Guide To Traveling With Your Dog – By Lily The Corgi

I’ve talked with you before about dog boarding and pet sitting…those things are for those times when the humans go off without us dogs. Today, I’m going to talk about something much nicer

My siblings and I are all big fans of travel, whether a quick drive around town or a full-fledged vacation. We love to ride in the vehicle, sticking our heads out the window so the wind can blow our ears. Heavenly! My sister Sadie has some sort of built in speedometer…she knows when the speed of our vehicle drops below 55 mph and starts to bark at Daddy to put down the windows. We have something called an SUV which means there is a big space in back for us dogs to ride. We can’t each have our own window, but us girls share. My brother Claude, the grouchy husky mix, likes to look out the back glass so people behind us can see him and admire him. When we are really nice, our humans stop at Sonic or Dairy Queen and let us have a treat on our trips!

(Waiting patiently at Dairy Queen for Daddy to bring our treats!)

Anytime dogs are riding in the vehicle, humans should consider using some sort of restraint system. While we dogs would much prefer to romp around in the vehicle, this is dangerous—we could be thrown around if there is a sudden stop or sharp turn. We can also get a little carried away and try to climb on the driver; the humans don’t seem to understand we are excellent drivers and just trying to help.

Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to bring water and food. My neurotic sister Sadie is afraid to drink water at home, but put her in the vehicle and she loves to drink (she’s so weird). My Daddy fills an empty 2 liter pop bottle with water and brings it along anytime we go in the vehicle. He keeps a portable water bowl in the vehicle, just in case; he says you can’t count on finding safe water when you stop. If we will be away from home at meal time, our humans bring along our dog food, however, with all the excitement of travel, I must admit we don’t eat balanced meals as we should. I mean really, who can eat when there is so much to see, do and sniff?

When driving with us dogs, it is important to remember that we need to make those potty stops from time to time. Be sure we are leashed securely and take us to do our business someplace where there is a designated potty area—we corgis want to be good citizens and do our business in the right places. My siblings and I LOVE the highway rest areas; there are always specified potty places and there are always so many fascinating things to sniff! BUT remember that not all humans are careful with their litter—we could find something on the ground we shouldn’t eat!

And as always, it should go without saying that no dog should EVER be left in the vehicle, especially in hot weather. My Mama and Daddy take turns going to the human bathroom while the other walks with us; that way we are never unattended.

While the road is fun, it’s the stopping that makes the trip. We go a lot to other states to visit our families. When we get there, we always get to play in their yards with our dog-cousins, bark at their neighbors, and chase new squirrels. At bedtime, we stay in these things called hotels. They are like houses, but just the bedroom part. Mama and Daddy usually get a room with 2 beds in it; Lucy the beagle mix likes to jump from one bed to the other. I tried that once but suffered an epic fail and ended up on the floor in a very undignified position. Now I just stick to relaxing on the beds.

(At a comfy, dog friendly hotel.)

My humans say one of the toughest parts of travel with dogs is finding these hotels. I’ve heard that in the past, some dogs have partied too hard and left hotel rooms with damage. Because of this, not all hotels welcome dogs. My humans say you should do an internet search for “pet friendly hotels” for the city you are staying and you’ll find someplace that welcomes dogs as they should. Some hotels allow dogs to stay, but charge extra or allow only certain sizes or breeds to visit. In order that we dogs keep the privilege of staying in nice lodgings, remember to always clean up after your dogs at the hotel. Never leave your dogs alone in the room; the temptation to bark at every sound will just be too much for us and we’ll disturb the other guests. While my siblings and I are good travelers, my brother Claude and I do tend to be shedders so we will leave fur in the hotel room. Mama and Daddy always leave a little extra tip for the housekeeper who will be cleaning that up.

If you are vacationing with your dogs, the key to a great trip is pre-planning. Make sure any attractions you visit are pet-friendly and pet-welcoming. Some places like zoos and safari parks are almost never open to pets; some other places won’t allow dogs to explore the attractions but will furnish temporary kennels (make sure these are clean and safe before you store your dogs there!) If you are unable to make plans that include safe and interesting things for your dogs to do, please consider another itinerary or destination, or leave the dogs at the kennel or with the pet sitter. Don’t let stress and worry about the pets ruin a vacation for humans and dogs alike.

Finally, always remember to bring along any medications your dogs take. Your vet’s name and phone number should always go with you as should your dogs’ vaccination records (some places won’t allow dogs to visit without proof of shots.)

Travel with your dogs can be a rewarding and happy experience for human and canine alike, if you take the time to make plans, do your research, and remember to stop and sniff every chance you get!