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How to Have a Safe (and Cool) Summer Vacation with Your Dog

By Colleen Williams
published: August 9, 2018 - updated: January 19, 2023 • 4 min. read
summer car trip with dog

Summer’s here, which means it’s time to get lost! Of course, we mean figuratively, not literally. While traveling with your dog means a little more prep before going, it’s worth it when you factor in not just your own fun but your dog’s fun too. Here are some tips to making this summer count.

Travel & Health Safety

We have some great travel safety tips on how to prepare your pet for riding in a car or flying on a plane. If you’re specifically hitting the road, read “Traveling with Your Pet – Car Trips!” as well. Vets recommend doing a dry run before the big day; you’ll want to take pups for short trips a few weeks before leaving in order to desensitize them to the car. This also helps reveal motion sickness – if your dog has excessive drooling, vomiting, or diarrhea in a moving car, you’ll want to speak to your vet about getting a prescription to manage it.

Speaking of your vet, make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and she has the correct tags on her collar. Most airlines have guidelines for traveling safely with pets (such as this one from Alaska Airlines), which includes vaccination requirements, health certificates, kennel requirements, date restrictions to fly to certain destinations (due to extreme temperatures), breed restrictions (short-nosed dogs cannot ride cargo), and special requirements for different countries, as well as for Hawai’i, a rabies-free state, which can take up to 6 months to clear quarantine. With horror stories in the news about pets on airplanes, it is best to approach it with utmost caution to make sure your furry best friend is safe to travel. Remember: if your pet must travel in cargo, DO NOT sedate them. Pets cannot respond to changes in temperatures if they are sedated, which is a real hazard especially for smooshy-faced breeds.

camping with dog

Additionally, knowing about your destination is imperative: if you’re headed to a location where heartworm is prevalent, you’ll need a preventative medicine. Are you planning to rent a car, or will you rely on public transportation (yes, it’s doable! Check out “City Smarts: Traveling with Pets…but without a Car” for the laws of the land). Also, familiarize yourself with the weather so you can plan accordingly. No one wants to treat a pup suffering from heatstroke! The good news is that should the unexpected happen, Healthy Paws dog and cat insurance covers your canine companion anywhere in the United States and Canada, should an emergency arise while you’re vacationing.

Pup-Safe Hotels & Airbnbs

As more of us bring our pets along on vacation, accommodations have changed considerably. Usually there’s just an extra fee involved and you’re all systems go! 

  • Marriott brands including all Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels are pet-accepting, and make it very easy to find a pet-welcome hotel – simply choose the “pet-friendly” option when filtering through hotels.
  • Hilton’s Home2 Suites is extremely pet-friendly – not only do they allow pets, they also offer feeding bowls, and hold nationwide “Yappy Hour” parties on National Pet Day with custom photo props.
  • Airbnb listings are easily searchable for pet friendly stays, and most will charge an affordable fee for a pup or cat staying with you.
dog walk

Helping Fido Make the Most of It

Laurel Leicht for Ollie says, “While technically time off for dogs isn’t crucial, there are definitely perks for having some pup PTO: Vacation can be a great chance to give your pup some time to run around and roam a totally new and exciting environment, get different mental stimulation than he normally gets in his daily life, and, of course, have some fun with his favorite humans.” If something new has the opposite effect on your pet, ease into the first day with some natural anti-anxiety products like CBD oil or Rescue Remedy.

Can’t Bring Your Pup? Don’t Worry

Don’t force it though! If you can’t bring your dog, or if your dog tends to get very stressed out in new situations and is better off at home, you can book services with Rover for in-home boardingpet sittingdog walking, or doggy day care. With millions of services booked across 14,000 cities and 95% 5-star reviews Rover consistently delivers great pet service providers, so pet parents can rest assured their furry family members are in good hands. Customer Linnea says, “My husband and I recently went to Vancouver for a weekend to visit friends and figured tharover walk dogt our dogs would be better off staying at home than spending time in a hot city or in a hotel room, so we booked our wonderful Rover sitter, Gloria, to look after them. She texted me updates and photos every day and even took my two girls to a dog park! They both looked so happy (from running around playing outside to cuddling on the couch) and I could relax knowing they’re in good hands.”

Every pet sitter and dog walker profile has been reviewed and approved, and in fact, Rover accepts less than 20% of potential sitters. They also keep it local: more than 92% of the population lives within a short drive of the more than 200,000 pet sitters and dog walkers who list their services. So even if you can’t bring Luna, Charlie, or Whiskers along for the ride, you can relax on your vacation knowing they’re getting the most pets, walks, and kisses while you’re gone.

Whether you’re traveling with your pet or staying at home, accidents and illnesses can happen anytime. With pet insurance, you don’t have to worry about affording veterinary care and can rest assured that you can provide your pet with the care they need, when they need it. Get your free quote today and save up to 90% on vet bills.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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