How To Travel With Your Dog (Without “Ruffing” It!)
The pitter-patter of paws can be heard in over half of U.S. households, so it’s no wonder that pet tourism and hospitality is on the rise. Hitting the road with your pup? We’ve got expert advice on what to know:
Pups have their own special needs when it comes to travel and the right preparation can spell the difference between a smooth trip and a meltdown. We talked to Dr. Amelia Khan of City Veterinary Care about anti-anxiety measures you can take before setting off:
- Leave the carrier out and try to get them used to it before you travel. Starting when they are puppies/kittens is better, so they are used to crate training.
- Treats and pheromones such as D.A.P. collars and sprays placed in the carrier may also help with anxiety and make the crate a positive environment. If your pet gets car sick or is traveling in cargo, treats and food should be avoided.
- If your veterinarian approves sedatives, an anti-anxiety medication could be prescribed for in cabin pet travelers.
Kenin and Lauren Bassart of The Constant Rambler have logged hundreds of miles exploring with their dogs, Punkin and Zoe. They offered some additional advice on what creature comforts to pack and what you can do to make your pooch feel more at home in a hotel room.
“When traveling with your dog, it’s important to bring a few things with you to make sure that they are just as comfortable in your hotel room as they are in their home. We normally pack a “doggy bag” with a few key items.
Make sure to bring their food and water bowls from home; changing their bowls can cause confusion. I also pack doggie-wet wipes to clean off their paws if they get dirty and bring a waterless shampoo or deodorizer if it’s a longer trip.”
Whether you go by car, plane or boat, there are several safety and comfort measures you can take to help ensure that you and your pup have a fun journey.
From anti-anxiety apparel to doggy seat belts, Kenin and Lauren Bassart weigh in on how to make your road trip comfortable and safe for your pooch.
“Regarding actually traveling in the car with a dog we recommend a good crash tested harness from someone like Kurgo or Bergan. The ThunderShirt is a big help if your doggie gets anxious in the car. We also suggest taking your dog on some 30-60 minute car rides before actually embarking on an extended road trip. It’s also important to stop every 2-3 hours for 10-15 minutes to let them run around, use the potty, take a break, and keep them hydrated. We found this awesome water bottle/bowl from H2o4K9 that does the trick for us.”
For reviews of all of these products, visit http://www.theconstantrambler.com/.
Even if your pooch knows how to dog paddle, it’s wise to take precautions in the case of pup-overboard situations. Outward Hound makes quality life vests in a variety of sizes and colors.
In addition to taking anti-anxiety measures and making sure there is plenty of time if you have connecting flights, it is important to have an airline-approved carrier if your dog will be traveling with you in the cabin. Teafco makes a number of carriers in different styles and colors (for style-conscious humans) and JetBlue has even issued their own carrier, so you know you’ll make it through security with ease.
Dr. Amelia Khan offers some veterinary perspective on air travel:
“In general, brachycephalic breeds [breeds with a flat skull shape who are prone to respiratory problems, like Pugs and Boston Terriers] should never travel in cargo and many airlines have banned them from traveling. These breeds should either be driven or there are numerous pet friendly airlines. These airlines provide climate and pressure controlled environment as well as frequent monitoring.
If you are traveling by air, make sure you check with your airline with regards to their requirements. Many of them require a health certificate from your veterinarian prior to travel. “
From boutique hotels to nation-wide chains, there are more pet-friendly options than ever! We’ve focused on national hotel brands that are recognized as in the top of their field in the canine concierge department.
The trendy Kimpton Hotels accept ANY pet, regardless of size, weight or breed for no additional fees. So, whether you’ve got a turtle or terrier, you’re covered! Pets get the same enthusiastic welcome as their humans, including a personal greeting from management. Amenities include fresh water and snacks in the lobby, food and water bowls, snuggly beds on loan and a list of local pet-friendly attractions and businesses.
Dogs and cats get lots of paw-sonal attention here courtesy of the “Loews Loves Pets” program! Your pet’s welcome gifts include treats, a bowl and pet tag; other pet amenities like leashes, bedding and collars are on hand if needed. The humans will receive a listing of pet-friendly services available, such as special room service items, doggie spa treatments, dog walking and more. Limit 2 pets per room. Onetime $25 cleaning fee.
If you and your pet are looking for an upscale getaway, be sure to check out the elegant W Hotels. All of the brand’s North American locations boast the P.A.W. (Pets Are Welcome) program. The welcome packet includes a W Hotel pet tag, toy, treats and waste bags. Pets can enjoy the finer things like their own turn-down treats, numerous pet services, custom W Hotel pet beds and more. One pet weighing up to 40 pounds allowed per room. $25/night fee plus $100 a non-refundable cleaning deposit.
Red Roof Inns may not offer the pet perks of other hotels on this list, but it makes up for in number of locations and budget-friendly prices. One well-behaved family pet is allowed at nearly all Red Roof properties at no extra charge. Check specific inns to be sure pets are not prohibited by state law or ordinance.
With over 1,600 pet-friendly locations, Best Western Hotels make it easy for Fido to tag along! Two domestic dogs weighing up to 80lbs are allowed per hotel room. A refundable damage deposit of up to $50 may be charged, as well as cleaning fees. Besides pups, the chain welcomes cats, birds, monkeys, snakes at the discretion of individual properties!
Packed up the pooch for an extended stay? Residence Inns across the U.S. have got you covered. Both you and your dog will feel more at home thanks to amenities like spacious living rooms and cozy kitchens. One-time non-refundable fee and pet weight limits vary from location to location.
If your lap dog is used to the lap of luxury, then a pet friendly Ritz-Carlton location is for you. Each one offers something different: some of the properties, like the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, offer packages that include in-room “doggie massages” while the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park has got your pooch covered head to paw with loaner Burberry raincoats. Check individual locations for fees and pet weight limits.
Looking for a stylish stay but don’t quite have a Ritz budget? Hotel Indigo offers a number of pet-friendly options. Along with “hosPETality”, you’ll find amenities like treats and bowls. Some locations, such as Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown, have been known to host pet-friendly events like the canine cocktail bash known as “Yappy Hour.” Check individual locations for fees and pet weight limits.
Picked your home away from home for you and your pup? Kenin and Lauren Bassart have some suggestions for preparing your room for dog.
“The most important items to bring though are your dog’s favorite toy and blanket. Dogs can be easily stressed into behaving badly, having some comfort items with them will make the trip much easier. Just put their blanket and toy in a spot in your room your doggie can call their own and this will help your pooch settle into their new home.”
One of the best parts of bringing man’s best friend on a trip is exploring together. And for the dog-lovers at Zerve, a basic walk around the park just won’t do! Why not take a sight-seeing cruise, go whale-watching and more with your furry friend? Check out a few of our dog-friendly options from around the country!