Planning a vacation without forgetting about your pooch.

You have some summer vacation plans.

You can't wait. A break from work.

Camper ready. Bags packed. Tickets purchased. Hotels reserved.

And then all of sudden you remember Fido.

You kinda forgot to plan for your dog in all the confusion of vacation preparation. How can you keep this from happening again?

1. Make all your reservations at the same time.

Reservations might be for a pet sitter or pet boarding. They might also be for a grooming appointment.

Here you are, thinking everything is all set, and you realize that Fido needs a bath and a haircut and you're leaving tomorrow. You remembered to make all of the reservations for your trip, but you forgot to make an appointment for your family's best friend.

Most people don't want a stinky dog carrying the last two weeks' worth of yard dirt and mud cozied up in the camper or resort room. Both you, your family, and your dog will have a lot more fun on any vacation if Fido visits the groomer beforehand.

When you're planning your vacation and making travel reservations, make reservations for your pets. Put it on your checklist. Hotel. Airline. Car Rental. Pet. It might be many months in advance, but book them all at the same time.

2. Make sure your pet is welcome where you're going.

When you book your vacation, be sure the place you'll be staying or the activities you'll be doing will be pet friendly. You don't want to show up at a hotel and find out they don't allow pets.

If you have some activities you'll be doing that won't allow you to bring your pet, be sure they have a place to stay that is safe. You don't want to leave your pet locked up in a camper if there's no air conditioning, or if they could escape.

3. Make sure your travel mode is pet-friendly.

If you're flying, you'll need to know the airline's rules for traveling with pets. This may take considerable prep trime, so get started on it as soon as you know when you will be traveling. The more time to arrange for the right crate, medical record proof, and whatever else might be necessary, the better.

It's not just the airplane. When you arrive, will your rental car allow your pet to ride?

Whether by plane, train, or automobile, be sure you're ready to meet all requirements. You don't want to arrive, dog in hand, to find out no one will allow you to go any further. is a great website for helping you plan travel arrangements with your pet.

4. Decide if you want to plan your vacation with your pet, or around your pet.

For some, a vacation planned around dog-themed activities sounds fun. BringFido has a calendar of different dog-themed events around the world. While most families probably plan their vacation aroudn their family, if you're bringing Fido, you may want to consider not only dog-friendly events, but dog-centric events.

5. Pack some pet essentials.

If you're not going to board your pet, or have a pet sitter visit your house, you'll want to be sure to pack Fidos' essentials. That might include:

  • Food and treats. Bring extra so you don't run out, particularly if you have a pet that is fussy about what they'll eat.
  • Food and water bowls meant for travel.
  • Proof of vaccinations.
  • Medication. Make sure you have enough for the whole trip. Keep it in its official packaging so that it isn't seen as suspicious.
  • Waste bags. You don't want to leave dog waste anywhere, so come prepared.
  • A good leash, and then an extra one.
  • Favorite bed, blanket, and/or toy. This helps reduce the stress level on your pet when in unfamiliar surroundings.

Don't wait until the last minute to prepare for your vacation where your pet is concerned!


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