It’s hot out there. And we are trying to keep our precious ones as comfortable as possible. We reduce the time they spend outside, especially if they don’t have much shade; we keep them hydrated; we provide cool wet towels or commercial cooling pads for them to lie on, and we often wait until after sunset before taking that daily walk.
Yet summer is also a time when we want to be on the go. We can certainly put our dogs in a reputable kennel while we travel, but many of us like to take our kiddos with us. And so, we must look for pet-friendly places to visit, either locally or not – places they will enjoy as much as we do.
Here are some great options for visiting with your dog:
- Find a local or close by dog park that has cooling stations/sprays for its visitors, as well as plenty of water available for hydration.
- Obviously, when planning a trip, book only at pet-friendly motels and hotels. They are all over the country, at all level of expense. The key will be that, if you take your pet with you, what plans do you have to entertain him/her while there? If your plan is to leave him in your hotel room while you go to non-dog-friendly places, you would obviously have been better off getting a pet sitter and leaving your dog at home.
- Dogs love to explore with you. So, when you plan trips, plan many outdoor exploration activities. It’s time to hike, to walk, to find lakes and other waterways in which dogs who love water have the chance to play with you. One note of importance here – check to be sure that the parks or other areas you plan to visit are dog-friendly. Most are, but better safe than sorry. There are sometimes restrictions during the spring and fall seasons, when there are ground-nesting birds or animals or when deer are caring for their young.
- Beach vacations are great for dogs that love the water. Walking on the beach, throwing balls or frisbees in the open space of a beach are perfect. Be a bit careful when planning these types of trips, however. While many hotels may be pet-friendly, there are city ordinances that may restrict dogs on the beach, especially during peak tourist seasons, in the interests of cleanliness and prevention of any discomfort or fear on the part of vacationers. When beaches do allow dogs, be certain that you take clean-up bags with you and dispose of them correctly.
- Road trips can be very pet-friendly, so long as you plan your route carefully. You need to ensure that there are plenty of stops along the way for your kiddo to get exercise and that overnight stays are pet-friendly. These are ideal trips for older or smaller dogs that do not require a great deal of physical activity.
- Camping: This is a paradise for a dog who loves the outdoors, especially if there is water close by. And most campgrounds are pet-friendly, no matter what the state, so long as the dog is under control of the owner at all times. If you own a camper or simply love to camp, summer is the obvious ideal time to visit new campgrounds and explore.
- Digital Nomads with dogs. Yes, there are plenty of these and more choosing this lifestyle every day. Basically, these are individuals who freelance for a living and choose a nomadic lifestyle. A lot of them work for writers services or perform other tech-related activities. They need only a computer and an Internet connection. If this is your lifestyle, the whole world is open to you and your dog as long as you make the right travel arrangements. Virtually all forms of transportation – air, rail, boat – accommodate pets now. show your dog the world!
- Staying at home. One of the most rewarding things you can do with your dog is planning ahead and enroll him/her in a local emotional support animal program, especially if he loves to be around people. Once certified, you and your dog can plan visits all summer long – to nursing homes, hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters, even some prisons. The beauty of this is you do not have to worry about overheating or other vacation issues. But the greatest beauty of all is participating with your pet in making the lives of others a bit happier.
Preparing for Your Summer Visits/Trips
Here are some tips as you make your preparations:
- Be certain to read the reviews of destinations that you are considering. TripAdvisor is a good source, along with a myriad of pet websites.
- There are also a lot of dog magazines out there, many of them digital. Subscribe to one or more in the months before you plan to go anywhere with your dog. There will be plenty of articles on the best vacations with dogs, along with reviews and recommendations.
- A trip to the vet will be warranted before you visit any place out of town. You want to avoid trying to find a vet clinic in a strange place, and you want to be certain all inoculations are up-to-date. And certainly, don’t forget to take medications along. If travel is to be foreign, you don’t want your dog sitting in quarantine, and your vet can recommend any additional inoculations to avoid that. And take those records with you.
- Take your dog’s own food and water bowls. This provides a bit of security, and you are not left hunting for the right utensils. And be sure to pack his regular food if you are going to be in an out-of-the-way location. Small towns may not have stores that carry your brand. Taking a few favorite toys and blanket might be a good idea too.
Traveling with a dog to almost any destination, or just going to new places and events locally, can make your summer and his more fun and exciting. Just be certain you have prepared well. If your dog is not used to traveling, a few very short overnights might be a good idea, until he gets used to this new experience.