Our trip to Texas wouldn’t have been the same if Olive the pug hadn’t been along. I wanted to share some tips about how easy it is to take a dog (at least a small dog) along with you when you go on a car trip.
First of all, the dog needs luggage. Olive’s bag is a medium-sized canvas bag with a zipper top. In it is a small bag of dog food with a scoop, two dog bowls, a few treats and extra poop bags because we think it is just proper to pick up after the dog if she does her business in a place where humans might stray. We also include an extra leash of the plain old nylon variety and a change of underwear.
Just kidding about the underwear. The nylon leash comes in very handy if you want to tether your dog to a picnic table. It’s much easier to maneuver than a retractable leash for this purpose.
A few years ago, we purchased this device that goes on a water bottle with a sports top. It is very handy for a quick drink for a small pooch. But if you are trying to get away from using disposable plastics like we are, then you may want to consider something like this or this instead.
It is also a very good idea to take along evidence of rabies and bordetella (kennel cough) vaccinations. If you need to leave your best friend in doggie daycare and the facility is reputable, they will ask for these. We did leave Olive the pug for a day in doggie daycare on our trip and did bring along our rabies certificate, but had to call our vet’s office to fax the other to the facility. Fortunately, it was during the week when our vet’s office was open. So we learned something on this trip and will try to remember take a certificate for both the next time.
Whenever we humans get into the car, we automatically buckle our seatbelts. A few years ago, we decided that it’s a good idea to buckle the dog in, too. So we purchased a dog harness that attaches to the car’s seat belt. There are many good ones around. This keeps the dog from becoming a projectile in case of an accident and also keeps her from roaming around in the car and being a distraction. The system we have does give her the freedom to move from one side of the seat to the other like when she needs to get out of the sun. We have decided that on our next trip, we will purchase a window shade for her side of the car though because sometimes she is just too lazy to move and she tends to overheat.
Then there is always the question of where does one stay when one has a dog along. We have found that there are quite a few hotel chains that are dog-friendly. However, there is dog-friendly like “your dog is welcome here and it is free (or a nominal charge)” for him to stay and there is dog-friendly like “this facility charges a non-refundable $150 deep cleaning fee” if you bring your dog along. Well, we happen to think that any charge over $25 is not all that “dog-friendly” so that drives where we tend to stay. Some facilities also have weight limits and will only accept pets that weigh less than 25 pounds.
Here are some chains that we have found to be reasonably dog-friendly: La Quinta, Best Western, Holiday Inn, Country Inn and Suites, Drury Inn, Sleep Inn and Baymont Inn. If you want to splurge, Kimpton Hotels are a luxurious pet-friendly boutique chain. BUT, we have found that not only is it always a good policy to check on line to see what the pet policy is in each hotel before you book, it is also good to confirm it with a phone call. Things can vary within a franchise and who needs a surprise after driving 600 miles in a day? If you use TripAdvisor, you can use a pet-friendly filter when you search for a place to stay and that can give you a good start when you are in the planning stage. We have learned over the years that not all camp grounds are pet-friendly so it’s a good idea to check on those sites, too. Most sites that advertise for rental houses also have pet-friendly filters to help narrow the search down.
When staying in a hotel a princess like Olive always enjoys luxury bedding.
It is special when you can take your best friend out for dinner and there are many places that allow Fido to be along when you dine IF they have outside seating that is accessible without going through the building. But there are always exceptions and it is a good idea to check first. Olive ate breakfast, lunch and dinner out with us on several occasions on this trip when the weather cooperated and now and then she met the nicest dogs.
You don't have to leave your best friend at home or in a kennel when you travel. Next time, take her along. She could use a vacation, too.