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Hitting the open road with your family is a freeing experience, so why not bring your four-legged friend along for the ride? Road tripping with your dog is not as simple as jumping in the car and letting him hang his head out of the window. To ensure you all have a great vacation, you’ll need to make special preparations for your canine companion.

1. Talk to Your Vet Before You Leave

Always consult your vet before taking a long journey with your pet. Your pooch should have an exam to make sure they are healthy. Dogs must also be up to date on vaccinations before exposing them to new environments. If you have an anxious pup, the doctor may also be able to give you some calming medication for the journey. Anti-nausea medication may also be necessary for animals prone to carsickness.

2. Ask For Permission to Visit

If you are visiting loved ones on your trip, ask if you can bring your dog along. Never bring a pet to someone’s home without asking them first. While you love your puppy to the ends of the earth, not everyone feels that way. Dogs are not for everyone. They shed, pee, poop and can be very destructive. If your pup isn’t welcome, try not to take offense. Check the area for boarding services so you can drop your pet off during your visit.

3. Check Hotel Policies

Visit your hotel’s website to see if they are a pet-friendly establishment. Some hotels, like the New Orleans Marriott, may not accept pets but can recommend sister hotels nearby that allow animals. Even if you know pets are allowed, you should still call ahead and ask about their specific policies. Some hotels require dogs to stay in their crates when alone in the room, and some may not allow the pet alone in the room. They may also have areas of the hotel grounds that are off-limits to dogs. Asking in advance will ensure their rules don’t catch you off guard during your stay.

4. Pack for Your Pooch

Adorable doggy sunglasses are a must but don’t forget about your animal’s daily needs. These four-legged creatures accumulate a lot of things, and they’ll be happier with some comforts from home. Some necessities for the trip may include:

  • Bowls
  • Crate
  • Dog waste bags
  • Food and treats
  • Dog bed
  • Toys
  • Leash
  • Towels for the car
  • Car seat or harness

5. Check Rental Car Policies

If you need to rent a car during your travels, make sure the company is aware that you will have a dog with you. Some companies require dogs to travel in a crate. You may also want to purchase special insurance, like a collision damage waiver, to cover any unintentional damage from your pet during the trip.

6. Plan Stops Along the Way

Bringing a dog along is like bringing a baby along for the ride. Plan your route to include stops for your pet to walk or run around, go to the bathroom, eat, and drink.

7. Visit the Groomer

Who doesn’t love to get a haircut and their nails done before a big vacation? Before you go, make sure to pamper your pup too. Visit the groomer for a wash and trim to ensure they are clean and shedding is at a minimum. Clip nails so they can’t do too much damage scratching things up along the way.

Traveling with your furry friend can be a joy, but don’t just jump in the car and go. Visit the vet and groomer, call the hotel, rental car company, and friends and family to ensure your pet is welcome, and plan your route accordingly. With some preparation, you can make your summer vacation with your pup one to remember.

photo cred: linda-robert-sWw5VwBK1ew-unsplash

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