You’ve been fantasizing and planning for it for months, and now it’s finally here — your vacation! With much of the country returning to normal and many people antsy to shake up their routine, travel is surging across the United States. 

dog at the beach

Whether you’re going on a road trip, exploring a new country, or flying to see family, you’re bound to have a good time! However, you may be wondering if you should bring your dog with you, or if it would be a better idea to figure out a different arrangement while you travel. Here are some questions for you to consider while trying to make this decision.

How Are You Planning on Travelling?

Your method of travel can have a big effect on your dog’s ability to remain safe and to also enjoy the trip as much as you are.

Car Travel

If you are planning on going on a road trip, here are some points to consider:

Think about your dog specifically. Does your dog enjoy going on short trips in the car, or do car rides make them sick? Would your dog rather be out and about, or are they more content just staying at home? If your dog doesn’t spend much time in the car during their regular routine, a long trip may not be best for them.

How do you plan on transporting your dog? The Humane Society recommends placing your dog in a crate that is secured by a seatbelt, making sure to anchor them in the middle or back row of your vehicle. However, this may prove difficult to do, given the size of your pets and your vehicle. 

Though how you transport your dog and the length of the trip are important factors to keep in mind, there are also other aspects of your trip to take into consideration. Are you planning on stopping at restaurants for meals or for any roadside attractions? Keep in mind that many places may not allow pets inside their business. What will you do with your dog while you’re eating, or exploring attractions? Will you always have a member of your group who will stay with your dog to ensure their happiness and safety? 

Keeping your pet in the car may not always be a safe option, especially in the warmer months. Even when the air temperature is 72 degrees, the temperature can rise to 116 degrees in less than an hour. On hotter days, it can take less than ten minutes for your car to become hot enough to cause dangerous health issues for your dog.

Air Travel

If you are flying to your destination, take into consideration that the Humane Society does not recommend air travel for dogs. There are many risks and costs associated with flying with pets.

Here are some questions to consider:

What type of dog do you have? Dogs with shortened snouts and flat faces (known as brachycephalic breeds) are especially vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke, both of which are more of a risk to these dogs when flying. These breeds include pugs, boxers, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus, and mixes with similar traits.

What is the temperament of your dog? If your dog is hyperactive and requires a lot of exercise, being cooped up in a crate for hours may not be the ideal choice for them, even if they are on sedatives. If your dog experiences separation anxiety, being away from you for many hours in a cargo hold may cause them great stress. Keep your particular dog in mind when making this decision.

How big is your dog? The size of your dog will determine whether your dog will be able to stay with you on the flight or if they will have to be placed in the cargo hold. You will need to refer to your specific airline to find their size and weight restrictions for dogs allowed on board. Please note that you may have to pay an extra fee to have your pet travel with you. It is recommended that you talk with the airline well in advance of your flight to make sure they will be able to accommodate your pet. Additionally, whether or not you are flying internationally, your airline may have specific immunization and carrier requirements for your pet.

Consider the Dog-Friendliness of Your Destination

Once you have thought through all your travel, it is also important to keep your destination in mind. 

Does your hotel or AirBnB allow pets? If you’re planning to be gone from the place you are staying at for hours at a time, do you have someone who can check in on your dog? What are you planning to do while on your vacation? 

If you’re planning on hiking and doing a lot of outdoor activities, having your pet with you may not be an issue. However, not all parks allow dogs. Similarly, many other outdoor activities may not lend themselves well to having pets, such as concerts, amusement parks, or fireworks.

Finally, if you are planning on spending most of your stay at the home of a family member or friend, consider how well everyone else in the household might get along with your dog. Some dogs may not enjoy the company of small children, and there is the potential for your dog to get into conflicts with other pets. Even if there isn’t the risk of outright fights, if your dog isn’t going to feel welcomed by everyone in the house or be able to spend time alongside everyone else, they may not have very much enjoyment during the trip.

Alternatives to Vacationing With Your Dog

Though you love your dog and want to enjoy fun times with them, there are times when it just isn’t feasible or practical to travel with your dog. If you have decided not to take them along with you, you have several options.

You can hire a dog sitter. A dog sitter can come over and check on your pets and take them outside. This ensures that your dog’s basic needs will be met, although they will probably still be spending a lot of time alone. However, finding reliable help can be hard. Further, your pet may not be safe and content in the home while you are gone for days or weeks. Even if your pet manages well during short trips, longer periods of being home alone can contribute to anxiety — or cause your pet to get into harm’s way!

Another option is to board your dog. At Greenlin Pet Resorts, we have award-winning lodging services for your pets. While you’re away, we can offer your dog the comfort of home while giving them the fun of a vacation. We offer many amenities that they will adore, such as swimming opportunities, homemade treats, and even bedtime stories — just to name a few! Our highly trained staff knows how to accommodate dogs of all types, and we separate playgroups by age, size, and temperament. We even offer accommodations and packages for both puppies and senior dogs!

If boarding your dog sounds like your best option, call us at one of our pet boarding and daycare facilities near you, or find us online to learn more about our award-winning services!