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If you have a dog that loves to curl up in the car or trot along beside you as you seek out adventures, you may want to think about planning a trip for you and your puppy pal. While you can technically do this at any point in the year, nothing quite beats the sunshine and pleasant skies that come with the warmer weather.
Here are a few ideas for the best ways to spend those balmy summer days traveling with your pet — whether you have a free afternoon, a long weekend, or a three-week vacation ahead of you.
Camping is a great activity for dogs and dog owners alike, and engaging in activities in the great outdoors can be a great way for you to spend some quality time with your dog. Camping provides plenty of exercise, lots of downtime, and your dog will be able to exist in their element.
However, make sure to consider the noise factor. If your animal has an affinity for letting themselves be heard, you’re going to want to think twice about if and where you camp.
Take a Trip to the Beach
One of the best ways to spend a warm day with your pooch is by heading to the beach. You can spend a brief yet enjoyable hour walking around in your sandals or set up a spot for the entire day. If your dog loves water, you’ll be able to cool off together, and you can play fetch on the beach as well. Do monitor their water intake as it is easy to become dehydrated running on the beach and saltwater can make your pup’s stomach churn.
Go for a Hike
One last outdoor-inspired travel idea that has to be mentioned here is going for a hike. Dogs love to move and practically every doggy health post has something to say about getting them enough exercise. Why not weave it right into your travel adventures?
Pick a place, like a local trail, a beautiful gorge, or a nearby mountain, and then spend a few hours hiking through nature. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even make it a road trip and head to a more ambitious trail or state park in another area of the country.
Find a Good Airbnb
If you’re feeling the need for some relaxing downtime with your pet, you may want to simply book lodging where you can settle down and plan to do as little as possible. Hotels can be touchy about animals and motels aren’t a great alternative, but it’s still possible to travel in relative comfort and style.
Airbnb allows guests to select dog-friendly housing options. Simply change your filters to only include listings that allow pets and then select a fun getaway from there.
Take Off on a Cruise
You may be rolling your eyes at this one, and for most cruises, you’d be right. However, Cunard operates a pet-friendly cruise ship named the Queen Mary 2. No, we’re not talking about a ship where you can stow your animals away in a crate. This is a bona fide cruise ship that enables you to travel with your pets.
If you’re feeling the need to get some fresh ocean air, you can finally do so without breaking the bank on a dog sitter or leaving Fido cooped up below deck.
Tips for Traveling with Your Pet
Whether you’re an avid dog owner with decades of experience or a newbie who’s still soaking up your first puppy snuggles, it’s always worth refreshing yourself with some of the basic “dos” and “don’ts” of traveling with a pet.
Choose your Transportation Wisely
Cars, trains, planes, oh my! There are many ways to travel. Whatever option you choose, though, be sure to make the proper arrangements in order to ensure that your pet is as comfortable as possible. Lay blankets in a crate in the back of a car, check with a train company before bringing your pet aboard and make sure that your airline still allows dogs to travel before you book your tickets.
Consider Your Destination
Wherever you end up planning on going, make sure to consider your pet’s comfort once you get there as well. For instance, if you’re going to go RVing with your dog, make sure to take mini trips before you leave in order to help them acclimate to longer periods of time spent in a vehicle.
Get the Right Gear
Traveling with a dog often requires special gear including:
- A collapsible water bowl.
- A waterproof chill pad.
- A dog car seat cover.
- A good leash.
- Blankets and toys that they’re comfortable with.
Always make sure you’re leaving the house with everything that your pet will need while they’re gone.
Bring Your Pet’s Papers
Always bring your pet’s identification papers, vaccination records, and any other important pet-focused documentation. If you’re going to be visiting certain locations or crossing international borders, you’re going to be glad you have them on hand.
Whether you’re camping, hiking, relaxing, or cruising, there are plenty of activities to do with your dog on a hot summer day. Always remember to go into each adventure prepared for your dog’s safety, though. Bring the right gear, think of their comfort both during the travel and at the destination, and ensure that you have all of the proper documentation.
If you cover all of your bases, you can enjoy everything from a Saturday afternoon to a full-blown vacation to the Bahamas with your dog happily by your side.