Travel with Your Dog
Davinia and Indiana in their crate being baby sat by Kahlua and Fendi (now at the rainbow bridge) while at my parents house.
How do you prepare your dog in the week(s) before traveling?
Davinia and Indiana are seasoned pros at traveling. They love to travel so unless we are going somewhere very far we don’t do anything special before hand to get ready. If they need to fly of course they see the vet but if it is just driving somewhere I pack for them when I pack for myself and I put them in their crate in the car and off we go.
If you dog has never traveled before take a week or so and allow them to get used to whatever they will be traveling in. If it is a crate and they have never been crate trained put their favorite blanket or pillow in there along with their favorite toy or treat and just allow them to relax in there with the door open. After a few days of doing that close the door behind them and see how things go.
If they are traveling in a carry bag let them sniff it for a few days. Leave the bag open and let them jump in and out on their own if they like. Davinia will jump in her bag and just take a nap in it if I leave it out. Indiana will jump in on her own but a little coaxing with a treat generally gets either of the girls in their bags without a problem. If you decide to travel with your dog in a car seat or harness I am not sure there is very much to do to get them used to that. You could take them for short little trips if you felt it was necessary.
Are there any hotel chains you find particularly pet-friendly?
We do well at Microtels. Specifically the one in Perry, Georgia. They are extremely pet friendly and even allow giant Mastiff Breeds to visit with them. They happen to be across the highway from a Fair Grounds and Expo Center that regularly holds dog as well as horse shows. It is about an hour south of Atlanta which put it 3 hours from my parents and 9 hours from where we lived in Miami which is generally as far as I can drive in a day by myself so it was really nice to always know it was there waiting for us with open arms.
We also have done really well at fancy hotels but they tend to overcharge for their rather lackluster pet friendliness. There was one Hotel in Boston that had their own doggy room service menu with food fresh cooked by the chef that was kind of neat and the dogs enjoyed that. But again overpriced. It was nice though but probably not the best decision to let the girls eat a completely new food with no introduction period. It all worked out and no one got an upset tummy. When you travel with your dog it is important not to feed them something that is foreign to them and could upset their stomachs. Many people will travel with their own tap water that is bottled or buy bottled water for their dogs so they do not get sick from a bacteria in the local water that they are not used to.
Once you arrive at your destination, do you run out and grab a travel size of your pet’s favorite food? Or do you pack enough for the trip?
If I don’t bring food with me because we are traveling internationally or on the plane I don’t rush around looking for it the first day we are there I will go to a Chinese Restaurant and order the girls steamed chicken and broccoli with white rice. I figure it is better for their stomach in case they got a little excited or upset on the way and it is something you can find in basically any city. Plus they will deliver to your hotel room so everyone can relax and rest which makes the girls happy. They get a little upset if I get them in the room and then run right out the door to get dinner for them or myself. I do tend to check online before I go somewhere to make sure that this option is available to me. Even if we are driving and I have a bag of their food with me I might still order the dogs a steamed chicken and broccoli dinner with White rice. They love it. It is healthy for them and they think it is an extra special treat which makes their hotel experience even more fun.