Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Be A Ninja Road Tripper With Your Dog

We love fun and adventure with our dogs! One of the things we love doing most with our dogs is taking exciting road trips together.  The first road trip we took with Icy and Phoebe, however, was a series of mishaps.  We were totally unprepared for a long trip with two dogs!  I packed everything but the kitchen sink for the dogs and embarked on an 8 day cross country road trip with no dog friendly hotel reservations made.  We didn't realize how many things could go wrong on a road trip with dogs when you don't have a well thought out plan.  (this post contains an Amazon Affiliate link)

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
.  


Tips for a road trip with dogs
We pack just one bad for all the dog's stuff on our road trips!



"YOU LOVE YOUR PETS.  WE LOVE YOUR PETS, TOO" 

This post is sponsored by PawCulture™ and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share PawCulture but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. PawCulture is not responsible for the content of this article.

PawCulture shares inspirational stories, pet parenting lifestyle articles and tips on being a better pet parent for the pets in our lives. With diverse content from travel and adventure to heartwarming adoption stories to pet parenting how-tos, PawCulture has something for every pet parent.  Their mission is to Inform, Inspire, and Entertain devoted pet parents with Helpful Advice, Useful Tips and Superior Storytelling.

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!

Plan ahead for stress free travel with pets
With a little advanced planning, your road trip with pets can be stress free and relaxing
These days I try to make reservations for every night of our road trips in advance.  If we can't for some reason, I know that sticking close to major Interstate highways will usually yield at least one of the top 3 affordable pet friendly hotel chains, including the Red Roof Inn, La Quinta, and Comfort Inn.  These places are usually very consistent and will often accept cancellations as late as 4pm on the day of arrival.  That really gives us peace of mind and flexibility!

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!

On road trips with dogs, be prepared for unexpected issues
Dogs roll in stinky stuff, it happens.  Bring cleanup provisions!
I had brought a travel size bottle of dog shampoo with us.  We bathed both dogs in the hotel bathtub and dried them off.  We used every drop of the shampoo we brought along, but Icy and Phoebe still smelled!  Not quite as badly but still, it was most unpleasant.  At least we could breathe again though, so that was good.  

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 angels groomers.  Whew!  I now bring not only dog shampoo with us on road trips, I also pack grooming wipes and grooming gloves in case my girls decide to revel in their own kind of Splendor In The Grass on future road trips!

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!

I've found so many helpful and inspiring articles on PawCulture.  It's a great resource for all the things I'm interested in as a pet parent like  Pet Tips & Advice, Pet Lifestyle, and my personal favorite, Pet Travel and Adventure!  There is a ton of great content to read and share on PawCulture.  As a pet parent, I really feel like they GET ME, and that's so important.


Find Inspiration!  
Celebrate the unbreakable bond between pets and their people by visiting the PawCulture web site. You'll find lots of information, inspiration, and entertainment on so many of the things today's pet lovers want to read about.



CONNECT WITH PAWCULTURE ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND INSTAGRAM!

Have you visited PawCulture's web site yet?  Leave us a comment and tell us!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PawCulture. The opinions and text are all mine.

46 comments:

  1. Rolling in stinky stuff is the best, BOL. Sounds like an adventure
    Lily & Edward

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! It can be fun for sure, but the lingering stank is no fun at all!

      Delete
  2. Great post! And I love your doggy luggage bag on wheels! I try to take just one bag for the dog's stuff too, but so often it ends up in multiple bags. I'm getting better organized.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nichole! Isn't it the cutest, my sister gave it to me. This is the bag we use for Long road trips, like 8 days or more. For shorter trips we use a much smaller one.

      Delete
  3. Wow, what an experience. Thank you for sharing your travel adventure. I have thought about wanting to do some road trips with Edie, but I'm such a worrier. I would never have thought about the possibility of needing to bath her along the way! But you just never know what might happen. When the time comes, I will be asking for your advice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so true, you never know what you'll encounter on a road trip with pets, but that's part of the fun! Start with a very short road trip, like 2 hours away for just a weekend to get a feel for it.

      Delete
  4. OMG what a trip! I am always a planner and even plan our dog-friendly stops and adventures before we leave. This would have made my heart race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it was pretty crazy the first time! We went from only taking a couple of short trips up North to a full blown major road trip of 8 days, LOL! We learned a whole lot about serious road tripping on that first trip!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing and yes I agree we always think we have everything and then a crisis arrives and OH NO we forgot something, I do day adventures with Layla and the boys and it has got to the point where she has her own tote bag with everything and Me and the boys have one for ourselves. We learn from our mistakes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! I keep a bunch of items packed away for the dogs, I use it each time we travel so I don't have to scramble around so much every time we road trip. I also make sure I know in advance where I could pick up essential pet items along the way if needed.

      Delete
  6. I wouldn't think to bring shampoo on a road trip for the dog, but it sounds like it's a must! :-) Made for a cute picture. We would love to travel with our dog, but he's not into road trips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMD! Shampoo is such a must for dog travel, and so are pet wipes. You'd be amazed at how necessary that stuff can be on a road trip, LOL!

      Delete
  7. There are many awesome tips in this post!! So I was the same way - I would pack the kitchen sink and then we'd run into trouble and I'd think how could I have forgotten that. The biggest issue for me was not remembering what I needed to give meds! Like I make meatballs with soft food or cheese and I would forget to bring 1) the soft food 2) a can opener 3) a can opener top thing, etc. I also didn't have a first aid kit and one time I needed to muzzle Sherm to get something out of his paw and didn't have that! GREAT tips here! Sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, a can opener is such a common thing to forget - now I only bring along pup top style food or food rolls for the dogs. Problem solved! I'm so glad you found these tips useful Christy. The first aid kit is absolutely essential, it's amazing how many times we need it during travel! Thankfully I did bring one on our first road trip but I need it to be more complete so I've upgraded it!

      Delete
  8. I have not visited PawCulture yet but will check them out. Great tips for traveling. I plan to take Kilo on a few road trips this year so good to be prepared- I don't usually have a medical kit or enough shampoo and I too am a bit casual about hotel bookings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will love PawCulture! The first time I visited the site I couldn't stop sharing the articles! I had to refrain from Tweeting so many at once so as not to load my whole Twitter feed w/ PawCulture articles at once, LOL!!

      Delete
  9. Oh you did make me laugh. Thank you for a 'be prepared' post with a vengance. Simple preparations mean you can save a LOT of worry (and have a more fragrant) trip! Thank goodness for Petsmart eh :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I gave you some laughs Marjorie! In hindsight it really was hilarious all those mishaps. We live & learn, don't we?? Now I'm all about planning and preparation every time. And yes, thank goodness for PetSmart stores, especially when they're close to an Interstate highway, LOL!

      Delete
  10. Oh my...all of those mishaps would of course happen to Magic if we took him on the road! You're braver than I am. *s*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! It's all in the planning and preparation before a trip. We've got it down to a science now, but it took a bit of time. You could bring Magic on the road, just start really small like an overnight visit to a friend or family that lives an hour away.

      Delete
  11. I've always had good luck travelling with my dog and staying at Red Roof Inn. Also I have story too on dogtrotting.net about my dog rolling in Michigan - racoon poop is the worst

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red Roof Inn is a great dog friendly hotel! It's important to find a truly welcoming pet friendly place not just a "we only tolerate pets 'cause we want to get more business" kind of place. Racoon poop - UGH! That must have been awful.

      Delete
  12. Great article! The opening pulled me. The anecdotes held me. I'm sure at the time you felt terrible, but you were also left with terrific writing material.

    Most important lesson I learned? The key to a successful trip is plan ahead. Thanks for all the tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Allison, I'm so glad you like it! It was awful at the time but a great learning experience and yes, some good writing material, LOL! Planning is crucial for a successful road trip, winging it is not the smartest option!

      Delete
  13. I always love it when you share your adventures with your dogs! I am thinking about bringing Nelly to the BlogPaws conference. If I do, I'll definitely be returning to your site to get more tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks Beth! I'm so glad you enjoy our wild doggie adventures! I do hope you bring Nelly to the conference, I'd love to meet her. I'm bringing my dogs too, it will be a real Pawty!

      Delete
  14. I am definitely taking notes from this post, Cathy! We try to be prepared for everything but you have more experience than me in traveling cross country! Terrific information ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you find it helpful Melissa, thanks! I'm always here to help & share my travel learnings and advice! Any time.

      Delete
  15. It's wrong that I laughed at the thought of Icy and Phoebe rolling around in some stinky stuff, isn't it? But, it's a good reminder to bring along all the things that are emergent and perhaps may seem non-emergent at the time....like shampoo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOL!! It's totally NOT wrong, it's hilarious! Not at the time of course, but it is quite funny. We learned our lesson for sure after that one. I'm obsessed with bringing shampoo and pet wipes on every trip we take now. I also have a big green towel that never leaves the car! It's the "Dog Travel Towel"

      Delete
  16. I can't imagine all you'd need to travel cross country with your dogs. We were impressed with the articles o PawCulture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've culled it down a whole lot, I used to bring 2 or 3 bags stuffed with their things. To the point where we could hardly fit our own stuff in the car, LOL! Now it's one bag, no more.

      Delete
  17. The only minor mishap we've had is when Mr. N cut a paw and bled all over the house we were visiting. Turned out not to be serious though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that scary!? I couldn't believe how much Icy's paw bled. I believe there are a lot of blood vessels in dog paws needed to protect them from the elements.

      Delete
  18. Cathy you have some great tips! We recently relocated and drove the 2 days to get to our new place...with 2 dogs. I did a lot of prep work to ensure I had everything they would need. That involved packing suitcases of stuff we wouldn't need until we arrived at our final destination, and finding the right holdall for their food, medication and other supplies we would need close to hand. I settled on a picnic hamper because it was easy to open and everything was in full view. Definitely lots of pit stops for four legged and two legged passengers, and I agree with booking pet friendly places in advance. Our driver didn't do that since we had no idea how far we would get, but he should have researched a few along the route to have handy. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hindy, I'm glad you liked my tips! I agree that booking hotels in advance is really important, getting stuck without pet friendly lodging really stinks! Even if you book hotels and cancel or change the day before if your plans change, you can often do so without penalty. It's so worth doing.

      Delete
  19. Oh, no! It's too bad you had such a negative first travel experience. I did kind of giggle at the fertilizer roll - sorry. I can sympathize as Reese is a roller and we know that smell all too well. Great travel tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was so funny - not at the time of course, but afterwards we laughed our butts off at that! It was actually a great trip overall, we visited several places we wanted to see and had a great time overall.

      Delete
  20. We have only taken one long road trip with Ruby from IL to MA and it all went pretty smoothly. She even joined us for a trip to Niagara Falls on the way. We have taken a few smaller trips to WI, MI, and IN. She has done well.

    Our previous dog, Pip, loved to travel but had a very sensitive stomach and often ended up sick. Poor guy.

    Laughing about the rolling in the stink. That must have been no fun. Glad you were able to find a PetSmart and get them cleaned up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so great! Ruby sounds like an experienced traveling pooch. Oh poor Pip, he probably got car sick. That was not a fun night with all the stench! I couldn't believe those two could stink up the place so badly - and the car! Ugh, the car was even worse in such tight quarters. Thank goodness we found a PetSmart off I-40 that saved us!

      Delete
  21. Brilliant tips.
    Jester loves nothing more than to roll in stinky stuff when we are away so we always carry our own towels and pet wipes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kimberly, I'm glad you think so! LOL! dogs do love to roll in the stinky stuff, don't they?

      Delete
  22. Great article and comments. Used to take many road trips with our dogs. Something extremely useful to take along is a couple of thrift shop king-size sheets to cover beds or sofas in the room. Most accommodations don't want pets on the furniture, but our pets don't always pay attention to that little detail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol, I appreciate that! That is such a great idea to bring along sheets to cover the bed & furniture. That would be great for us because being a Husky, Icy is a super high shedder! I always feel bad about that. It's hard to keep them off the bed, they just get right up there when we're at breakfast or something, BOL!! Little devils! Thanks for sharing that great tip, I'll add that to my repertoire!

      Delete
  23. Great article! Road tripping with pets definitely comes with its hazards if you aren't prepared! I had similar experiences with Sophie when I first started traveling with her. Not nearly as big though, as our first trips weren't such big ones. The one that stands out in my mind the most was when my husband and I took her to the Atlanta Pet Expo a couple years ago. Atlanta is about a 2 hour drive for us. At that point Sophie had been out on adventures, but not quite that long of a car ride before. About 45 minutes down the interstate, the car was filled with a horrible small.. of poop! Sophie had pooped in her carrier, and let me just this... wobbly cat + car + poop = BIG MESS! We pulled off on the next exit, which of course had NOTHING except a mechanic's shop. We pulled in there and asked if they had a hose and some soap that we could use to give our cat a bath. They didn't speak english very well, so it took some effort to get them to understand what we were asking, and then of course they thought we were crazy. They did let us use their hose and soap, but it was definitely one of the most embarrassing moments... my husband and I in the middle of a mechanic's parking lot in the middle of winter, giving our poop-covered cat a bath, as all of the costumers and workers stared and watched. lolol. Thankfully we got her cleaned up and continued on our trip. We ended up having a great time at the expo, but man.... what a comedy of errors on the way up! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. BOL!! That is just too funny! Poor Sophie, and poor you! Of course there was nothing helpful when you pulled off the highway, isn't it always that way in a crisis?! I guess we all learned the hard way that packing serious clean-up supplies is paramount when traveling with pets!

    ReplyDelete