7 Golden Rules for Vacationing with Dogs

Can you vacation with your dogs?  Totally.  Lots of major hotels allow dogs, and it’s cheaper than boarding.  Remember our 7 Golden Rules for Vacationing with Dogs.

The 7 Golden Rules of Traveling with Dogs

#1 – Leave No Sign

To ensure that you, and others, always have the opportunity to vacation with dogs, follow this rule.  Pick up your dog’s feces and dispose of them properly.  Don’t allow your dog to destroy property by chewing.  Don’t allow your dog to pee on things in your hotel room.  If your dog can’t follow these rules, board him or leave him at home.  Every time a dog destroys a hotel room, a hotel chain becomes one step closer to forbidding dogs on the property.

#2 – Silence

Two things ruin a hotel stay like no other:  loud sex neighbors, and a barking dog.  Many dogs act nervous in a hotel, because they hear people walking back and forth past the door at all hours.  Your dog should settle down when asked, and not bark.  If your dog can’t settle down, leave her home.

Also, never leave your dog alone in your hotel room, even for a few minutes.  Without your presence, they become “in charge” of the space and may bark more than they normally would.  If you need to run to the vending machines or check something at the desk, leash up your dog and take him with you.  You can practice his obedience training on the way.

#3 – Safety in Hotel Room

As soon as you check in, evaluate your hotel room for your dog’s safety.  Set up his crate, and make sure that he can’t reach any cords or furniture.  Check that he can’t get wedged under the bed, and anything else you think he might get up to while you sleep.  Make sure the room is safe for him, even while you’re in the shower.

#4 – Supplies

Always, always bring a crate to a hotel.  If he’s crate trained at home, the crate will provide him with a huge amount of security, which cuts down on the barking.  It protects him from getting in trouble at night, and keeps his fur and dander to one area of the room.  You can crate him while you use the shower or if he’s super nervous and underfoot.  It’s important to him that he always have a safe place, and most dogs really prefer to go in their crate when they’re upset.  He’ll behave better with a crate, even if you never shut the door.

Bring a food and water dish, as well as a mat for the water dish.  Hotel bathrooms seem to have slick tile, and your dog slobbers.  I hate stepping in cold water first thing in the morning.

Also bring at least one extra leash, in case you misplace your regular one.  Just like with people, travel can upset a doggy digestive system, and you might be on short notice to get him out.

#5 – Hot & Cold Weather Safety

Because you won’t leave your pet in your hotel room, it’s important to provide hot or cold weather safety while traveling and while vacationing.  Follow our Hot Weather Tips in the summer, and make sure that he’s comfortable in cold weather as well.

#6 – Pet Happiness

Does your pet enjoy travel?  If your pet clearly enjoys traveling with your family, have at it.  If he’s constantly nervous, pacing, and getting yelled at for barking, consider leaving him somewhere more appropriate next time.  Vacations are meant to be fun for everyone, including your pet.  If he’s going to be nervous and barking, at least let it be somewhere he’s not getting scolded, like a boarding kennel.

#7 – Human Happiness

Do you enjoy traveling with your dog?  If you find his presence burdensome, and find that you can’t do the fun things that you want to do because he’s with you, leave him home.  Travel is always hard on dogs, even if they seem to enjoy it, and he won’t know what he’s missing if you leave him home.

Do you enjoy traveling with your dog, or do you prefer to find a pet sitter and leave your pets home?  Any protips?

Andrew Branch

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