Vacationing with Pets
|July 31, 2012||Posted by Lani Varga under Good Living||
It’s almost August, pet-lovers, but the arrival of back-to-school commercials and slightly cooler temperatures certainly doesn’t mean vacation season is over just yet. If you’re still thinking about taking a vacation this summer, think about ditching the kennels and giving your pet-sitters the week off and instead, consider a pet-friendly vacation.
When you’ve made a decision to travel with your pet, there are several things to consider before packing the luggage and firing up the GPS or circling your destination on a map. The first step is to consider exactly what kind of vacation you’d like to have. What kind of vacation spot will your pets enjoy? What kind of destination will you be able to enjoy with your pets? Will they be welcomed (your pets’ experience with an art museum will be very different than on a beach or at a campsite, for instance)? Are you looking for an experience where you’ll be able to be with your pets for most of the time or would you like some time alone on your trip? How busy would you like to be? Will you need to bring work or schoolwork with you on your trip? Will you need pet-sitters or playtime areas while you work?
Once you have pinpointed what kind of vacation you want to have and how your pets will best be a part of it, you can begin to think about the kinds of destinations and themes you might want to explore. For instance…
- Camping is a near-perfect vacation spot if you’re bringing a pet along for the fun. Being outdoors in a new area with all of the sights and smells that go along with it, will keep your pets busy for hours. She can enjoy everything about camping that you do, including swimming, light hiking, napping in the sun, and playing games by the water, and you’ll both see new sides to each other as you relax outdoors. If you do decide to go camping with your pets, be sure to check that their flea and tick protection is up-to-date and check in with the campsite to ensure that pets are welcomed and that there are proper facilities available (be sure to bring the food they prefer and their bed or kennel to ensure they’re comfortable in a new place). As always, be considerate of your neighbors and promptly take care of your pets’ waste and keep them quiet during the nights.
- Taking a roadtrip either to a destination spot or just for the sake of the journey can be a great new experience for your pet. Many pets absolutely love the thrill of being in a car and once you reach your destination, will have as much fun as you on a faraway adventure. There are several things to keep in mind if you and your dog or cat are planning a drive, however. First, make sure you get your pet comfortable with the idea of being in the car, and for longer than usual. Even if your pets are used to quick trips to the dog park or groomer, it’s a good idea to take them on progressively longer trips around town, or to new places, which will help to acclimate them to the idea of a calm drive and then a little adventure/exploration. Next, make sure your vehicle is equipped with the proper safety equipment, including carriers and harnesses. Don’t forget to bring along any documentation you might need, as well as your pets’ medications and food (as well as bottled water!) to have accessible in the car. Lastly, don’t forget to stop every couple of hours (or sooner) to let your pets stretch, sniff, and use the bathroom!
- Exploring a metropolis can offer some incredible new experiences for both you and your pets. OF course, new sights and sounds will keep your imaginations happy and interested, plus cities often have beautiful parks to offer, restaurants with outdoor seating, outdoor movie showings, historical walking trials, manmade and natural lakes and waterways, and often, you can find fun and interesting pet-friendly shops that will introduce you both to new toys and products made especially for pets. Exploring a new city can be a huge adventure for us, and just as much fun for our pets. Just be sure to bring along a leash!
Lastly, be sure to check the pet-friendliness of every stop you’ll make along the ways. Check your campsite or beach or hotel for their pet policies (many hotels are much more open to pets than they used to be, but it’s always best to ask first). Call, check websites to confirm (and reconfirm) prior to your arrival. PetVR can help you to find pet-friendly accommodations of all types and PetVacations is a great pet-vacation-accommodation site with a community, photos, and hotel-checker to help you find the best home away from home for both of you.
Sources: HowStuffWorks; RoadTripAmerica