Dogs might be “man’s best friend,” but being a dog owner and travel lover don’t always go hand in hand. Dream vacations can turn stressful when it’s time to plan what to do with a furry four-legged kid. Do you take Fido along? Hire a pet sitter? Kennel him at a dog boarding facility? Try to find a pet friendly hotel? Our Quick Weekender TravelingMom breaks down the four most common travel options for dogs.
Travel Options for Dogs
Being the owner of two adorable, but rambunctious boxers, December Belle and Kylo Finn – I get it. Each trip we take I struggle with the decision of taking or leaving them. There are many factors that I take into consideration. How much time will we have to spend with them? Are we going to be out and about all day? Is there adequate room in a dog friendly hotel? The list goes on. Luckily for us, there are many travel options for dogs!
Fido Tags Along – The Search For a Dog Friendly Hotel
We adore having our loves join us. If we’re road-tripping, the possibility of bringing them along is dramatically increased. Flying is another story entirely. These two are not part of any frequent flier programs and I don’t think they will be soon.
Finding a dog friendly hotel isn’t a huge issue. There are many hotels that have jumped on board with allowing pets stay. We usually look at La Quinta, Best Western and a few others, if we’re just going for a few days. With our big babies staying in a cramped hotel room for an extended period of time takes all the fun out of our trip.
We enjoy renting larger vacation rentals if we are planning to stay for longer than a couple of days. This allows us a little more room and gives us a tad more freedom. But packing up for our extended adventures can be comedic. Maneuvering two adults, three kids and two feisty fur babies makes for an interesting road trip.
How much time we’ll actually have to hang out with them tends to be the deciding factor. A relaxing beach trip – no problem. But an all day theme park adventure? That is when we start looking at our other options.
Traveling to Disney? It HasDog Boarding!
Disney is a unique theme park. They have gone out of their way to cater to their animal loving guests by offering boarding facilities on property.
While none of the Disney resorts are pet friendly, Disney World does have an on site over-night boarding facility. Best Friends Pet Care is a luxury resort for dogs. The add-on options for a stay are insane. Bedtime stories, ice cream breaks, even holiday dinner are just a small example of the offerings.
Disneyland doesn’t have over-night stays, but it does have doggy day care right near the entrance of the park. It’s not as high end as Disney World. Disneyland guests have to feed their pets and come back for potty breaks.
Sleep-Over Party for Fido at Your Local Dog Boarding Facility
Overnight dog boarding facilities, local veterinarian offices, doggy camp–you name it and it’s available. And it’s probably the easiest route to take. Just drop off Fido with his food, some toys and say “see ya later.”
But don’t fear! Dog boarding facilities have come a long way. No more bars and chains. Dogs now get to play in the lap of luxury during their doggy vacataions. They have access to play groups, TVs, even spas.
Some offer dog moms and dads the ability to do daily video checkups. Other will send text updates. My favorite is the bath before they come home! It’s one less thing I have to worry about washing after a long trip. Seriously, all that laundry! Then add dirty dogs on top of it. Nope. Just nope. I’ll pay a little extra for a clean doggy.
Our two are young and ready to mingle. So we’ve never had them stay at a vet’s office. But for older dogs or those that may need medical attention, staying at the vet’s might offer more comfort.
Not Comfortable With Just Dropping Off Fido? Pet sitter to the Rescue
Using a pet sitter is our usual go-to when December and Kylo can’t come along. I’ve dealt with a dog that had high anxiety, so using a pet sitter works best. It allows them to stay in the comfort of their own home and stick close to a normal schedule.
This is where being a military family comes in handy. Being away from family, means that neighbors count on each other for many things. Pet sitting is just one of those things. We tend to have a relationship and take turns swapping free pet sitting services with our neighbors.
I have hired professional pet sitters and they were all amazing. Most sent videos, pictures and messaged me nightly to let me know how they did. There were walks, doggy play time and so much more.
Whenever I make the decision to use a pet sitter, whether it be family, friends/neighbors or a professional, I make sure to pull out all the documents they may need and make a list of numbers they may need. These include vet records, phone number and address of the vet, closest 24 hour animal hospital and where we’ll be staying.
A lot of thought goes into making the decision to travel with our beloved pets or have them stay home. But those times when leaving them behind is the best option for all of us – I’m glad to know they will be well taken care of.