In case you missed Part 1 of a Road Travel Guide, read it here

Time to Hit the Road Jack! A Road Travel Guide for You and Your Pet
By Guest writer, Jill D. Lane

Get Ready for that Road Trip!

Pre-planning is the key to a successful road trip with Fido.  Following are a few tips for your road trip.

  • Research your pet-friendly hotel options on-line. BUT don’t rely totally on the information from these searches.  Some websites are out-of-date on pet-friendly locations. Many hotels are adding rooms…or becoming pet-friendly due to increasing demand.  Some websites only include paid advertisers.
  • After you research the hotel….
    1. Call EACH hotel for their specific rules prior to the trip. Pet-friendly hotels don’t have the same rules.  Breed or size restrictions, number of pets allowed, number of pet-available rooms, and fees can vary.
    2. CALL AHEAD to each hotel to verify their current pet-friendly policies.  Some hotels will make exceptions (like weight) once you talk with them directly.
    3. Always ask about pet-friendly room locations.  Some pet-friendly rooms might include: ground floor location, tile floors, or patio settings.  These make handling Fido at the hotel more convenient.
    4. BOOK that pet friendly room reservation. Many properties have specific rooms assigned as pet friendly. They can book up. Without a reservation and if all the pet-friendly rooms are occupied, that hotel may not allow the pet upon arrival.
    5. Check out the hotel setting for the traveling pooch as well.  Are there acres of grassy roaming areas? Or just a cement driveway?

      Photo: LuAnne DeMe

  • Is Fido crate trained?  Get him ready for his own “home away from home”. If Fido is used to his crate at home, he will adapt easily and comfortably to sleeping on the road.  Make sure the crate is big enough to turn around in and relax comfortably. Invest in a folding travel crate. They don’t occupy much room in the car.
  • Take Fido for short car trips around town.  Get Fido comfortable riding in the automobile BEFORE the road trip. It results in a more relaxing road trip for all.  
  • Pet Luggage.  You’ve packed your suitcase…make sure to pack Fido’s so he can be a haute couture traveler. Like a bandanna or a new T-shirt for Fido will make Fido feel like a star.  
Photo: Jill Lane

Special Pet Gear.  Going on a specific adventure? You may need special pet gear.  Boating? Get a pet lifejacket for Fido. Riding sidecar on a motorcycle? Get those Doggles on! Winter Vacation?  Pack sweaters and paw protector boots. You get the idea.

  • Walk your dog in unusual places. This prepares him for potty stops in unknown areas.  Don’t forget to pack the poop bags to clean up after his deposit!
  • TRAINING 1-2-3s.  Every pet should have some personal training before traveling.  Even the basics, COME, STOP, and SIT help while on the road.
  • Plan ahead for Fido’s special needs. Does he get car-sick or fearful? Does he have special medication needs? Be prepared with the correct meds from your vet.  

Now that you’ve done your planning, it’s Time to Hit the Road!  The next segment includes Travel Tips while on the road.