This section deals with dogs as pets, not service animals of any kind. Service animals have their own requirements and needs and are handled differently. Some of this information may apply to those dogs, but that is not the intent here. If you have a dog that’s a service animal, your own judgement and knowledge is better than anything we might include here, and we make zero claims to any knowledge of the subject.
While it’s possible to travel with pets other than dogs, you’ll find little-to-no hotels or lengthier housing which will accept other types of pets. At the same time, every municipality and housing situation will come with its own issues. We’re only passing on what we’ve learned. Your milage will vary.
Most municiplaities require your dog(s) have an updated rabies vaccination prior to each dog tag/license cycle. hotels and other housing may also require the documentation on these vaccinations. Be sure to have this up-to-date and carry the most recent documents in your portable safe.
Kennel Cough Vaccination
Unlike at home, it’s very likely your dog will come into contact with other dogs through the course of your travels. It’s imperative their kennel cough vaccination is kept as up-to-date as their rabies vaccination to knock back the possibility of them getting the highly-contagious kennel cough from another animal.
Dog parks are becoming more-and-more popular. Many areas we’ve found have multiple dog parks available within, say, a thirty-minute drive from one another. Many are one large area, such as the one in Bath, Maine, while the park in nearby Lewiston segregates dogs under 40 lbs from dogs over 40 lbs. We’ve also found some having a small pond for the dogs to swim in, so take a towel or two. Others, such as the one south of Toledo, Ohio, require that you go online and pay a small fee to use the park to help pay for its upkeep and maintenanace. But once a dog is acclimated to the community of a dog park they may want to go back quite often to see their friends. Dog parks have regulars the same as parks for us, so let them play.
Many towns and cities which promote tourism of any kind have learned it’s important to develop a good attitude towards dog-friendly tourism. With this in mind shops and stores are not only having their own dogs on-site, but they’re also providing bowls of fresh water on their sidewalks for dogs walking by with their owners. Cafes and restaurants have gotten into this as well, and are providing outdoor dining areas where dogs can sit with their owners during a meal. Many state and national parks have always allowed dogs and many local parks are now following suit. Be aware though that farms, bird sanctuaries, zoos, and other places you may visit won’t allow dogs because of their own animals. Always check before going somewhere, as you may not want to change gears if you have an afternoon planned.
Sam’s Paws – A Warning
Our own dogs are quite small, one being a full Pomeranian. One day we took him with us on a walk along a cliff made of dark basalt. The next day we took him to a dog-friendly downtown area. (Neither day was hot, these were simpy hard surfaces with the earlier basalt being cracked and craggy.) That was our own mistake: We know Poms are basically lap dogs, and the breed just isn’t used to walking on such surfaces. About a thousand feet into that second day he started screeching and limping hard. Two of the pads on his left front paw had split and were bleeding, while the other pads on his other feet weren’t too far behind. Keep a close eye on how your dog is doing on such surfaces, especially if they’re not used to them. Otherwise you’ll end up carrying your puppy to your car with tears in your eyes like I did, telling him your sorry all the way there and all the way home.
page updated 9/20/2018