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The Dog Days of Vacation

The pet, in the 21st Century, places a very different role in family life, then at any time in the past. Never have pets been more cherished and treated like family members. Indeed, for many, the pet serves as the surrogate child and is treated as such. So, it comes as no surprise that pets are increasingly included in all sorts of activities beyond the typical walk in the park.

Pets now accompany us on shopping expeditions, al fresco dining experiences, and all of them around town errand running that fills our weekends. As an extension of this inclusiveness, pet owners are increasingly opting to ditch the pet sitter or boarding facility and bring their pets on vacation with them. There’s no doubt about it, pet travel is on the rise. If you are a pet-owner thinking about traveling with your dog, read on for the key things to consider and plan.


Travel Logistics

While the idea of taking a pet on vacation is appealing for many reasons, there are logistical considerations that need to be worked out. In reality, these planning details are not really different than those for anyone planning any kind of vacation. Transportation, accommodations, and activities need to be researched and booked. The difference for those traveling with their pets is that “pet-friendly” needs to be one of the required amenities of any service booked.

Choose Your Means of Transportation

For those who plan to travel to a destination close to home, driving is probably the easiest way to travel with a large pet. But, even travel to far-flung destinations by air can be achieved. Wondering how to fly with your dog? People do it all the time. You’ll want to contact the airline directly to make arrangements. Depending on the size of your animal, it may even be possible to keep it with you in the cabin.

Pack for Your Dog Too

When taking your dog on an extended vacation, make sure that you pack things for your pet. This can include toys they enjoy playing with, treats, special diet foods, and even medications for conditions they might have like skin cancer in dogs. This will prevent you from having to find things they need in a destination you’ve never been to before.

Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations 

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll need to make sure your hotel is pet-friendly. Luckily, more and more places are realizing that there is a great untapped market in pet travel, and finding a pet-friendly hotel is easier than ever. Not only do many hotels allow pets in the rooms, a number of them provide all sorts of amenities, from room service to grooming facilities, to enhance the stay for both you and your pet.

Search for Pet-Friendly Activities

The last detail to consider is what types of pet-friendly activities are offered by the destination you choose. It’s no vacation for your dog if the majority of his or her time is spent idling alone in a hotel room. Certainly, an outdoor-oriented vacation offers the most, and easiest, opportunities for a dog to join in on the fun. If you choose a destination where outdoor activities abound, you can plan to have your dog join you most of the time. Whether hiking in nature, strolling along city streets and popping in and out of (increasingly pet-friendly) shops, taking advantage of outdoor dining opportunities or visiting a local bar’s “yappy hour”, you can easily plan a host of activities that include your dog. 

Why Not Take Them Along?

With so many resources available, it’s no wonder how many people are now traveling with dogs, cats, and other pets. If you’ve ever wanted to include your pet in your travels, rest assured, you are not alone. The trend of traveling with pets doesn’t look like it will fall out of favor anytime soon, so why not include your pet the next time you take a vacation?

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