Honoring Unconditional Love on National Pet Day

Every good boy deserves a barkin’ good vacation! Americans, more than citizens from most any other country, have a reciprocated love affair with their pets. And dogs seem to lead the pack on preferred creatures of comfort.

According to petpedia.com, the US spent around $99 billion on pets in 2020, and online pet food sales rose by 77% during the March, 2020 Coronavirus lockdown.

And as far as going to the dogs, the US leads in pet ownership: 69 million*, topping Brazil and China by a healthy leash…er… lead.

National Pet Day may be April 11th but let’s face it - every day is reason to celebrate when you have a beloved four-legged companion. And so it’s no wonder we don’t want to face those sad, puppy-dog eyes and leave our four-legged friends home when we travel.

But longer car trips to your domestic vacation destination of choice can lead to unhappy companions without proper planning. What are some of the best ways to travel with a dog? Below are some tips that may make the road trip more enjoyable for your beloved doggo, and for you!

Good News Travels Fast
Luckily, unlike most other pets such as cats, birds, or the odd guinea pig, most dogs are comfortable traveling in cars and even relish the occasional trip to the local pet store. But longer trips call for stops for stretching and “airing.” Tire them out with a long walk prior to the trip so they are more prone to rest and relax. Make sure they are secured in a sturdy crate or harness since it is not a good idea to let them roam loose in the car in the event of an accident. It can also be a distraction for the driver. The crate should be roomy enough for them to lie down, stand, and turn around in.

Dog Doctoring
Stay up to date on vaccinations and ensure your furry friend sees the veterinarian regularly. The ASPCA even recommends obtaining a health report from the dog doctor 10-days prior to the trip. Don’t be caught far from home only to scramble to find a local vet due to unforeseen emergencies. Natural Retreats offers local concierge services to assist you during your stay in the unlikely event issues arise.

Doggie Bag to Go
Make sure to pack their food and water bowls, brush, snacks and meals. A leash, plastic bags for waste, and their favorite toys will also help to make the ride and the stops along the way – go smoothly.

Combat Queasy Stomachs
If your pet is the nervous type, you may want to go easy on the fido food before embarking on a lengthier car ride. Keep the treats light and the vehicle well-ventilated so they get plenty of fresh air. Never leave a pet alone in an unventilated vehicle. Ensure they are well-protected and not left unattended for lengths of time.

Identification is Key
Make sure your pet has a valid license and has been microchipped in the event they get loose during a rest stop. Nothing could be worse than losing your trusted friend in unfamiliar territory. According to the ASPCA, it’s also a good idea for your pet’s collar to include a temporary travel tag with your cell phone and destination phone number for the duration of your trip.

Make Reservations
Many rental homes, and hotels on the way to your “home away from home,” accept dogs, but don’t leave it to chance. Call ahead to ensure they will accept pets. A little planning can go a long way, and even if you have to pay an extra room deposit, it will be well worth it.

We Can Help
Natural Retreats offers a plethora of fine vacation homes that are floof-friendly. Whether you have a comfort dog or they’re just another member of the family, our premium service company may be able to accommodate you when you rove with Rover. Visit this page for a snapshot of homes across the country that welcome dogs, or contact our Reservations Team for more information.

Pets by the Numbers: 40 Pet Statistics & Facts for 2021 (petpedia.com)