When considering a vacation destination, many factors, like the destination, activities, and budget, come into play. But what boggles pet owners is whether to take their pets along or leave them behind. Hiring a pet sitter or boarding your pet at a boarding facility means spending a lot more than you intended to on your vacation. To cater to this, there has been a rise in destinations across the globe that allow pets so that their owners can enjoy some off time without worrying about their pets back home.
Taking the family pet(s) on vacation might make your imagination run rampant with images of long car rides and failed attempts at sticking your pet in a hotel room. It’s not too far off from the truth, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you bundle up the entire family (including pets) and take them on vacation, you’ll probably have a mess. However, a little planning goes a long way toward ensuring that everyone has fun, including us AND our pets!
Research and Plan
Pet-friendly vacations are all the rage. Recent trends show that Americans now prefer to travel with their pets. And why not? It’s no fun having to leave your furry friend at home when you’re off on vacation. But it can be hard to find pet-friendly hotels, resorts, and other accommodations that allow animals.
Hotels can be tricky as pets need free space, especially outdoors. You’d be much more relaxed without worrying about your pet banging into someone or something. Consider searching for ‘pet friendly cabins Gatlinburg’ or booking a ‘bed & breakfast’ instead of a hotel room so that your pet can enjoy more space and freedom during your vacation. They’re also less expensive and offer great deals and amenities. You may need to book early as many places fill up quickly during peak seasons (think summer) or during major events like sporting championships or conferences (think business travelers).
Once you’ve decided your destination, contact your destination’s veterinary clinic if your pet has any medical issues that need attention while traveling. Apart from this, it would be best if you planned fun activities for you and your friend to explore together and make the most of this time. Here are some great ideas:
1. Hiking Trails
Pets, especially dogs, love to run and explore new places. They also love to play and socialize. Hiking is one of the best ways to do this. It also gives you time to bond with your pet and enjoy nature together. Hike along trails with your pet by leash or harness, depending on their behavior. You can hike up mountains or hills, down ravines, or through meadows. Dogs love being outside and exploring new places so take them hiking! The exercise will help them stay healthy and happy while you get some time away from home.
It would be best to keep in mind a few things before you start trekking. Ensure you’re aware of any restrictions for pets at the trailhead or park entrance. Many preserves do not allow pets and require owners to keep them on leashes inside the property boundaries. There may also be other restrictions like leashes must be less than six feet long, etc. Bring plenty of water for both of you since pets can dehydrate quickly if they exercise too much in the heat or humidity. Pack a bag that includes their favorite snacks and toys so they’ll be comfortable during your trip.
2. Water Activities
Some pets love water. They have fun, whether on a beach day or a splash in a lake. If you have access to water, this is a must! Dogs and pets that love the water will likely want to swim in any body of water they see.
Hence, dog-friendly beaches are more common than you might think. Many beaches allow dogs on leashes if they’re well behaved and friendly with other people’s pets. Others allow owners to unleash the animal if it can be kept under voice control. Some beaches even have doggie bags so you can pick up after your pet. Similarly, there are many dog-friendly lakes. You can rent a boat and go fishing or go kayaking. Just make sure that your pup has been properly vaccinated against rabies and other serious diseases like leptospirosis (a bacterial disease spread by animal urine).
If no ocean, river, or lake is closer to your vacation destination, you can get an inflatable swimming pool and let your dog beat the heat and enjoy some water fun.
3. Visit a Pet-Friendly Park
Parks that allow pets and let them be unleashed are a true haven for pet owners. Pet owners crave such spaces where they can let their dogs off the leash and let them run around freely. Such open spaces are also an excellent place for your dog to play with other dogs. These parks often have separate areas for large and small dogs and puppy play areas. Many dog parks also have agility equipment, so you can work with your dog on different training exercises like jumping over obstacles or climbing up ramps.
These parks are located all over the country, so no matter where you’re traveling, there’s probably a nearby park that will allow you and your dog to play together. Just make sure that you check if they have any restrictions or rules before bringing your pet along. If you’re visiting Gatlinburg, check out these pet-friendly open spaces for your dog to unwind and run freely.
Going camping with your furry friend can be relaxing for both of you. Camping is an opportunity to get back to nature, spend time together, and bond over a good meal. You can go camping in many different locations, from state parks to national forests. Some hotels even have camping areas where dogs are allowed! Make sure to talk with the park rangers or hotel staff before going so they can tell you about any restrictions or rules regarding bringing your dog along with you. Make sure you’re stocked up on food and water for you. It is also important to be 100% sure that your pet is spayed or neutered. This will help keep him from running off into the woods or chasing after animals he doesn’t know or like.
You must also plan a visit to the vet before planning a camping trip so that your pet gets its shots up to date.
Pet owners have an incredible opportunity in front of them if they are creative. Expanding their pet’s horizons on their next vacation can be a great way to bring new life to their current relationship. The suggestions above are just scratching the surface when exploring the world of animal-friendly resorts, destinations, and activities. Whether you’re planning a quick getaway or a vacation from coast to coast, keep in mind that you can make it as fun for your pet as it is for you. I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you’re interested in adding your two cents about the kind of activities you and your pet can do, feel free to leave some ideas in the comments section below.