Traveling with our furry, four-legged companions is becoming more and more popular, especially with a growing number of pet-friendly resorts, airlines, and hotels popping up throughout the U.S. In fact, Forbes says that approximately 4 million travelers worldwide fly with live animals each year. Even with so many boarding centers and petting-sitting companies to choose from, many of us would still prefer to vacation with our furry friends by our sides.

While traveling with a dog is much more common now than it used to be, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for any potential problems, complications, or safety issues that could arise during your trip. For instance, flying may be unsafe for some dogs—especially if you travel in extreme heat or cold. You could also run into other issues once you reach your destination, unless you do your research ahead of time.

For some tips that will help you to eliminate many potential issues as you travel with your furry companion, read on!

Make Your Destination Dog-Friendly

When you’re planning a getaway with your pup, you’ll want to make sure that your travel destination welcomes four-legged friends. According to Expedia, some dog-friendly U.S. cities include San Diego, Austin, Key Largo, Alexandria, and Ben Harbor. These dog-friendly destinations are home to hundreds of hotels, restaurants, and campsites that gladly welcome four-legged companions.

Even if you’re visiting a dog-friendly city, it’s important to contact the campsite or hotel ahead of time to find out if it restricts any dog breeds from staying there. In some cases, the hotel may have size restrictions as well.

Camp with Your Pup

If you’re looking for adventure, camping is another great activity that you can share with your pup. According to Bring Fido, several dog-friendly campsites include Four Paws Kingdom Campground (North Carolina), Lake George RV Park (New York), Rovers RV Park (Oregon), Wakeda Campground (New Hampshire), and Riverside Campground and Cabins (California).

Even if your campground claims to be dog-friendly, however, never leave your pup alone at the campsite while you head out on an adventure—as this could endanger him. Additionally, don’t forget to practice good camping etiquette to avoid disturbing local wildlife and other nearby campers.

Prior to leaving for your camping trip, you’ll also want to ensure that you have everything you need to keep your pup happy, healthy, and fed as you camp. For instance, your dog should wear his ID tags, and each tag should include your name and phone number. Other items include:

  • A properly fitted dog backpack and clip-on collar light
  • A leash and harness (or collar)
  • A dog crate, pet camper, and/or padded sleeping surface
  • Dog food and a portable food and water dish
  • Pick-up bags for dog waste
  • A dog-friendly first-aid kit
  • Bottled water

In addition to these items, Easy Camping Lists is an excellent resource for ensuring that you have everything else you may need for your upcoming trip—depending on whether you’ll be hiking, glamping, or camping alone with your pup.

Don’t Forget a Travel Crate

Even if your dog doesn’t need a crate once you reach your campground or hotel, it’s wise to keep your pup in an appropriately sized crate during periods of travel. If you’re traveling by airplane, for instance, the airline will require you to house your dog in a crate. When traveling by vehicle, a crate will keep your dog safe and relaxed in between stops.

Furthermore, the crate you choose must fit the size of your dog—as this will help your pup to move around comfortably. Before purchasing a travel crate, be sure to read customer reviews and obtain product recommendations from your trusted friends and family members.

Whether you’ll be visiting a National Park or local campsite, planning ahead and taking note of any pet-related rules and regulations will be key to a successful camping trip with your furry companion. Bringing a dog along on a vacation takes some planning and strategizing, but the memories you’ll share with your four-legged friend will be well worth it!

Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash