July 22, 2010 @ 5:34 am

Summer is here and now that you’re loading up that SUV and hitting the freeway for your family road trip, planning is surely on your mind. There’s no doubt that you’ve planned entertainment options for your children, mapped out where you’re planning on a pit stop for food, restroom breaks or to let the kids run wild. But while you’ve organized endlessly for your children, have you thought about those furry members of your family and included them in your specific travel planning?

Here are some guidelines for planning out the actual trip with your pet. These tips will make your pet more comfortable and help you avoid unneeded travel complications.

  1. Map out your road trip for a dog-friendly journey – if you’ve never traveled with your dogs before, you might not realize that there are a limited number of hotels that will take them. If you stop overnight during the journey with dogs, you need to plan ahead. You can’t just stop whenever the need to get off the road hits you because the majority of accommodations won’t welcome pets. You might love your car but after a long day in it, the last thing you want to do is crash in it.
  2. Make dog-friendly pit stops – as parents, you’ll plan breaks on a long road trip that allow your children to run wild and get their beans out. Do your dogs have the same luxury? They should! Make a stop at a park during each leg of your journey where they can stretch their legs – a rest station parking lot just isn’t enough. Many stops have pet areas that are gated. Do some research before you travel. PetsWelcome has some great information for hotels, parks, and rest stops.
  3. Know where your dogs are welcome once you reach your destination – you’ve brought them with you, so they deserve a little fun, too! Pick dog-friendly activities regularly, don’t just leave them in the cottage, house or hotel. (Remember some hotels won’t let you leave the dogs unattended too!) If you’re planning a family trip to the beach, look for one where your furry friends are welcome. If you’ve left them where you’re staying for the day, make sure you get them out for some exercise as soon as you’re back. You may be on vacation, but your pets still have needs!

Following these guidelines will make for a happier pet but you’ll also avoid undue vacation stress. Start your journey off smoothly, and the trip is sure to continue on the same note!

Need more ideas? Visit Bestfriends.org to download some ideas for fun activities to do with your pet. Or leave us a comment with your best idea for traveling with your pet!

5 Responses to “Planning a road trip with your pet”

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