by Lauretta Williams

Everyone needs time off from work with a change of location and a vacation fulfills this role. It can be exactly what the doctor ordered. However, vacations take planning and steps to follow in order to prepare for your time off. For dog owners, there are a few more steps involved before you can go off on your merry way. A decision has to be made whether you want to leave your dog behind for a period of time or to take your dog with for a vacation. There are pros and cons for each decision and either is neither good nor bad ones to make but for the sake of this article, we shall look at what you can do with your dog while you both are on vacation. 

Why Leave Your Dog 

Before we get into the fun of spreading time away with your dog, we should first mention that not all dogs are ‘vacation friendly’. This can mean that they get nervous around new areas and people which may result in them acting up such as growling and even biting. This can be the main reason why it would be best to leave them at home. 

Another reason is that not all places and hotels are pet-friendly. Therefore, the places that you can vacation at become a bit more limited. They take up space in terms of packing their stuff, space in the car if you are driving or extra fees if you are flying. With driving there is a chance that they could get sick while with a plane they could get very stressed out. You would have to know your dog very well and if they are not suitable it is best to make another plan for them. 

However, if it is your first time living with them and you are not sure if they are ‘vacation friendly’ or not then you may want to consider trying them out first. You may want to consider putting them in the car and driving them around for a long while (you would not need to go far, just around in circles) and see how they react to the drive. Also, stop at different parts of the town in parks and see how they react to other people. If they pass and behavior well without getting sick then they (and yourself) would be more likely to enjoy the vacation away. But, if they do not handle the “tests” well then you may want to consider where they can stay while you are away.

Why Take Your Dog With

Vacations should be all about fun and relaxing. Although, your dog can cause you some stress at times at the end of the day they are your best friend and a creature you likely enjoy being around. Taking your dog on vacation with you could actually help reduce stress, help you meet other dog owners and force you to go outside in the fresh air to get exercise as well as explore the area. Your ‘vacation friendly’ dog can add more experiences and memories while on vacation together.

What to Do

If you decide to take your dog with on vacation, there are a number of things you two can do together. But make sure that the places you decide to go through allow your dog to be there with you. You two can do the old classic of going on a hike. Strep them into a good harness for hiking, plan a good route, make sure they have their identity tag on them at all times so that they do not become a ‘lost and found dog’. Make sure that you both have enough food and water for the hike ahead. 

There are other outdoor activities that you can do such as swimming, camping, and even geocache for those of you who are in such of buried treasure in the woods. Geocache can be a great adventure especially if you have a bred of dog who are designed to find lost items. A pet first-aid kit could be a great add on for this type of vacation. Another fun thing you two can do is go to the beach. At the beach, you can swim in the sea and you could even surf with your dog if that is what they are into. 

Biking with your dog can also be a fun time for both of you. If you have a small dog then they can easily and safely fit into a basket on the handlebars to enjoy the view of what is in front of them or in a basket at the back of the bike to have some wind resistance. A big dog can run alongside you while you cycle. However, you will need to make sure that they are bike ready to do so and that you have a dog bike leash preferably one that is hands-free and attaches to the frame of your bike. This can help you keep control of your bike and decrease the chances of you getting pulled by your dog. It is important to keep pace with your dog and to make sure that neither of you are pulling the other. Also, keep in mind that your dog will need to take breaks in order to rest and get a drink of water. 


If your dog is ‘vacation friendly’ and you both love the outdoors either it is the woods or the beach then do some research on where to go and where to stay. Make sure you have all that you need for the two of you and that your dog has taken all their shots and does not have fleas or ticks on them. Planning ahead can be beneficence even if the plan is not fixed could also help with the fun of vacation. You would not like to get bored or to leave your dog in the hotel room while they are away from home.  

About the Author

Lauretta Williams is a web-addicted blogger. She loves spending her time listening to music, playing with her dog and writing blogs from her computer. She works with PawMaw. PawMaw can help you find your lost pet quickly.