What’s the best reason to bring along Fido on vacation? That’s easy. He’ll never ask, “Are we there yet?” Better still, having furry, four-legged Fido in the back seat provides a distraction for the two-legged critters back there. If they’re petting and playing with Fido, you won’t need to answer as many “Are we there yet?” questions from the youngsters.
Bringing along the family dog can add to the pleasure of getting away, and you’ll likely bring home an assortment of memories because your pet is a member of the family, too.
But traveling with dogs — just like traveling with children — comes with a set of challenges. Thankfully, Lucky the TurfMutt has shared some great tips for trips with dogs. TurfMutt is the spokesdog for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. It’s a group of manufacturers that build lawn mowers and other lawn-care machinery.
TurfMutt recommends: Plan ahead. After you’ve charted your vacation route, check whether there are pet-friendly restaurant patios, hotels and even shops along your route. Sometimes businesses that allow pets have size restrictions or fees, so be sure to ask.
Request pet treats. Some restaurants cater to pets on the go with treats like “pupuccinos” or plain hamburger patties. Be careful if your pet has a sensitive stomach. He or she might get car sick with too many treats.
Pack dog stuff. Dogs need a favorite blanket, chew bone or food/water bowls.
Plan pet breaks. Humans grow weary after hours in the car. Pets need breaks, too. Public parks help to break up the monotony. Remember to pack clean-up bags.
Stick with a feeding schedule. Even on the road, maintain your pet’s feeding schedule.
Plan for messes. Every trip has issues, so keep paper towels and stain remover in a handy spot.
Be respectful. Ask restaurants and hotels about their pet rules and then follow them.
Delegate. If your children are old enough, give them chores and responsibilities for pet care.
Anticipate delays. Traveling with a pet is a lot like adding another child to the passenger section. Pit stops, exercise breaks, feeding and bunking down all might take more time, but plan for delays and think of the happy memories having your pet along for the adventure.