The Best (and Worst) Things about Traveling with Dogs

Are you planning a trip soon? Thinking about taking your dog? Dogs love to travel!

The sights, sounds, and smells of a new place are all just too much for them to resist. And what pet owner wouldn't love to take their furry friend on the road with them? But traveling with dogs can also be a lot of work. I've had vacations with my dogs that turned out wonderfully and ones that were disastrous! Carefully evaluating your pets needs and how practical it is to take them with you can make or break your vacation, so be aware before you travel!

In my experience, these are the best (and worst) things about traveling with dogs:

  • The best thing about traveling with dogs is that they provide companionship and make the trip more fun IF there are places for them to run, play, get their energy out and get their needs met. I love taking my dogs on outdoor adventures where we will be sure to NOT be around a lot of people. I should mention, I have 5 dogs, so finding a lot of space for my dogs to roam is important! I've taken my big dog Cody backpacking with me several times, and I get so much joy out of watching him explore new places. I've taken all 5 of my dogs on various camping trips and trips to Idaho to see my parents when they had 250 acres of land where they could roam. I've found as long as they have plenty of space to enjoy themselves without running into a lot of other people who may or may not appreciate dogs, I love taking them with me whenever possible!

  • The worst thing about traveling with dogs is that they can be a lot of work—from cleaning up their messes to making sure they're taken on walks when there isn't a lot of space for them to get out and play. My car is always a disaster after a camping trip with my dogs, and in addition to cleaning myself up when I get home, I have to bathe all 5 of them, too! The worst is if they have rolled in something disgusting on the trip, and I have to smell them all the way home. Yuck!

  • Another downside of traveling with dogs is that they can be noisy and disruptive in public places. When I only had one small dog, I took him to Costa Rica with me a few times. For the most part it was great, but if I ever had to leave him alone in a hotel room, he barked until I got back. I'm lucky I never got kicked out! A lot of dogs aren't comfortable being left alone in strange places, so keep that in mind if you plan to go places where your dog isn't allowed. I did try to sneak my dog into a national park once, but unfortunately, he moved around too much in my backpack and was discovered. Back to the hotel, you go!

  • On the plus side, dogs are often welcome in hotels and other places that normally don't allow pets. More people want to travel with their dogs, and so, more places are popping up that allow them. Airbnb is a great resource for finding pet friendly accommodations with private backyards perfect for canines. There are even vacation spots and hotels that are specifically designed around pets. Do a little searching on Google and you might be surprised!

  • Finally, one great thing about having a dog along for the trip is that you always have someone to share your adventures with, and honestly, what adventure isn't more fun when you can share it with someone you love?!


So, is it worth it to travel with your furry friend? In my opinion, absolutely! As long as you prepare well, you can have a wonderful vacation with your pets. They provide companionship and make the trip more fun. Plus, there are plenty of places where dogs (and cats) are welcome, so you don't have to leave them behind. Be prepared to clean up their messes and accommodate their needs, and you can have lots of fun traveling with your furry pals!


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