Traveling with Man’s Best Friend

Every year thousands of Americans pack for vacations that include the family dog!

According to a Feb. 2021 article by Roanoke.com, an estimated 78% of pet owners travel with their pets each year. With this trend increasing and summer travel in full swing, it seemed like the perfect time to offer some tips for traveling with Fido, as well as sharing a few of the most dog friendly areas to visit.

Enjoying a hike in PA with our dog, Emmett.

If you are going to travel with your dog, it is always a good idea to do a few practice day trips. This will help get your dog used to being in the car for a few hours at a time and help you develop good owner habits so that you are prepared for longer journeys.

Of course, there are the obvious essentials you will need such as clean water, food and water bowls, a leash and collar, but you will also want to bring a few things from home to help make the transition easier on your dog.

Packing a favorite blanket and a few toys from home will help your pet feel less anxious in a new environment.

Be sure to have your dog’s collar with name tags on at all times. If something should happen and you are separated from your pet, you want to be sure you can be contacted.

With so many people traveling with their pets, it is becoming much easier to find pet friendly lodging. A wide variety of rental homes are available and many hotels even offer a welcome kit for your furry friend!

Always be sure to read the fine print! Not every dog-friendly hotel will welcome your 80 pound German Shepard! Additionally, many hotels have strict rules about leaving your dogs unattended in the hotel room. Be sure you are familiar with the policies and can plan accordingly.

Should you find yourself wanting to spend a day at an attraction that isn’t dog friendly, check out the Wag or Rover apps! These apps help you locate dog sitters and walkers in a variety of areas!

Also consider a doggie day camp. Many destinations have kennels where Fido can play, relax and be pampered while you enjoy your day.

Walt Disney World is just one example. They offer Best Friends Pet Care where your pet can spend a day, a night or even a few nights.

Some vacations lend themselves better to bringing your four-legged friend along. Websites such as http://www.bringfido.com are great resources for researching the most dog friendly destinations. And of course, your travel agent can also be helpful in finding the perfect fit for you and your pet.

Here are just a few beautiful Dog-friendly destinations to consider.

Old Town Alexandria, VA

Named one of the Top 10 Dog-Friendly Destinations by Expedia, Old Town Alexandria offers a wide variety of dog friendly restaurants and shops, as well as plenty of lodging options. From the multiple dog parks, to an actual Canine Cruise on the Potomac and a walking trail at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, there is plenty to keep the humans and dogs busy!

Sedona, Arizona

With the beautiful backdrop of red rock country, several of Sedona’s best hiking trails are dog-friendly. Many of the hotels welcome well behaved pets and there are more than enough dog-friendly dining options to choose from. Enjoy dining on the patio while taking in breath-taking views.

Sedona also has a large Dog Park with separate areas for large dogs, small dogs, and even senior dogs get their own space. The park also offers a large, fenced area for off-leash hiking.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is one of the most welcoming cities – even allowing dogs on its buses and is another city that welcomes dog on a boat cruise!

Maine’s Bar Harbor is minutes away from Acadia National Park, a 47,000-acre wilderness with more than 100 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails along the coast.

Florida Beach Bum

Beach towns tend to be very dog-friendly and the towns in Florida are no exception.

Splash in the waves, search for seashells, or take a jog on the beach. With a wide variety of private rental homes, as well as hotels and resorts that welcome pets, you and Fido are sure to have a great time relaxing in the sunshine.

Oyster.com ranks the following beaches as the most popular dog-friendly options in Florida.

  1. Brohard Paw Park, Venice.
  2. Bonita Beach Dog Park, Fort Myers Beach.
  3. Davis Islands Dog Park Beach, Tampa. …
  4. Fort DeSoto Park Beach, Tierra Verde. …
  5. Jupiter Beach, Jupiter. …
  6. New Smyrna Beach’s Dog Park, New Smyrna Beach. …
  7. Canova Beach, Indialantic. …
  8. Doggie Beach, Panama City Beach.

So, tell me, do you travel with your dog? If so, is there a favorite destination you recommend?

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