:Roadtrippin’ With the Big Dogs:

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‘Tis the season for…ROADTRIPS! And for us crazy dog loving people, that means heading down the open road with our friend Hooch. My darling friend Kendra Thornton (FOLLOW HER! @KendraThornton) and I have compiled a list of general tips when traveling with your BFFF (Best Furry Friend Forever). We had lots of fun getting this list together. It is about the two most important things when you travel with anyone, pooch or no pooch: safety and fun!

(Note from Kendra: Planning a family trip can get a little more complicated when you’re traveling with a pet. I love to travel, and I’ve developed a few tricks for traveling efficiently with our four-legged family member. Since I have family members planning to visit Chicago soon along with their dog, I thought this was the perfect time to share some of my tricks with you!)

 

1. PLAN AHEAD

When traveling with your dog, you need to check into pet policies at your destination. Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations. Also, make sure your pet has a clean bill of health from your vet. Most important, make sure your pet has a microchip. This device is painless to inject, and it will help to reunite you with your pet if you become separated.

 

2. PICK A HOTEL

You’ll need to make sure your accommodations are pet friendly when you travel with your family dog. You can learn about pet-friendly hotels by searching online. Many pet-friendly hotels offer great amenities that will help you and your dog enjoy your stay even more. Some will recommend nearby parks or walking trails to help you and your dog get enough exercise. Others that offer breakfast for human guests also provide breakfast for dogs. I stressed this tip to my family as downtown Chicago has so many wonderful hotels for families and dogs.

 

3. CRATE YOUR DOG

I used to always feel badly when I had to crate my dog. It seemed like a cruel thing to make her sit in a crate. I have found, however, that when I use the proper size of crate and allow my dog to exercise properly, she is happy and safe in her crate. The crate can be properly secured in my car so that she will be safe in my vehicle on road trips. Also, I make sure to help her enjoy her trip by keeping a favorite toy in the crate with her.

 

4. KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE

When traveling, be sure to keep your dog safe. A crate will help keep your dog safe on road trips. If you enjoy boating and other water activities, take steps to make sure your pet will be safe there as well. All dogs should wear floatation devices when boating. This is especially true if your dog is new to boating or has any medical conditions. Family vacations are the most fun when everyone feels safe and comfortable. Making your canine family member comfortable will go a long way toward helping everyone in the family have a better time.

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5. HAVE FUN!

While being on the road with your pooch may seem daunting, having fun at your destination and on the road is an absolute MUST! The great thing about living in this day and age is that, most likely, if you find yourself in a conundrum, there is an app to get you out of it. Roadtripper to the rescue!

Roadtripper is a fun new app (iOS and Android) that allows you to input your destination and then, based on what you are interested in doing (i.e.: Hikes, parks, etc.)), maps out things for you to do along the way! You input your destination, check mark all of the fun outdoorsy activities that will please you an Scruff, and off you go. After all, you are both spending the same amount of time cooped up in a food wheeler, you both deserve some fun. And don’t forget to take “doggy and me” selfies at every location!

(REMEMBER: keep your dog on a leash unless the area is fenced in. Safety is the top priority ALWAYS but you can still have fun. )

6. BRING WATER and WATER BOWL

No matter where you are going, don’t forget water! Some of these hikes won’t have a water fountain until you get to the top, and dogs get thirsty, just like us. If you see them getting tired, pick a shady tree and take a load off. Pour some of the water from your water bottle into your dog’s travel bowl (here is a great one from Amazon, it is collapsible and will hook right onto a leash). Your pup didn’t finish all of the water? That’s okay, gently pour it over their back. Not only will the water not go to waste, pouchy will definitely appreciate the refresher!

7. PAMPER YOUR POOCH!

Car rides are not easy for anyone, and us humans have lots of things we can do; talk, listen to music; watch a movie. Get a big bone and let your dog go at it, time will fly by. Also, bring his or her favorite toy, they can play and then cuddle. If your dog likes to fetch, bring a few tennis balls, so when you go to all of those cool parks that you mapped out on Roadtripper, you can get your doggy nice and worn out.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow Kendra @KendraThornton!

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