Knowing When to Stay Home


Not every dog is happy to travel and not every trip is appropriate for your dog. There are times when your dog will be happier at home. How do you know whether your dog should stay home or travel?

If your dog is not well-trained, taking him along with for the trip doesn’t just spell additional hassles but it could also be potentially dangerous for him. If he doesn’t come when called, for example, you will have to worry about him getting away from you whenever you open the car door. Some dogs do not deal well with strangers or with strange dogs. If you have to worry about your dog lunging at fellow travelers or barking at everyone he encounters in the hotel hallway, it’s not a good idea to bring him along just yet. You’ve got some more work to do before he–and you–will enjoy the trip.

Consider just what your plans are for the trip as well because traveling with your dog will define your activities. Most lodging facilities do not allow you to leave your dog unattended in the rooms–even for a brief time. Don’t plan to go museum hopping for the day unless you plan to find either boarding or day care facilities for your dog. Also, if fine dining is a focal point of your trip, you’ll need to make additional arrangements. While more and more restaurants welcome dogs for patio dining, you won’t be able to dine indoors.

Some vacations lend themselves to having dog buddies along better than others. A camping trip is one that almost any dog would enjoy. On the other hand, a deep-sea fishing expedition might not be enjoyable for a dog that has never been on any kind of boat.

Trips involving air travel will work if your dog is small enough to go in the cabin at your feet. Larger dogs travel by air in the cargo hold, a frightening experience that we would only recommend as a last resort, for example, if you’re moving overseas and driving’s not an option.

Also, consider the physical condition of your dog. An older dog that normally spends most of the day sleeping may tire too quickly on a trip. Also, consider the risks of having your older dog far away from your trusted veterinarian.

Some dogs are simply more sociable than others, and enjoy meeting new people or seeing new places. If your dog acts nervous or defensive around strangers, he’ll be stressed at busy resort (as will you). He might be a better companion on a camping adventure.