Today’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is writing about etiquette tips and advice when traveling with your dog and staying in a vacation rental or in a hotel.

If you’re like many pet parents, you can’t bear the idea of taking a family vacation without taking your beloved pup with you — he’s family after all! Planning a family get-away when you’re taking your dog along may pose a few more challenges, but many vacation destinations cater to families and their dogs so finding a place to stay is easier than ever.

The problems may arise when you arrive. If your dog decides to spend her days and nights barking — even in a pet-friendly vacation destination — the vacationers around you will not be happy. What’s a traveling pet parent to do?

Here are our best traveling with your dog and good vacationing doggy etiquette tips.

Start ‘em young. If you adopted a puppy, start vacationing with her when she’s young. Getting her accustomed to new sights, smells, destinations, and  sounds will help her adapt to the vacation destination.

If you’re traveling with a puppy, bring puppy pads so there are no accidents on the hotel room floor. Pet-friendly doesn’t mean hotel staff wants to clean up puppy piddle or poo; be a responsible pet parent.

Trial runs. If you’ve adopted an older dog get him accustomed to traveling with you by taking short, overnight jaunts to see how he will react in a hotel room setting. Hotels and vacation rental homes present more opportunities for an anxious dog to bark and this could keep you, and those around you awake all night — not a good scenario for anyone.

Potty breaks. Some dogs are such creatures of habit that they won’t relieve themselves unless they are on grass, or on a familiar surface; try to find that when you arrive at your destination.

Scope out an area for your dog to take potty breaks. Take him back to the same location each time so there won’t be any issues with him having accidents in the hotel room. Again, though, be prepared for in-room accidents by bringing puppy pads and cleaning items to pick up any messes.

Bring comforts from home. Dogs are creatures of habit. They like their own scents, toys, and familiar items. Bring your dog’s favorite toy, blanket, and other items from home that he enjoys.

Pack their own food — switching foods is not something you want to do while on vacation! Bring any medications your pet is on. Some pet parents also bring water from home for their dogs.  

Stick as close to your usual routine as possible. Feed her at her usual time. Walk her as often as you would when you’re home. Feed them in an area that closely resembles where they eat at home. For example, if they eat in the living room while you’re watching television, put their dish there; if they are accustomed to eating in a quiet corner of a room, place their dish in a quiet space.

Have a plan. There will likely be times, on the family vacation, when you simply want to visit a site or amusement park that is not dog friendly. It might just be that it’s too hot and that you’d be on hot pavement that could injure your dog’s tender paw pads and you are better-served to leave him behind. When this happens,  you need to have a plan.

Your dog may be well-behaved when you’re in the room with him, but may be a barking machine if left alone in an unfamiliar location. What’s a pet parent to do?

  1. Bring toys from home
  2. Give him a puzzle food toy to keep him entertained and engaged
  3. Tire him out before you leave him behind
  4. If he is crate trained and likes time in his crate, bring it with you on your vacation
  5. Turn on DOGTV. Chances are you will have brought your laptop or tablet with you and that means you can turn on DOGTV to entertain and keep your dog company while you’re away.

When you’re traveling with your dog do your research and look for pet-friendly activities that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Know the pet policies before you visit. Some hotels don’t allow you to leave your dogs alone in the room. Know this before you arrive and know you will need to make other arrangements for your pup when you’re going to places that are not pet-friendly. Note: Look for a pet sitter in the area who can stay with your dog and entertain him while you’re away.

What do you do to enrich your dog’s environment when he is home alone or in a hotel room alone? Have you tried DOGTV? Sign up for a  free fourteen day trial of DOGTV to help enrich your dog’s environment to alleviate his stress and separation anxiety and help him enjoy his vacation as much as you are!