Top 3 Tips for Traveling with a Dog:
- Have a Reliable Dog Crate: When you travel with your pup, a safe dog crate is essential. There will inevitably be times when you will not be able to take Fido with you. Having a dog kennel that locks and is secure will give you peace of mind if you have to be away from your dog for any length of time. It's important to remember that dogs are den animals and feel assured when they have their own burrow-like space. This is especially important in unfamiliar spaces. When traveling in a vehicle, a crate is the safest space for the dog and its human passengers. Dog crates significantly decrease distractions while driving. Most importantly, in the event of an accident, having a crate prevents the dog from becoming a deadly projectile object-- harming themselves and others. A durable crash-tested dog crate is a must.
- Take Lots of Extra Water: It is easy for your pooch to get dehydrated after an adventurous day on their paws. To stay hydrated on an average day, the general guideline is one ounce of water per pound of body weight. Dogs that engage in more strenuous activity may need more. Better to have extra for both of you.
- Plan for breaks and detours: Expect the unexpected, pack dog waste bags and wet wipes. Instead of becoming frustrated with the inevitable extra stops, get lost, take the backroads, and let the journey be the vacation. At times I have been tempted to let crossing off my to-do's become the purpose of the vacation. Having a plan is helpful; being flexible is elevated living.
Best Dog-Friendly Vacations in the Western U.S.
- Kanab, Utah: A lesser-known town that is the backdoor to some of Utah's amazing red rock gems. In Kanab and the surrounding areas, you get to experience the amazing landscapes of Utah without the National Park pet restrictions. Pack your hiking shoes, a lunch, and explore hoodoos, slot canyons, and petrified sand dunes.
- Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Beautiful lake, grassy mountain trials, and quaint little town. Hike, fish, play in the water, catch one of the five dog parks in the area, and breathe in the fresh air in one of the most stunning mountain lake landscapes.
- Seaside, Oregon: Our old stomping grounds! Come on, who doesn't love the Oregon cost? Take a stroll on the sandy beaches, get lost in lush green flora, experience a quirky museum, and chow down at a host of sea food joints. There are a bunch of mom-and-pop rental shops there to connect you with adventures large and small. Hint: our favorite little spot is Cannon Beach.
- Pagosa Springs, Colorado: Hot springs, rugged mountains, miles of bike paths, and tons of national forest land. I revisited Pagosa Springs last year and fell in love all over again. Catch a thrill while tubing the river or relax in a natural hot spring. With some great ski resorts and epic dog sled tours, Pagosa Springs is on the winter list too.
- Oceanside, California: If you're looking for sand, sun, and swim, Oceanside is a longtime favorite. With one of the first off-leash dog beaches, your four-legged friend can play in the water and feel the sand between their paws. Will someone please stop and get a shake for me at Ruby's Diner?