Pet Travel. Made Easy.

10 Ways to be Cool with Your Pet

GoPetFriendly Winnebago

Pets wanna go on vacation, too!

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! Take Paws will be on vacation Friday through Monday – we’re detouring for a family get together in St. Charles, MO. We’ll be back on Tuesday … hopefully, deciding where we’re heading next by then. So in the words of Jed Clampett, “Y’all come back now, ya hear!”

As we enter the Memorial Day weekend, GoPetFriendly would like to start the unofficial beginning to Summer by sharing these ten ways to “be cool with your pet” when you’re traveling.

1. Commit to training. In our travels, we see lack of training as THE most common cause of bad experiences. Don’t set your dog up for failure. If she does not consistently behave well for you at home, she is unlikely to do any better when traveling (and will probably do worse).

2. Exercise your dog. A tired puppy is a good puppy. Don’t neglect the morning walk so you can get on the road faster or the evening walk because you are fatigued from the drive.  Limit your mileage to allow 1-2 exercise breaks for you and the dogs en route.

3. Obey leash laws and signage. People don’t care how well behaved you think your dog is; if the sign says dogs must be leashed – do it. It shows respect for the resident pet owners that are left behind to deal with problems created by people traveling with pets.

4. Have your pet under your control at all times. Be present. When you walk your dog, walk your dog – don’t make a call or check your email from your cell phone.

5. Scoop the poop. Nothing spoils a walk like stepping in dog poop left behind by careless pet owners. This, more than anything else, causes people to resent dog owners. It’s also the primary reason for keeping parks and other locations from going pet friendly.

6. Have patience. Patience is a must for successful travels because it takes more time to do what needs to be done and get to where you want to go when you travel with a pet.

7. Patronize pet friendly businesses. Pet friendly establishments have, to an extent, gone out on a limb to cater to the needs of the (pet-owning) few, not the (pet-free) masses. We believe it is important to financially support the businesses that emotionally support us.

8. Call ahead to confirm pet policies. Using GoPetFriendly as an example, we work hard to keep the pet policy information provided on our site current.  But things change. A quick phone call to confirm pet policies can save time, tempers, and hurt feelings.

9. Be considerate of your neighbor. Just as we deserve to include our pets in our lives, there are people who prefer not to have our animals foisted upon them. So whether your “neighbor” is in the next plane seat, the next hotel room, or the next dining table pet owners must take care to minimize the imposition on others.

10. Be prepared to leave. Sometimes, despite all your preparations, your pet may not cooperate. Seeing another dog may set it off … particularly one not under the control of its owner. If snarling, growling, and/or lunging result – and calm cannot be restored – be the bigger person and move on. This seems to happen most often at restaurants, and we’ve endured several occasions where either Amy or I had to leave with our dogs while the other stayed behind to get our food to go and pay the bill.

Remember, when you travel with your pet you’re an ambassador for others who travel with theirs. Anything we missed? Let us know!