Fast forward 5 years and we've got pet friendly travel down! We are Ninja Road Trippers with our dogs! With a little preparation, there's no reason to leave your dog home when you embark on that dream adventure out on the open road.
|We pack just one bad for all the dog's stuff on our road trips!|
"YOU LOVE YOUR PETS. WE LOVE YOUR PETS, TOO"
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I recently read a great article in PawCulture™ magazine on 10 Dog Dangers That Can Derail Your Vacation. I could totally relate to that article! We encountered a few of those same mishaps during our first major road trip with Icy and Phoebe, but we learned how to overcome them and now we're pros at traveling with dogs. That article inspired me to share our three most memorable road trip mishaps so you can avoid them and have a fabulous adventure on the road with your dog!
Of the three most memorable dog travel mishaps we've had, I'd have to say the most stressful one occurred on our very first long road trip with Icy and Phoebe. We were driving cross country from Phoenix to New York, it was the first of many cross country trips we'd later take with our dogs. We had taken them on a few road trips prior to that, but never more than a couple of hundred miles away.
NO ROOM AT THE INN
We wanted to make the most of our long road trip by visiting interesting places along the way. I had only made a reservation for the first city we were visiting and figured we'd have no problem finding dog friendly places to stay along the way. Why would we, we were armed with the AAA Pet Book and had internet access via our cell phones, right? After the first two cities we began having trouble finding hotels that would accept our dogs. It was December and even though several places were dog friendly, all the pet friendly rooms were either booked or way too costly! It was extremely stressful for us, which in turn stressed out the dogs. Pets can sense when we are upset!
We were excited to finally arrive in Hot Springs, Arkansas, one of the more interesting places we planned to visit along the way! Unfortunately, every dog friendly hotel we called from the road said they were booked. At this point I began to panic. Hot Springs is pretty deep in the Ouachita Mountains. It took a long time to get there, we'd been on the road for so many hours. We were exhausted, cranky, and hungry. We needed to find a place to stay! When we finally found a place that would take us, a very low end hotel chain, they quoted me a price over the phone, but when we arrived 30 minutes later somehow the price had gotten significantly higher! I couldn't argue, we had no other options. The room was awful and it was a noisy hotel. The service wasn't good either, but beggars (or those who failed to make advance reservations) can't be choosers!
We loved Hot Springs and had a great time visiting, but I definitely learned my lesson - book pet friendly hotel accommodations in advance! The next day I made some phone calls and booked lodging for us the rest of the way to New York. Ahhhhh, I breathed a major sigh of relief!
|With a little advanced planning, your road trip with pets can be stress free and relaxing|
Hotel Chains that are dog friendly are often independently owned and operated. Sometimes they can, and do, refuse to accept pets or have size restrictions for dogs. In addition, pet policies change frequently; a hotel that's pet friendly today may not accept pets tomorrow. Some states are less dog friendly than others, which can make it more challenging to find pet friendly lodging. Have a plan before you leave your driveway!
PAWS FOR INJURY
Another mishap was when we took Icy out for a late night potty break in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The hotel had a tiny dog walk area but it was poorly lit. We didn't notice that she had stepped on something sharp, probably broken glass. On the way back to the room we noticed she had sliced open her paw and was trailing blood down the hallway! I did pack a small first aid kit, but I didn't have any gauze pads in it. I had hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, one large bandage and a sock to protect a paw in case of injury. I didn't realize that paw pads could bleed so much! It was really scary, especially since the bleeding wouldn't stop for what felt like an eternity. We had to use a towel from the hotel to apply compression and finally stop the bleeding. We couldn't get to a Veterinarian until the next day. Now I pack a fully stocked pet first aid kit, with plenty of gauze pads. I have to say, we almost always need the first aid kit when we travel. If it's not Icy in need of medical attention it's my husband!
STINK, STANK, STUNK!
On one of our road trips we had stopped at a hotel for the night. It was time for their potty break so we took the dogs to the hotel's potty area. Before we knew what was happening, Icy and Phoebe had both rolled in some kind of incredibly STINKY stuff! We thought they had just enjoyed a roll in the lush grass. When we got back into our room the smell hit us like a ton of bricks. "UGH!! What is that stench!?" It was bad. I mean really bad. It smelled like fertilizer, incredibly fresh, potent fertilizer. You know what I mean, the way it stinks when the gardener has just put it down all over every inch of the yard and you can't even open the windows!
|Dogs roll in stinky stuff, it happens. Bring cleanup provisions!|
The next day we got back on the road and drove with the windows open - along Interstate 40! After nearly an hour, like a golden ray of sunshine I spotted a PetSmart sign! "PULL OVER!!" I shouted. We pulled in and within three hours both dogs were scrubbed clean by the PetSmart
Making advance dog friendly lodging reservations, packing plenty of shampoo and pet wipes for stinky incidents, and always having a well stocked pet first aid kit has made dog travel much more relaxing for us. Now we're always up for new adventures on the road with our dogs!
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