Millions of people go on vacation at any given moment. It’s fair to say at least half of those people take their canine companions along with them. Most dogs love adventure and are in the car before you can finish asking if they want to go for a ride.
However, finding the right room that will accommodate both you and your pet can be tricky. That’s why a little bit of pre-planning is necessary to make sure your trip goes smoothly.
Not all vacation rentals accept pets, which can be stressful if you’re in an unfamiliar area and need to find a bed for the night.
Is Your Dog Fit for Travel?
As much as dogs are known for their easy-going personalities, there’s no guarantee that your pet will like being away from home. Dogs are creatures of habit and can become destructive and even aggressive when taken out of their comfort zone.
The best way to figure out if your dog enjoys travel is by taking small road trips that get progressively farther away from home. Of course, if your travel plans are the result of an emergency, you may not have time to gauge your dog’s reaction.
Before loading your pup into the car and hitting the open road, consider their personality. Are they afraid of every little thing, or do they take things in stride? It’s important to keep in mind that a scared pup is more likely to bolt than a content dog.
If you’re not sure, find a pet sitter or boarding facility near your home, just to be safe. But if you’re confident that your dog is ready to travel, there are things you can do to increase the chance the trip will go off without a hitch.
8 Tips for Making Your Vacation Rentals Stay Stress-Free
Up until the point you check into your room and relax, every aspect of travel can be one hassle after another. Plane, train or automobile - how are you getting to your destination? How many activities can you cram into x amount of days to please every member of the family?
Traveling with your dog can add to your stress, which in turn, stresses your dog out when they pick up on the negative vibes. You can avoid having your dog turn into a neurotic mess by following these 8 tips for finding the right vacation rentals.
1. Make Sure It is Pet-Friendly
The days of stopping off the highway and finding pet-friendly lodging are gone. Many vacation rentals no longer allow pets because of neglectful owners. Before you consider sneaking your pet in, keep in mind that could land everyone sleeping in the car for the night.
Finding a pet-friendly vacation rental is easy with some online research before you leave. However, even if the trip is last minute, many vacation rentals make it clear on their marque if dogs are allowed. If you use an app to search for vacation rentals, you can narrow the search to only include pet-friendly vacation rentals.
2. Be Prepared to Pay Extra
Reserving a vacation rentals is a pricey endeavor these days. Most vacation rentals require a minimum of a $100 (refundable) deposit. If you’re traveling with a dog, you can expect to pay the regular deposit, plus a pet fee up to a couple of hundred dollars.
In some cases, the pet fee is nonrefundable, especially if your pup damages the room. You’ll also likely want to ask for a ground floor room, which may increase the overall price.
But still, a few extra fees get you and your pup a bed for the night, which is worth it compared to sleeping in the close quarters of a car.
3. Map Out Dog-Friendly Parks Nearby
Your dog will need to be walked and exercised during your stay. Your best bet is to check online for parks, restaurants, and even breweries, in the area that allow dogs.
The vacation rental front desk may also give local recommendations, but the close proximity to parks can help find the best hotel for your stay.
4. Research the Area for Canine Services
It’s always better to be safe than sorry and that includes figuring out the closest emergency vet to the hotel or the area where you’ll be traveling. You may also need to get your dog groomed unexpectedly, say if your pup rolls in something they shouldn’t.
Knowing the local doggie daycares can help if you have plans to visit a place where dogs aren’t allowed. Keep in mind that most doggie daycares and boarding facilities require specific vaccinations.
5. Keep Your Dog in a Crate When You’re Not Around
Many dogs have been lost when the housekeeping or maintenance crews come in the room when the owner has left the pet unattended. In fact, many vacation rentals policies clearly state not to leave pets alone in the rooms. However, if the vacation rentals does allow it, it’s best to crate your dog when you’re not in the room.
Your dog is away from home and may respond aggressively to a stranger entering the room. Containing them keeps everyone safe.
6. Fess Up to Damages Immediately
Dogs chew stuff. Maybe you’re in the bathroom and your dog chews the television remote, or worse. The best course of action is speaking to the hotel manager immediately rather than waiting until it’s time to check out.
Fessing up as soon as the damage happens can help you gauge how much money you’ll need to replace the item, if any. Your deposit, for sure, won’t be refunded and you’ll know how much money you’ll have for the rest of the trip.
7. Pack Your Pup a Suitcase
Many dogs are simply uncomfortable in new places. They like things they are familiar with - their food dish, dog bed, toys. This is because dogs are very scent-orientated and smelling their own belongings can give them comfort.
Their vaccination records are also an important thing to pack when traveling with your dog.
8. Stay on Your Dog’s Routine
Dogs are creatures of habit. Once they get used to a schedule, it’s hard for them to change, as anyone who lives in a place that adheres to Daylight Saving Time knows.
Keeping your dog on their feeding and walking schedule is important, especially if they are young pups at the start of their training.
You Don’t Have to Leave Your Pet Behind to See the World
Despite the caution that not all hotels are pet-friendly, with a little time invested, finding pet-friendly locations and accommodations is entirely feasible. Many places you’d least expect are now open to letting pets in, such as breweries and even banks.
However, it’s always good to check the general location first to see exactly how pet-friendly it is, so your pup isn’t stuck in a vacation rental the whole time.
Leo Wilson graduated from a university major in animal health and behavior. He had over a decade of experience working in the pet industry and has contributed many dogs and pet-related articles to several websites before he decided to start sharing his knowledge on his own blog. And when he is not busy working, he and his wonderful wife love spending time at home with their 3 dogs and 2 cats.