I have always considered my Springer Spaniel as my first-born. She joined the family two years before my wife and I had any kids and to this day she has never been told she is anything other than our baby. A furry baby with four legs. Therefore, when in comes to vacations, we try, whenever possible to include her in our adventures. Not every family trip or family vacation is suitable for dogs, but a family road trip with your dog is definitely doable!
When planning a family road trip with your dog, you just have to remember to plan for the dog as you would for any other family member. All the considerations and planning you do for the kids also apply to the family dog.
Here are a few simple tips:
- Destination - Make sure your destination(s) is suitable for the dog. If your dog is young and fit, longs hiking days will be great, but if Rover is a bit older and has weaker hips, you will need to look for easier walking trails.
- Accommodations - If you plan on sleeping in hotels, motels or local inns, do the research to make sure there are pet-friendly properties on your route. Call ahead to any campgrounds as well, and make sure their policies regarding dogs are acceptable to you.
- Packing - Make sure you have all the dog food, treats, poop-bags and so on to avoid any surprises. Remember to take a portable water bowl, and carry extra water on any hike for the dog as well.
- Medical - If you plan on being in the woods, or other areas where deer are present, make sure your dog has tick and flea protection such as Frontline, and check for ticks daily. It can also be helpful to do some research and get a few numbers for Veterinary facilities in the area just in case. In any case, make sure you program the number for your dog's vet into your cell phone.
Take these simple steps to plan ahead, and your pet-friendly family road trip will be a great success. Not to mention your dog will thank you effusively, as mine always does (see the example in the above photo).
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