Travel with dogs!

betty ming liu Relationships, Travel 13 Comments

It’s almost the end of August, which only means one thing…time to start planning summer 2013! And next year, I’m open to a new option: How about a getaway or road trip that includes Rosebud, our highly-portable, 10-pound dog?

The idea recently hit me after I was on Facebook and saw photos of my cousins Christina and Jack Lam having a great time vacationing in Provincetown — with their little pooch.

Then a few weeks ago, I was on a plane to Las Vegas sitting next to a nice couple. The woman had a black sweater in her lap. And midway through the flight, she lifted it to show me her little black chihuahua curled up quietly underneath it. Yes, he was supposed to be confined to his carrier, stowed under the seat in front of her. But, aw, nobody cared.

That’s two instances. There was also a case, which is important to mention because when I was teaching journalism, I always told students that to write about a new trend, they needed to present  three solid examples that proved your point. So for No. 3, I present the neighbors who went on a family vacation to Portugal and brought along their small canine cutie!

Whether we’ve really got a trend requires more research (which I’m too lazy to do). I remain, however, intrigued by the common denominators here: dog owners + vacation + pet small enough to stash in carry-on luggage or car.

If any of you have tips on how to make this equation work, please do share. I’d love to collect some tips on this post and think about my options for next year.

Dog travel tips

The Los Angeles Times has an informative story about air travel with dogs. There are things to consider, to make sure you’re not barking up the wrong tree (couldn’t resist that pun).

And my cousin Christina offered up this website as a resource: www.ilovedogfriendly.com.

She also has a few choice, kibble-y bits of advice:

1. There’s a lot of info out there (if you look for it) from where to take your dog and what to expect.
2. It’s best to plan ahead. Which means if you have a vacation checklist, your dog should have one, too.
3. Only you know your dog. So, if Fido doesn’t behave at home, odds are he won’t behave while away either. Taking into account your dog’s needs both physical and emotional is critical. To think otherwise is like the woman who marries a man and expects to improve him! Fools both.
4. After it’s all said and done, it can be a great time! Being out with your best four legged friend offers any vacation a fresh perspective.

Got more ideas? Please do share…Rosebud appreciates the help!
And for those of you who would like to see what we’re like together as dog and human dog slave, our YouTube is below. It’s the same one that’s sitting in the little video box on the upper right-hand corner of this blog. :)

Comments 13

  1. Why not first class? One of my senior friends insists on only traveling first class with her companion canine…. She does warn that the airlines stick true to the weight restrictions! She was pretty stressed out recently and had her doggy on a diet to trim down a few ounces before she hit the skies for California… she was doing daily weigh ins to make sure there would be no issues at check in.

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      Ange, how funny! And a little insane. Then again, three cheers to your friend, that she can afford first class for herself — and her bff. I have friends (and a daughter) who are already rolling their eyes over my devotion to RB. But seriously, she’s become one of my bff too. I would love to travel first class with her someday. Thanks for planting the insane thought in our heads. :)

  2. Not being a dog person, I can’t say if its a good idea in some cases, for some dogs, BUT I can say with certainty that no one should make the mistake of thinking this translates to cats. Do NOT even think of taking your cat on vacation with you. Cats are very territorial, do not like new places and become highly stressed and frightened when dragged into new environments. Just remember what that last trip to the vet was like and multiply it a thousand fold for a vacation journey. My cat doesn’t even like to go downstairs, let alone to some resort in the islands! She’d need months of therapy afterwards. It would cost a fortune.

  3. PS – Doubtless someone is now going to post that they have a cat that likes to travel so much it keeps a little bag packed by the door. I will affirm in advance that would be the exception that proves the rule. I have had over 30 cats in the course of my life and not one of them wanted to get more than 40 feet from their accustomed litter box and food bowl if it could possibly be avoided. For the present incumbent its more like 20 feet.

  4. Betty,
    Sure take the dog we do it all the time! Many of the larger hotel chains allow you have a dog in your room provided it is under a certain weight (they do make you pay a deposit, which is refunded when you check-out). They are welcome in National Parks but need to be on a leash (something I personally don’t like… but national parks have too many rules for me). If you take your do to another country you need to find out the rules first. For example some countrys, such as Austrailia, require animals to go into quarintine. Others, such as Canada require only proof of Rabies.
    It is also a good idea to closely monitor them. never leave them in the car with the windows up. If you have to go inside somewhere and can’t take them make sure they have some shade and some water.

    When I traveled I was fortunate that my dog was trained and certified as a “service animal” . This costs quite a bit of money though and can only be done with certain breeds.
    Have fun. Poodles (at the least the full-size ones ) are a “water-dog” breed so don’t hesitate to let your. “pooch” take swim with you!

  5. Yeah for family adventures! Kacie really made our vacation to Provincetown a hundred fold more enjoyable. Something about having my cute pooch out with me made me more amenable to chatting up folks, admiring others of the canine kind, and just taking things down a notch to stop and smell the roses. And, watching Kacie take it all in, and enjoy some off leash time on the beach (they have dog friendly beach time there), was awesome. Dogs, after all, are pack animals and they want to be where their pack is. Lucky for us, we’re her pack. :)

  6. I thought Ange’s post about her friend was cute. To think, women aren’t the only ones working on getting their bodies beach-ready.
    I don’t have pets, so I would really like to read more about this!

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    Toby, I totally agree with you on cats. Thanks for taking time to explain their tendencies. My cats don’t travel well either.

    Anonymous Dog Person, I didn’t know that about national parks. How interesting. Thanks for all the tips!

    Christina, yet more new info…you can actually let your dog run free on the beach? Maybe me and RB should try that next summer. Another great tip and again, a million thanks for helping me with this post!

    Skye, Ange’s comment is indeed adorable. Maybe she’ll tell us more stories soon. She’s full of good stories. :)

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  12. Pingback: Writing about dogs: RIP to the king of canines | betty ming liu

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