Traveling With Your Dog

With the holidays approaching, you’ve probably been thinking about taking some time off for rest and relaxation and maybe taking a vacation. And since your dog is part of the family, you may also be thinking of bringing him along. If you’re planning a hotel stay during your vacation, it’s not as simple as just showing up at the hotel with your dog. You’ll need to do some researching and/or calling ahead of time to make sure there’s a hotel in the area that will accept pets. There are many good travel books available, such as “The California Dog Lover’s Companion” (by Maria Goodavage), and even AAA books. There are also some good websites, such as or You should still ask the hotels about pets when you call, since these books and information can become outdated and, even if you stayed at the same hotel last year and they accepted your dog at that time, things may have changed. Also, be sure to inquire about any size restrictions. Some hotels will allow dogs, but only smaller breeds.

Before you leave home there are a few things you need to prepare before your trip. It might seem like a lot of extra trouble at the onset – however, if anything were to happen to your dog while you’re away, you’ll be grateful that you came so well prepared.

Before leaving

Before leaving, make sure you are prepared for your trip. Follow this simple checklist:


Ensure that your dog has identification in addition to tags. Getting your dog microchipped is much more secure and reliable.


Get copies of your dog’s veterinary records.


Bring a recent photo of your dog.


Pack a special bag just for your dog. Include his favorite toys, bedding, grooming tools, food and food dishes, water dishes (collapsible dishes are great for traveling), and plenty of pooper bags.


Bring a leash, especially if you’re staying at a hotel. It’s not a good idea to let your dog roam around freely amongst hotel guests who might be afraid of dogs, and most hotels require the dog to be on leash.

At the hotel

Once you’ve arrived at your vacation destination and have settled into your hotel room, there are a few golden rules you should follow:


Never leave your dog in the hotel room alone, for a number of reasons. Even the most well-trained dog can cause damage, bark or scare the housekeeping staff. This will prevent housekeeping staff from entering and being caught off guard by your dog (or vice versa).


If your dog is a puppy or is not as well-trained as you’d like, bring a crate to use to prevent any potential damage.


Always clean up after your dog – in the hotel room and when you take him out for a walk.


By setting a good example as a pet owner, you can help ensure that you and your dog will be welcome back for future vacations.


Safe travels!

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