Summer is Coming! Travel Tips for Pups !

Summer is Coming! Travel Tips for Pups !

May 31, 2022

Every summer, our family makes the trek from San Diego to Seattle for a little family vacation. Usually, we fly, but twice in the past years, we’ve driven so the dogs could come as well. I’m not going to lie- it takes some preparation and work to manage a road trip with kids and dogs, but the fun of having the entire family together at our little lake cabin makes it all worthwhile. And as it turned out, dear Brody passed away this winter, so I am even more glad we put in the effort.
This year we have an additional wrinkle: a new puppy in the house. Although boarding or a pet sitter is certainly an option, my goal is to bring Dakota along on this 3,000-mile roundtrip journey up the coast. So how do we make this go smoothly? It’s all in preparation!

1. Map out the journey.

For us, eight hours a day is the maximum amount of time we would like to comfortably spend driving, including the time we spend at rest stops. Step one involves listing out the towns we will be staying in each night.

2. Reserve lodging.

More and more hotels, motels, and private rentals accommodate pets in response to increased demand from families like ours. However, even in pet-friendly establishments, many places offer only a limited number of rooms that are designated for pets. Others limit the number or weight of the pets.
Utilizing sites specializing in pet travel has been invaluable; I use and as starting points. Booking sites through Airbnb or TripAdvisor also often allow you to search for pet-friendly rooms. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of higher-end, boutique hotels that allow pets! I’ve also had success booking directly through the individual hotel websites; I like specifically because all their locations are pet friendly.

3. Stop by the vet before you go.

Are your pet’s vaccines up to date? Do you need a health certificate if you are crossing state lines? Are you traveling through areas with a specific health concern, like canine influenza, that you might not be experiencing at home? Bring your itinerary to your vet for a pre-travel checkup. This is also the time to get caught up on dewormers, heartworm prevention, and- if needed- travel medications.

Since it’s summertime, you’ll want to make sure your pet is well-protected against fleas and ticks. You have lots of options, from oral tablets to collars to spot-one. With Dakota, we use vet-quality PetArmor Plus, which kills fleas and ticks for up to 30 days. Ask your veterinarian if you’re not sure which preventives are best for your pet. Nothing’s getting on this pup!


4. Have your travel supplies ready to go.

affectionpets have what you need!  bags, poop bags, and water bottles. I keep your dog food, treats, toys, poop bags, and collapsible travel bowls in his bag so you can easily grab and go.


5. Safety first.

Did you know that most pets injured in accidents are hurt not from the accident itself, but afterward when he or she escapes from the car? For years I’ve been a vocal fan of Sleepypod beds and harnesses for having the highest safety designation for car-safe pet travel. Should the worst happen, you also want to ensure your pet’s collar tags and microchip information is up to date so he or she can be reunited with you. I use a Pethub tag since it allows a person to access a wealth of data beyond just a phone number with one scan of a QR code.

 This can be done in under a month if need be, but I’ve found starting a solid 6-8 weeks ahead gives you the best chance at booking the rooms you need, getting into the vet with time to spare, and gathering products you might need. That way, with everything arranged and ready to go, you can enjoy your trip and all the sights to take in! Any other tips I missed from our frequent travelers? Feel free to share!