It happened again.
Some stranger walked up to us asking, “Can I pet your dog? I miss mine.”
Yep, time for Honey to offer comfort to people who don’t vacation with their pets.
People Who Vacation Without Their Pets
Apparently many people leave their pets home when they go on vacation. We meet them when we walk Honey around tourist-y areas.
You can see them coming from a block away.
The glassy stare, the slumped shoulders—and then they spot Honey.
They hurry over with a spring in their steps cooing, “Oooooh, what a precious face.”
Honey does what Honey does, exudes love and soaks up attention. And the person who left her dog behind to go on vacation walks on feeling a little better.
But I always want to ask them, “Why didn’t you bring your pet with you on vacation?”
Why Leave Your Pet Home
People plan vacations that aren’t pet friendly. But I’m not sure I know why.
There are plenty of fun things to do with pets.
Not everyone likes camping. But I’ve written about how you can vacation with even a reactive dog without pooping in the woods.
And if you pick the right pet friendly vacation spot, there are many fun things to do.
How To Vacation With Pets
After suffering a broken heart when I left my first dogs at home when we went on vacation, I’ve traveled many places with dogs—both reactive and confident pups.
Here are some of the best tips I’ve learned:
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Bring Your Pet’s Bed
If your dog is comfortable, he’ll sleep better. And so will you.
Some hotels require you to crate your dog if you leave him alone in the room. You’ll definitely want to have your dog’s crate with you if decide to leave him behind when you do something that’s not pet friendly.
Even better, we’d bring a Dog Travel Bed when we went out. Honey settles down under our table on a pet friendly patio more quickly if she has a comfortable place to rest.
Feed Your Dog When You Feed Yourself
We plan our meals in pet friendly restaurants for Honey’s dinner time. I mix her food and pack it in a sealed container she can eat from when we sit down.
Of course, Honey gulps her food much faster than we do. But for at least a few moments, she’s happy with her own food instead of begging for ours.
Take Fresh Water
Lots of pet friendly businesses place water bowls on their sidewalks. But it gets skanky after a while.
Honey will go up and sniff the water. But she’ll usually pass on drinking it.
Apparently she doesn’t like drinking water with slobber in it. Little princess.
That’s why we always bring her own fresh supply.
Try New Pet Friendly Activities
Whether you enjoy wide open spaces or towns and cities, there are lots of pet friendly things to do you may have never tried before.
We find boating of all kinds to be very pet friendly.
Many ferries and large tour boats allow dogs on board. If you like to be your own captain, rent a kayak or canoe.
Small dogs might enjoy riding on a surrey bicycle. And while your dog might not care about architectural history, she’ll probably enjoy following along on a walking tour.
If you’ve always wanted to try dog agility, there are dog daycare facilities and outdoor parks that have ramps and tunnels. Why not use your vacation to find a new hobby you’ll both love?
Hire A Pet Sitter
If you’re dying to do something on vacation that just isn’t pet friendly, why not look for a local pet sitter to come to keep your pet company in the hotel?
If your dog loves people and doesn’t like being left alone, you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about your friend feeling anxious.
Fun On Vacation
Traveling with Honey means we do different things than we did before we had dogs.
We go at a slower pace because Honey needs to sniff. We visit fewer museums. And we spend more time outdoors.
But we have just as much fun.
Best of all, I don’t have to go looking for someone else’s dog to get my puppy fix.
But if you disagree and choose not to vacation with your pet, just know that Honey is out there, somewhere, willing to share her love.
Best City For Pet Travelers
It came down to the final seconds, but Charleston, South Carolina won over Colorado Springs, Colorado with a margin of three votes.
Your Turn: Do you take your pets on vacation with you? Why or why not?