Recently, I went to Italy and wasn't able to bring Pax with me. The worst. Most of you know already what happened during Pax's rover stay and it got me thinking about how cool it would be to take Pax on vacation so I could 1) never worry 2) be a complete control freak 3) watch him see things for the first time 4) Bring more smiles and belly rubs to him! Good reasons right? We do have some trips coming up and we plan on taking him. Luckily, this community is so global and incredible he will have playmates all over the country as we explore around. SO HOOMANS make sure you holler at me once I let you know our upcoming destinations!
Puppy mama, Brittany, must have been on the same wave length as I have been because she emailed me about her upcoming road trip with her pup Layla. She has FANTASTIC tips on how to prepare for a journey like this with your pup and I'm so excited for you all to read about it. Make sure you follow their journey when they hit the road on June 30th-July 8th by following Layla's instagram @layla.doodlebug for pics and videos! Brittany is also looking for dog friendly recommendations in Nashville and Atlanta so if you have any make sure you DM her!
Here is Brittany & Layla's Story (including awesome tips!)
This is my 10 month old doodle, Layla Bug. From day one I have taken her with me as often as I could whenever I went to dog-friendly places. We started training rather early and will have 25 weeks of classes under our belt by the end of summer. Layla is a great dog, don’t get me wrong, but I never want people to get the impression that she was just “naturally” social, obedient and a good car rider. I’ve raised her that way! I exposed her to a lot of car rides, smells, sounds and people as often as I could.
I’ve been taking Layla to the dog park and working with her in training with hopes to be able to trust her in any setting and be confident in her obedience. We have finally gotten to a place where I know for certain that she will listen and I don’t have to worry about her putting us or others in danger due to lack of obedience.
With all of that, I’m planning a road trip! Just Layla and myself. We live in St. Louis and our last stop is Atlanta. We are making stops to hike and stay in Nashville. It’s been so cool to see more and more places accommodate our pups! As I’m sure you can imagine, this takes a little bit of extra planning. On a regular road trip, you get hungry and you stop. With a dog, you have to consider them too! It’s never okay to leave her in the car alone and another advantage of stopping (for me, anyway) is to take a break and stretch my legs. Our pooches need that too! I’ve been tracking the route I’ll likely take so that I can plan those stops with dog-friendly places. I also know myself, I don’t want a super specific plan. So instead of having a super specific route, I’m just going to have a few options for stops. That way we can stop when we need it.
Layla and I have traveled a lot together but this will be our biggest adventure to date! So I’ve listed a few tips that have helped us be a great travel team. Note that each dog has their own needs and personality—not everything will work for you. And you may have tips that don’t work for us. And that’s cool!
Tip 1: know your pup! If they are super unpredictable, it may be good to wait a little longer for an extended trip. For me, I want to know that she will be good in the car and good out in public. This means no jumping and minimal barking.
Tip 2: start small! We’ve done a handful of just hour long trips. My mom lives about a half hour away, so that helped us build up to an hour. If I’m running errands, I try to go to dog friendly places so that she can come with me...even if it means an extra trip. I’ll go get groceries, come home and then grab Layla to go get dog food at Petsmart.
Tip 3: go to a training class! And it’s not necessarily because your dog doesn’t know “sit” and “down”. It’s actually a great way to socialize your pup with all types of dogs and people under a watchful professional. That can build more confidence for those times you are eating out on the patio next to other people and dogs that walk by.
Tip 4: pack accordingly! Just like a kid, your dog needs special things packed too. Toys, bowls, water (and lots of it!), leash, poop bags, any harness that helps, treats etc. I plan to pack food only for the days that we are on the road. I know we can buy food when we get there and that’s one less thing taking up room in my car. I’d also add wet wipes for potential muddy paws.
Tip 5: be flexible! Don’t make a plan that doesn’t leave room for flexibility. There may be more or less stops than expected. You may find a city or park you and your pal really like and decide to stay longer.
I’m excited to see how this trip goes. I’m sure I’ll learn more things along the way and I’m sure I’ll have a few plans that fall through. And I’m fine with that. If all goes well, road trips may be a more frequent thing for us!