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Typically when I travel with my pups I stay with friends, family, or get an Airbnb, but last year I got to experience a hotel with the dogs, and needless to say, won't be going that route unless I absolutely have to. Here's the scoop:
Last December was a crazy month to say the least, and this included traveling twice with my dogs. On the first excursion Clementine, Eb, and I went on a trip with my friend Kate and her Doodle, Noodle. Three turds in the back of Kate’s Prius proved to be interesting.
During this trip we spent several days in a hotel, and I’d rather not have the dogs in a hotel again. They were angels as far as mess and going outside, but every sound caused them to get excited. I don’t think I’ve told them to “shut it” or “stop barking” so many times in my life.
The second excursion included Clem, Eb, and my mom’s dog Chin. It was a much easier trip because we were staying with family. I feel dogs do better in a home environment over a hotel. Hotels are just too busy and keep the poor pups on alert.
Pack a Good Dog Bag-
- Dog Food
- Bowl - I have a double one so I can put water on one side and food on the other. Collapsible bowls are a good option, too.
- Water Bottle - Keeps the pups hydrated on the road.
- Toys - Don’t want to over do it, but two for each dog that can be swapped out seems to work for my girls.
- Bag of Chews - I use unbleached natural chews, the girls love them and it helps occupy them.
- Bag of Treats - In addition to the chews I like to bring some biscuits or jerky for the pups. Good for rewards and occupying them.
- Wipes - Dogs need them sometimes… you know, they get stinky.
- Poop Bags - Must have for doggie travel.
- Lavender Essential Oil - Place a drop on your finger and then rub it on the top of your dog’s head. Helps calm them.
Before you leave-
My dogs tend to do well in the car, but every now and then they barf. Yes, it's gross. Both have barfed on my purse... poor purse. How do you help minimize barfing? Don't feed them before you leave. Traveling on an empty stomach is easier for them, but do make sure they get plenty of water! As soon as you get to your destination be sure to give your pup some food.
Stopping For Your Pup-
I prefer to stop at a rest stop if possible. They tend to have designated areas for dogs, sometimes with walkways, and I just think it’s a better option for the pups. I’ve had to stop at gas stations and use a grassy area, but that tends to be right on the road and chaotic. I’m all about minimizing their stress. They stress out enough on a trip, so rest stops just have always been a bit more calming for them.
Another good option if you aren't pressed for time is a park. Pretty much every little town has a park, so if you're on back roads or aren't far from a park on the Interstate, then I recommend taking a little excursion to make sure they have a save calm place to potty and stretch their limbs.
Where To Stay-
If you’re not staying with friends or family, I say go with a hotel last. I prefer to get an Airbnb that allows dogs. A hotel is always an option, but I feel like when the dogs are in that type of environment they don’t rest well and are a mess. If they’re in a home they tend to calm down and get comfortable. Remember, you’re their home, so as long as they’re safe with you then they’re OK. I just prefer to minimize stress whenever possible.
Another problem with a hotel, you can’t leave them. Well, I suppose you could, but none of the guests would appreciate it much. Every time you need to go somewhere, be sure to bring your pups with you!
If Possible, Walk Often-
I also recommend walking them as much as possible. On both trips that wasn’t really an option. It was snowing and freezing the first trip, and I was deathly ill the second trip, but normally walk those babies whenever possible. Helps them get out the nervous energy, and of course is good for them anyway.
I hope these tips help you have a wonderful trip with your pups! If you'd like to follow my pups (and two cats) then click below!