We’ve taken hundreds of road trips with Cesar since we moved to California a few years ago. It’s really easy to take him along because there are so many dog-friendly restaurants, breweries and hiking trails where we live. Now, he gets so excited about going in the car, it’s hard to think about leaving him behind!
That said… bringing him along on a day or overnight trip requires a little prep work. Here are some tips to keep in mind before taking your pooch on the road.
Look for dog-friendly digs
If you plan to stay overnight with your four-legged pal, look for dog-friendly hotels and apartments. You can use the “pets allowed” feature on Airbnb (note: expect to pay an additional cleaning fee) and on hotels.com, where you can sort by hotels that are “pet-friendly.” Also look into staying at Kimpton Hotels, where you won’t get charged a fee for your pet, and they have features like a Canine ambassador, dog beds and treats ready for you! I stayed at the Kimpton in Austin last month and there were so many dogs to pet in the lobby. So fantastic.
Go on BringFido.com
This website is amazing. It’s a dog-friendly travel directory with listings of hotels, restaurants, activities, events and more. Pet owners can even leave reviews (aka ratings out of five bones.) They have listings around the U.S., Canada and even Amsterdam. Trust me, if you have a dog, you’ll be on here a lot.
Pack up their favorite treats, toys and water bowl
Just as you pack your backpack or overnight bag when you’re going out of town, your dog is going to require their own gear. We pack everything for Ceasy in his dog carrier that we’d be bringing anyway so we don’t have to drag an extra bag.
Even if you only plan to be gone half a day, be sure to pack extra servings of your dog’s food and extra water—you never know when you’ll get stuck in traffic or will end up wanting to stay longer. You can also get a water bottle with an attached dog bowl, they’re great for hiking, too.
PS: Don’t forget extra poop bags! We’ve had people come up to us on hiking trails to check if we had any. Please, don’t be that dog owner.
Bring anti-nausea and calming treats
If your dog isn’t used to being in the car for a long period of time, these will definitely come in handy.
Try not to leave your pal alone, if you can avoid it
Even if your dog doesn’t have separation anxiety, it’s still scary for them to be left alone in a new place like a hotel room. Try to plan activities you can do with your dog, like hiking, visiting outdoor restaurants and breweries and even canoeing or kayaking if your dog is into it. If you need to be out and about and know you can’t bring your dog, think about booking them at a local doggie day camp. For example, we found a great option for Cesar near Tahoe if we want to ski. He can socialize and be with other dogs during the day instead of alone in a rental or hotel room.
Where are your favorite places to go with your dog?