The good news is that you no longer have to choose between being a loving dog owner and having fun adventures.
If you plan smart and start early, you can have the time of your life taking your dog with you when you travel—and they’ll also have the time of their lives.
Here are the five best tips for making your travels with your furry friend as easy and fun as possible.
1. Register Your Dog as an Emotional Support Animal
Not everyone will be able to do this. But if you are emotionally or psychologically in need of assistance, consider emotional support dog registration.
Emotional support animals are different from service dogs in that they don’t compensate for physical disabilities and thus have fewer rights. They can’t accompany their owners on planes like service animals can, for instance.
Still, registering your pup as an emotional support animal will help them get other rights. They can accompany you to shops and restaurants along the way.
2. Schedule Bathroom Breaks
The biggest hurdle you have to overcome as a dog owner on travels is bathroom breaks. If you’re taking a 12-hour plane ride, you may be in for a sticky situation.
But traveling by car and taking your dog on adventures to the mountains or the beach means you can schedule regular bathroom breaks. Your dog will thank you, and so will those who don’t have to smell their mess in case of an accident!
3. Pack Unmessy Snacks
According to the AKC, dogs should eat full meals at least twice per day. If you’re going to have a tight travel day full of car, bus, and plane rides, consider bringing snacks.
Some dogs won’t eat while on the road, but a few snacks can curb their hunger until you’re ready to feed them and bunker down for the night.
4. Check for Pet-Friendly Hotels Ahead of Time
Lodging is the other big huddle when traveling with pets. Hotels and motels don’t always accommodate animals, and you can’t blame them. Some pet owners are messy and irresponsible, and hotel staff wants to avoid that.
Still, some loadings will allow your dog in, usually for a small fee. Do your research before you go on what lodgings will allow you to bring your dog.
5. Take a Pet Carrier
Every airline, hotel, and public transport has guidelines for passengers traveling with pets. Some want you to board the animal in a carrier, while others don’t mind if you bring them along on a leash.
No matter what you plan, it’s a good idea to bring a pet carrier along, just in case. Even if you travel by car, the carrier can keep them safe if an accident occurs.
Travel Should Be Fun
Remember that travel should be fun. Planning ahead of time is necessary to ensure that you have as much fun as possible.
Smooth out all the kinks before you set off. You won’t look back once you’re on the road with your furry friend.