As we move out of one holiday, for many of us it’s like we’re heading straight into prepping for another. The pumpkins and Thanksgiving decorations come down and the lights, tinsel, and wreaths come out. We’ll figure out plans, gifts, and how we’re going to celebrate whichever holiday we may. However, there’s another factor that many of us may be considering as well: travel.
Whether we will be hitting the road to see family - or escape them - travel every year increases before the end of December. Along with it come a whole other host of things to think about. What will we pack? How long will we be gone? Do we need to ask off? Perhaps most importantly, though, what about our pets?
Spending Time Apart
For those of us who have never travelled with our furry companions, a lot comes into play.
We need to find someone we trust who can watch and care for our doggo while we are gone. Trust, being a big word here. We have to be able to trust that they will continually take care of our pooch in the way we ask. We have to trust that they will treat our homes with respect and care. And just as importantly, we have to give our pups the opportunity to meet them so they can trust this new person, as well.
Some options can be hiring a pet sitter, which can be expensive and introduce someone you and your pup don’t know into your home. Another can be asking (and offering to pay!) a friend to drop by and take care of your fur baby. Of course, any friend will need to be available and up for taking on the responsibility while you’re gone.
Things to consider, as well, is the temperament of your dog. Time apart can be incredibly stressful for some pooches and playtime for others. It’s also incredibly important to make sure whomever is watching your pup knows what to do in case of an emergency.
All of these things together can be overwhelming. It means that some people who are pet parents just don’t travel.
Travel can, though, be a surprisingly wonderful experience to have with your pooch!
It’s Not For Everyone
While it can be an amazing and enriching thing to do, it’s important to consider that it’s not going to be a perfect fit for everyone.
Depending on where you’re going and how you’re getting there, it can get pricey. If you are bringing a dog on a flight, paying the extra fare can add up (especially on an international trip). It’s always a good idea to check with your airline before making the decision to figure out what’s best for you.
You will need to pack extra things. You’ve already put together your own luggage, but your pup will need a leash, perhaps an extra collar, bowl, food, treats, and so on. You’ll want to make sure you have enough space to bring everything you and your dog will need.
Your pup will need breaks. You may be able to go for ten hours without stopping, but your fur baby will need to stop to potty. It’ll be important to make sure you plan your travel with the breaks your pooch needs to stay happy, comfortable, and healthy.
Not all places are dog-friendly. If you are going to be staying with family, make sure to check with them first! You want to make sure the place you’re staying will be welcoming to a dog, whether with someone you know or a rental.
Also, consider your dog. Is your pup okay with strangers? New places? Is your dog huge and possibly hard to move from one place to another? Think about what will be best overall for both you and your pup at the end of the day.
Benefits of Traveling With Your Dog
Once you’ve taken everything into consideration, there are a lot of surprising and wonderful benefits to traveling with your best pal. Some of which, perhaps, you’ve never considered!
1. Creating a Wonderful Bond
Your dog gets to spend time with you doing something different. Something fresh. You get to experience something new with your pup.
It’s a wonderful way to develop a closer relationship. Seeing a trip from a pet’s perspective can really help you focus on every moment you have together. It can even help you see the trip in a new light.
Plus, you get to spend time together without the distractions of home and work. Your pup will even, perhaps get to meet friends and/or family that can shower them with even more love and attention.
2. Travel Becomes Less Rigid
If you’re someone who lives by an exacting travel schedule, this could be a huge shift. Dogs have their own needs at their own times meaning travel needs to be a little more flexible.
As many places are not necessarily pet-friendly, travel with your pup can change how you are able to approach the sites you see. Maybe you are able to see some. Maybe not others. Maybe you have a plan to go to a certain location and discover they’re closed so have to take your pooch on a walk to find something else.
3. Discovering hidden gems
Until they have doggy day at the Louvre, many of the most popular tourist destinations are unfortunately not dog friendly. The surprise benefit is that you will explore new places, some you may not have thought to check out.
Traveling with your pup can allow you to go off the beaten path and really come across some hidden gems.
4. Enjoying the moment
Anyone else have a tendency to not be totally present in the moment at all times? As people, our minds are always racing to the next thing. Where do we have to be? What do we have to get done? What work do we have waiting for us?
You know who doesn't worry about all of that? Your pup.
Traveling with a dog can force us to slow down and enjoy the moment simply because our pooch is! Taking time for a walk somewhere new or to stop and sniff an interesting patch, it allows us to really be present.
5. Health Benefits
I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to take a walk if I have my dog with me than not. Having your pooch on the road can increase your travel exercise - especially if you’re on holiday with family. The other option might just be lying on the couch in a food coma.
It also guarantees that your pup will get the kind of exercise you want while under your watchful eye. You don’t have to rely on a pet sitter to walk your doggo as often and much as you’d like.
You will both - your pup and you - benefit mentally from being together and having the extra shared time.
6. Companionship and peace of mind.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits is that you will have your best pup pal with you! You won’t have to worry how they are doing back home or if they are getting the care you would be giving.
Plus, they will be happier to be with you on your adventure!
It’s not just peace of mind for your pooch, though. You get more peace of mind for yourself! If you are ever on your own, you have an extra safety measure by having a dog who can warn you of danger or even protect you. Plus doggie cuddles are some of the best!
8. Meeting new dog-friendly people
You may have noticed when walking your doggo at home that people love dogs. Especially dog people.
Traveling with your pup can also open the doors for meeting new and awesome people on the road. Love over a dog or certain breed is an easy way to start conversations, and you may find that you have made a few new friends by the end of your trip.
9. Getting socialization for your pup
Making your own friends isn't the only benefit. If you are visiting doggy friendly places, odds are you'll run into other travelers who are, too: travelers with their own doggos.
So instead of sitting at home, your pooch can have the opportunity to meet new dogs and get socialization experience. Your pup may even be able to make a new friend or two!
10. Your pup get's all the attention!
When we're at home, there is a lot that demands our focus: work, cleaning, projects, etc. On the road, however, there are none of these distractions. It's just you (perhaps and family) and your pup!
Traveling with your pup means that they not only get to spend time with you, but you get to spend time with them. And because your dog is somewhere new and you're both experiencing things together, you'll be focusing on them more.
Helpful Travel Tools
While on travel, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared so here are a few things to keep in mind. Be sure to check your pup’s daily routine, as everyone might need something just a little different.
- Collar with tags
- Dog harness
- Safety seat belt clip
- Travel carrier (if dog is small)
- Collapsible Crate
- Poo bags
Joyride harnesses are an excellent choice to use with the safety seat belt clip to help keep your pooch secure during those long travel car rides! Make sure to never use the seatbelt clip with a collar! It is also recommended for larger dog harnesses.
If you have any questions about our dog harnesses, how to put them on, or anything else, you can reach our team through the contact form on our website. To take a look at more reviews and everything our customers have to say check out this page!
For more doggie photos and pup-related fun, follow us on Instagram at @joyrideharness. And for a more detailed blog post about finding the best size dog harness for your pup, check out this blog post!