If you’re a dog lover, then it’s likely that you’re taking a man’s best friend with you whenever and wherever you can. Approximately 67% of U.S. households owned a pet of some kind last year, and dogs are consistently among the most common. If you’re a pet owner, then you already know how much they can lift your mood and the value of companionship. Dog owners form strong bonds with their pets, and if you’re planning a big vacation sometime in the near future, it’s unlikely that you’d ever want to leave your furry friend behind.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your dog comes with you on your trip is to make it a road trip. You always have control over your own car, after all, so going on a road trip eliminates the worry of airline pet policies. Of course, driving also puts more preparation on your and increases the duration of your trip, so you’ll have to plan accordingly. Here are some of the best ways that you can prepare for a great road trip that you and your dog will never forget.
Get a vet checkup.
One of the biggest priorities for dog owners is ensuring that their pets stay in good health. Before embarking on a lengthy trip, you need to contact your vet and make sure that your dog is safely ready to go. They should be up to date on all shots and vaccinations, and it’s important to ask about your stops and destinations to make sure that your dog won’t need any additional shots or medications to combat unfamiliar threats to their health.
It’s also a good idea to research what vets are nearby at each of your planned destinations since you never know what kinds of emergencies may arise. Save the contact information for vet’s offices before you go for pet safety and your own peace of mind.
Find dog-friendly destinations.
Speaking of your destinations, you’ll have to set a course for places that your dog will love as well. Fortunately, these aren’t hard to find. There are plenty of US National Parks across the country that have sections for dogs and recreation. Depending on how far you’re willing to travel, you can find national and state parks that boast gorgeous canyons, stunning snow-swept mountains, deep forests, great deserts, and sparkling oceans, just to name a few options.
While you might not think of a city environment as a great destination for a dog-centered vacation, you’d be wrong when talking about Denver, Colorado. Denver is one of the most dog-friendly locations in the entire United States, and it’s a perfect place for larger dogs and small dogs alike. The city is especially known for its off-leash dog parks, some of which boast acres of room for dogs to play in. There will often be separate sections for large dogs and small dogs to ensure safety. Denver parks range from snowy mountain areas to beautiful botanical gardens, and there are even a few sand parks as well. The parks aren’t all the city is known for, either. Practically every area is packed with dog lovers, and you can even take your best friend with you to many restaurants and bars around the town to give your dog a true treat for the senses.
If you and your dog are beach-lovers looking for some warmer weather, then Sanibel Island, Florida may be the destination for you. Almost all the beaches here are pet-friendly, so you and your pup can run along the coastlines to your hearts’ content. As long as you keep your dog on a leash, there are also plenty of wetlands you can explore, and you can observe bird migrations at the wildlife refuge. No matter where you want to go, just make sure that the destination will be worthwhile for both of you.
Travel with safety and style.
Naturally, pet safety is likely one of your top concerns for a trip like this. You and your pup are going to be sitting in the car for a good portion of this trip, and it’s important that you’re both safe and comfortable. It’s probably not the best idea to let your dog sit up in the front seat since you don’t want a crash or airbags to injure them. Instead, try using a crate approved in crash testing in the back seat. You may need a large vehicle for this trip, especially if you have a large dog breed. You may need to rent an appropriately sized vehicle.
An alternate solution to a crate is a dog car harness, which acts as a seat belt for your dog. It’s important to note that most of these harnesses are only meant to be used on large dogs, but the car harness can provide them with more room than a crate. You may be able to find a small harness for small dogs as well. This Joyride dog car harness is the best harness on the market.
Of course, you’ll both need to stretch your legs at various stops throughout the trip. Ensure your dog is safe by using a well-fitting leash and harness combo. A walking harness keeps your dog safe and with you while preventing pull, which can be uncomfortable for both you and your dog. Make sure to get a safety harness with the perfect fit for maximum safety and comfort. It doesn’t hurt that a well-fitting harness with leash attachment helps your pup look stylish as well. Speaking of style, don’t forget to invest in yourself by buying some nice shirts or women’s tunics on sale.
Don’t forget dog-friendly accommodations.
The last thing you want to do is to get to one of your planned destinations and then realize that it isn’t pet-friendly. Always look ahead of time, and call hotels and other accommodations in the area to make sure both you and your dog are welcome. Even campsites may have restrictions on the dog breeds they allow, or they may charge extra fees for allowing pets. You’ll want to arrange some sort of dog care as well, in case there are some places you need to travel by yourself.
There are plenty of dog-friendly destinations out there, so go ahead and get to planning your unforgettable trip with your furry friend. Following these tips will ensure that you both have the time of your lives.