It is hard to leave your best buddy at home while traveling. Sometimes it just isn’t an option for them to come with you. This winter we embarked on a 15 hour road trip with our 9 year old Morkie, Roscoe. This was his first vacation and we wanted to be very prepared for the journey. As the saying goes “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Roscoe is in no way a spring chicken and I was worried that he would not respond well to the new surroundings. Here is how we prepared for our trip and some tips and tricks for traveling with your dog:
1. Pet Friendly Accommodations
Finding accommodations that welcome your furry friend is key. You do not want to show up and be turned away because of your dog. Most travel websites will have a pet friendly search options such as Booking.com, VRBO and AirBnB. There are also some websites that are geared to pets such as Bring Fido and Official Pet Hotels. It may be noted that there could be an additional fee for dogs. We stayed at the Copperstone Resort in Banff. There was a $20 per night fee for a pet friendly room. This resort had a rule that pets could not be left unattended. If the dog made noise a $200 charge would be applied.
2. Pack The Essentials
Most of these are self explanatory. Don’t forget Fido! You wouldn’t want to have a Home Alone moment. Make sure you stock more than enough dog food, water and treats for your voyage. A leash and collar is must as well as extra bags (we ran out of these).
3. Include Comfort Items
We wanted our dog to feel as at home as possible on our trip to limit anxiety. To make him feel a bit more comfortable we packed his Kennel so that he had his own little space. We also brought his dog bed and a blanket as he always lays on these around the house. Some of his favourite dog toys and bones came with us so that he had something to distract him. We had to leave the room a couple times and left the T.V on so that there was some noise to buffer the sounds around the resort. We live in the country, so Roscoe is not used to sharing walls with others.
4. The Unexpected Items
There will be some things that you will not anticipate. Two words; Spot Shot. Bring some as well as some paper towels. Roscoe does not have accidents, but I believe the smell of other dogs in the room caused him to pee a few times. If you are traveling to a different country, make sure that you have updated vaccination list from your veterinarian. They may not allow you to cross without these, so come prepared. If you are traveling during heart worm season do not forget your pills. If you are traveling in the winter do not forget a coat and some booties (if your dog can tolerate it).
Roscoe had a great first trip. He saw mountains, a windmill and a dog with a cone on it’s head! He did very well with the drive as he sat on my lap the entire time. The hotel was a new experience and he was definitely out of his element. I believe the extra comfort items we brought helped. Can’t wait to bring him with us again. It always feels like we are missing something when we travel and it is definitely him.
Kira Canadian Girl