Have you traveled with your dog? Tell us about your best adventure and where you went!!
Pets Not (always) Allowed
How will you get there ? Car, bus, train or plane? The best opportunity to bring pets along is if you are driving to your destination. Buses and trains prohibit pets except service animals. Amtrak does now allow one pet in a carrier in the cargo hold, nothing to get excited about though because the carrier must be size XXS! Air travel is trickier yet. If the dog fits in a XXS carrier (i.e. under your seat) travel is relatively simple. Call the airline ahead, reserve the pet space, pay the small fee, and get a health certificate within 10 days of travel from your veterinarian. Larger sized dogs and short-faced breeds have many more challenges in the airways. Crates 36” and up only fit in the jumbo jets which can only fly into or out of major airports – JFK, ATL, CLT, SFO, LAX and others. Heat is a very real danger to air traveling pets and most airlines restrict travel if the temp will be above 85. Short-faced breeds are especially sensitive to heat and airlines may not permit them to travel at all because they cannot efficiently cool themselves through panting.
Accommodations ? Pet friendly hotels and camping resorts are not as common as you would think. I have had great luck with Red Roof Inn and they are frequently found along most major highways and have great rates. Reserve ahead as pet friendly rooms may be booked as travel season increases. Plan to alter your travel path or destination to fit your dog’s needs. Some KOA campgrounds permit dogs but have breed, size, and vaccine restrictions and requirements. Plan early, be flexible, book early, and get all the necessary vet care and health certificates needed before the start of your awesome adventure.
Attractions ? As a rule, expect that your pet cannot be left unattended in any hotel, campground or other accommodation. This means every activity must first consider your dog. If they can’t be left unattended and can’t sit in the car because it is above 60 degrees, they must go with you everywhere. Choose restaurants with outdoor seating and call ahead to ensure your well-behaved dog is welcome outside or get fast food in the drive through when all else fails. I always carry dry snacks in the car and often sandwiches for the times we cannot find a pet friendly restaurant. Lunch in a park or on a hike with your dog is wonderful and no restaurant experience could ever compare. Always carry water and a dish for your buddy and snacks or their meal. Sightseeing may be limited to dog friendly attractions, but hey you have a dog and love getting active with him! Parks, hikes, swims, so much to do in beautiful summer weather. Beware of the heat when walking; keep the paws on grass if possible. Concrete is always cooler than pavement when in a pinch.
Ready, Set, Travel ! With a little advance planning you can be sure to have a successful and worry free vacation with your dog. I couldn’t think of a better bonding experience and your dog will love all your attention and special one-on-one time. Happy Travels!!!
Katie Weibel, Master Dog Trainer. Providing training for companion, service and working dogs, sharing knowledge and expertise.