Thursday, October 20, 2016
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Monday, October 17, 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Wallace on the go!
We are first-time dog owners, and have a miniature poodle mix named Wallace who is just over a year old. We've had Wallace for about 5 months. We don't have kids, and recognize that we completely dote over our little pup. We also may think that he may be the happiest little dog to ever live. :)
We recently returned from a 2-week road trip with Wallace. We drove from San Francisco to Seattle, stayed with friends for 7 nights, then drove back down to SF. Along the way, we stayed at three different dog-friendly hotels. We also did an overnight road trip from San Francisco to Carmel a couple of months ago as a road-trip trial-run. I thought it would be helpful to write a blog post of all of the travel tips we learned on these two road-trips with our dog.
Most of these suggestions are probably super obvious, but I find it handy to have a list written with everything I need to pack:
bringfido.com or the BringFido app for your smartphone.
This is the first and foremost suggestion I would give if you are planning a trip with your pup. Simply plug in the name of the city that you plan to visit, and you'll see categories such as Dog Friendly Hotels, Dog Friendly Restaurants, Parks and Beaches, Dog Events and Other Resources.
The Westin Hotel offers a dog bed, food and water dishes
I made all of our travel plans (hotel/eating out/places to go) using the BringFido app on my iPhone. This tool was invaluable for easily finding pet-friendly hotels, extra fees, house rules, etc. I found that some hotels only allowed small dogs, most charge an extra fee (either on a per night, or on a per stay basis), and some even allowed for a well behaved dog to be left alone in the room (crated) for a short while as long as it didn't bark. In this case, the hotel requests that you leave your phone number with the front desk in case of any complaints. Some hotels offer extra amenities from doggie goodie-bags with treats, and poop bags, while other hotels offer crates, beds, dishes and even walking and massage services.
Dog rules and treats at the Comfort Suites
For the car ride:
Wallace in the backseat
We found out early on that Wallace had a tendency to get a bit car sick on trips over an hour long. It didn't always happen, but we learned to take precautions and to be prepared.
Booster Seat/safety leash & harness:
A friend made the suggestion to get Wallace a booster seat so that he could look out the window and help ease his motion-sickness. Hard to say if that worked or not (he still got sick in his seat) but we love the booster seat for many other reasons. The one that we have is shaped like a dog bed. He's very comfortable, doesn't roam or slide around, can look out the window and often curls up and falls asleep in it. The one we bought is secured by fastening the backseat seatbelt to it. It also has a tether strap that you hook to your dog's harness. (your dog should wear a harness with this strap - not just a collar.) Wallace seems to love his car seat. After he hops in he'll usually lie down and get comfy for a ride. Once in a while he will sit up and look out the windows.
If you have a larger dog who doesn't need a booster seat, I'd recommend getting this safety harness for the backseat. We use this in our other car for shorter trips. Most car safety harnesses that I've seen attach to the seatbelt buckle. This one attaches to the frame of your car where child seats are secured.
Car seat backseat cover:
Here's one I wasn't initially planning to purchase, but I'm glad that we did for the road trip. I bought a backseat cover for our roadtrip, thinking it might be helpful in protecting the leather of our car seats. Wallace has thrown up on it a couple of times, and clean up was really easy. I realize it's also handy to have for those times when we go to the beach, since it helps keep the sand off the seats.
I bought mine at Ross, but it is similar to this one on amazon.com
Another friend with a dog suggested using Dramamine for long drives. She told me that her small dog used to get car sick, but eventually outgrew it. (We actually think Wallace is outgrowing/getting used to it as well.) I looked it up, and found a few articles that suggest that it is generally safe for dogs, given that you give the proper dosage for their size. We went with a fairly low dosage, and gave it to him any time we were driving over four hours. Wallace only got car sick once, on the very first day on our road trip. I think it may have been a combination of the Dramamine and hopefully that he was getting accustomed to driving.
Travel sized peanut butter to give Dramamine:
I tried putting the Dramamine pill inside a treat, but that didn't work well, so resorted to peanut butter. That went off without a hitch! Lucky for us, the first hotel we stayed at on our road trip had small travel-sized peanut butter that I was able to use. Figured it would be good to add to the list for the future.
Chew toys: (no-hide) or rope:
Wallace loves these No-Hide chews. He'll chew on them for hours on end, and they don't upset his stomach. They can last him anywhere between a few hours, a few days, to even more than a week. We found that having some sort of chew to keep him occupied (we used the no-hides, or his favorite rope chew) worked well on the long drive.
Window sun shade:
This one is probably obvious to anyone who has kids, but I hadn't put much thought into them before. I'm really glad I bought these before our trip! The first day we drove, the temperature got up to 104 degrees. These shades help keep the direct sun off our dog, and off the humans, too!
baby wipes, paper towels and plastic bags:
The next three go hand and hand with a doggie who gets car sick. We learned the lesson the hard way on our short day-trip to Carmel. After the first time that Wallace got car sick, we stopped at a drug store for baby wipes, paper towels and plastic bags. They are now permanent fixtures in our car. :)
For the hotel:
Wallace settling in at one of our hotel stops
Wallace is crate trained, and we realized that it made staying away from home so much easier!! He loves his crate - it is his safe spot. We have this collapsable version that folds up easily and doesn't take too much trunk space. It's the first thing we set up in the hotel, and Wallace walks right in and feels at home immediately.
My friend, Gina, suggested this one, and it turned out to be a life-saver. We've stayed at a couple of hotels where there was a good amount of foot traffic in the hallway outside the door. A few times, Wallace would growl or bark at the noises he heard either outside the door, or through the walls or floors/ceilings. We turned on the sound machine to ambient noise, and the growling and barking stopped immeidately. We kept it on all night, and never had an issue again.
I like to bring a towel from home that has Wallace's/home's smell on it. I place it down on the floor and will keep his toys on it. He will generally hang out on the towel or in his crate. It gives him another option of a place he feels comfortable on.
Obviously, you should pack your dog's favorite toys for a trip. Make sure to have a good variety of chews, balls, tug toys, soft toys, etc., to keep your pup occupied. (tip: before we left home, I took a photo of all of the toys that we had packed. it made taking inventory before leaving the hotel much easier.)
Various toys that we packed for the trip.
another obvious suggestion, but handy to keep written down on your list.
make sure you have enough food to last the duration of your trip!
Misc dog items:
Tags and ID:
Again, probalby obvious, but it's important to make sure that your dog has an up-to-date tag and ID on his collar. Make sure that your cell phone number is on your tag since you'll be away from home.
Most places require dogs to be on-leash. A harness is important for extra security.
(NexGard and Heartgard): We were away for two weeks on our roadtrip so I had to make sure to bring the appropriate amount of dosages of any medication Wallace would be due for while we were away.
Travel water bottle:
We love this water bottle, and use it on a daily basis for walks or going to the dog park. We used to have a collapsable bowl version, but found this one to be much for convenient as it didn't need to be refilled time and time again. Very easy to give your dog water while in the car, at a rest stop, or on a walk.
I love having these wipes at home or on the road to give Wallace a light cleaning after being outside. It does a decent job of getting dirt off his paws, and simply freshening him up.
Important to comb/brush your dog's fur every day to keep them clean and tangle free.
We use this type of comb for Wallace. It works well for his poodle-ly curly fur. :)
Bring plenty of treats for training, recall, etc.,
Towels for cleaning the car, cleaning the dog, etc.
Lots of extra poop bags:
self explanatory. it would be bad to run out!
I think that's everything. I've been meaning to write this for several weeks, and am glad that I finally got to it. I think that I included everything that I wanted to. I hope this is a helpful post for someone and their dog! :)
PS: Dogs are a lot more expensive than kitties! ;)
Wallace happy to be in Seattle!