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Bring Your Pet on Your Family Vacation

Joseph M Sabol

Visitors: 551

Everyone knows that people consider their pets as part of the family. Now it is becoming more common to include pets in vacation plans and many travel destinations are accommodating dogs and cats. Many hotels, resorts and state parks allow dogs, although there are certain restrictions, for example due to health codes, dogs can dine with their families only at outdoor restaurants or cafes. It is obviously important that your dog is socialized and well behaved, and remember, not everyone loves dogs!

Some of the top dog friendly resort towns include,

Carmel/Monterey, California
Asheville/Blue Ridge, North Carolina
Portland, Maine
Key West, Florida
Black Hills, South Dakota
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Charlottesville, Virginia
Cape May, New Jersey and
Grand Canyon, Arizona.

These are just a few of the vacation destinations that are pet friendly. There are many State Parks and beaches that allow dogs but they are usually required to be leashed. There are over 200 dog friendly coastal beaches. San Diego is home to Dog Beach where dogs can run free without a leash, as long as they can get along with other dogs.

All dog friendly areas require that dogs are well behaved. When asked, most officials described well behaved as pertaining to the dog and the dog owner. For the dog, this means being calm around many people and other dogs, not barking excessively, not jumping on people and following commands of their owner. For the owner, well behaved means controlling your dog, not allowing him to do his “business" in inappropriate places and cleaning up after your dog.

There are several things you need to do to prepare for a road trip with your pet. You need to be sure your pet has been to the vet and has all his shots up to date. You should have a record of his vaccinations and make sure he is protected from Lyme disease, heartworm and fleas. Remember to pack his pet vitamins. He will need a license and an identification tag with all your information, especially a cell phone number since you will be away from home. It is a good idea to carry a first aid kit specifically for pets.

Make sure you have enough dog food and treats for the trip. It may be a good idea to buy bottled water since some dogs can get sick from drinking water they are not used to. Remember to pack a leash and towels for muddy paws. Also, bring favorite toys and bags for cleaning up after your dog. If you will be staying in a hotel, bring a crate for your dog to sleep in or stay in if you have to leave him alone for any reason.

Most people travel with their dogs, but some cat lovers bring their furry friends along on the family trip. Cats tend to be more attached to their territory so if you intend to travel with your cat, its a good idea to start taking them out when they are kittens. Start with brief trips and be sure to have a quality cat carrier. Have cat toys and a collar with an identification tag. Allow your cat some time to explore his new surroundings.

There are many products available to make travel with your pet easier. You can get car seats or seat belt harnesses for your dog. For dogs who love to go boating, there are doggie life vests. You can buy travel bowls and even portable dog potties and litter boxes. You no longer have to feel guilty for leaving your pet in a boarding kennel while you enjoy a great vacation. Now your pet can enjoy the family vacation with the family.

Joseph M. Sabol is a world class doberman breeder. For further information go to or visit


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