How to Plan Holiday with Dog

How to Plan Holiday with Dog

Packing up the car and heading out on a holiday adventure is always exciting. But extra planning and preparation are required when you’re also bringing along your furry canine companion. Thankfully, with thoughtful organization, you and your dog can enjoy a fantastic, stress-free holiday together.

Pick the Right Destination

The first step is choosing a dog-friendly destination. Unfortunately, not all hotels and vacation rentals allow pets. You’ll need to do your research to find spots that welcome dogs with open arms.

Dog-Friendly Accommodations

Look for hotels, resorts, cabins, and vacation rentals explicitly stating they allow dogs. Boutique hotels and AirBnB listings are great places to find pet-friendly lodging. Just be sure to double-check the fine print on any size or breed restrictions.

Outdoor Recreation

Consider holiday destinations with plenty of outdoor activities you and your pup can enjoy together. Parks, hiking trails, lakes, and beaches that allow dogs will make for an active, exciting trip. Places like Colorado, Vermont or Eastern Canada have endless outdoor recreation possibilities to explore with your dog.

Pet Amenities

Seek accommodations that go beyond just allowing dogs but cater to them. Some hotels provide furry guests with dog beds, bowls, treats, and toys. Others offer dog-walking and pet-sitting services. These pet perks will make your dog’s holiday as comfortable and fun as yours.

Prep Your Pooch

Prep Your Pooch

Before hitting the road, you must ensure your dog is ready to travel.

Health Check-Up

Schedule a pre-trip vet visit to confirm your dog is healthy for travel. Ask about medications or supplements to help with motion sickness, anxiety, or digestion issues. Have them microchipped and ensure their collar tag and microchip info are up to date.

Proper ID

Ensure your dog has proper identification tags with your name, mobile number, and home address. Getting a temporary travel ID tag engraved with your holiday destination address will ensure your pup can quickly be returned if they get lost.

Bath Time

Bath your dog before the trip. They’ll stay cleaner on the journey, and hotels will appreciate a freshly-groomed pooch. Be sure to brush their teeth too.

Handling the Commute

Test out any new car harnesses, crates or seat belts before the actual trip to ensure your dog will travel safely and securely. Get them accustomed to the method they’ll ride in.

Packing for Pets

Packing for Pets

When preparing luggage for your holiday, you’ll have to pack for your pet too.

Food and Water

Bring enough of your dog’s regular food and treats to last the entire trip. This helps avoid digestion issues from switching foods suddenly. Pack a collapsible bowl, spoon, and bottle of water. If driving, bring a no-spill bowl for the car too.


Keep any medications, supplements, or grooming supplies easily accessible. Include an emergency medical kit in case of injuries or allergic reactions. Pack their prescription heartworm, flea, and tick prevention if due during the trip.

Dog Bedding

Bring familiar dog beds and blankets that smell like home. This provides a comforting place for them to relax in the new environment.

Poop Bags

Pack extra poop bags, paper towels, and odor-eliminating spray. You properly clean up after your dog keeps hotels and public places happy.

Leash, Collar & Toys

Remember the leash, collar, harness, and favorite toys to entertain your dog. Packing items they regularly use at home provides a sense of normalcy.

Enjoying the Holiday Together

Enjoying the Holiday Together with Dog

Once you arrive, the real adventure begins. Here are tips for helping your dog have as much fun as you do.

Stick to Routines

Try to maintain their usual schedules for feeding, walking, playing, and sleeping as much as possible. Dogs find routine comforting. But staying flexible for vacations is essential too.

Make Time to Exercise

Ensure your dog gets ample exercise. Take them on walks, hikes, or swimming throughout each day. Tired pups are happy pups. Only do it if your dog is conditioned for ultra-long outings.

Let Them Adjust

Give your dog time to acclimate to the new environment. Initially keep interactions with other people and pets low-key. Have patience if they seem anxious or unsure at first.

Capture the Memories

Bring a pet-friendly camera to capture your vacation adventures. Get photos of your dog trying new activities or exploring exciting new places to look back on fondly later.

Safety First

Take precautions to keep your dog secure when leaving them alone in the room or car. Use crates, pens, leashes, and dog-sitters wisely. Be vigilant in supervising them around water, balconies, traffic, and wildlife.

Enjoy the Holiday Bonding

Vacations with dogs forge an even deeper bond between you. Exploring new places together creates terrific shared memories. Your dog’s unconditional love and companionship turn a good trip into a truly unforgettable one. So bring them along; they’re part of the family!

5 FAQs about Holidays with Dogs

Here are answers to 5 frequently asked questions about bringing your dog on holiday:

Q: Is it better to travel by car or plane with my dog?

A: Traveling by car allows your dog more freedom and comfort. However, plane travel can also be a good option if you take the proper precautions.

Q: What should I do if my dog gets anxious during travel?

A: Keeping to regular routines, providing distraction with toys and reassurance with verbal praise can help ease anxiety. Natural calming supplements or anti-anxiety medication from your vet may also help.

Q: How can I keep my dog cool on a hot holiday?

A: Ensure they can access shady rest spots, cool drinking water, and avoid too much time in the heat. A cooling vest or mat can also keep your dog’s temperature regulated.

Q: What should I do if my dog gets injured or falls ill on holiday?

A: Seek out a local vet for care right away. Keep an emergency medical kit and your dog’s vet records with you. Pet insurance can offset the costs of care away from home.

Q: Can I take my dog sightseeing in cities or on tours?

A: You certainly can! Many outdoor sights and tours allow leashed dogs. Just be mindful of rules and etiquette. Avoid overcrowded situations that could overwhelm your pup.

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