There are two kinds of trips — one where your destination is already decided upon by the humans and you don’t want to leave your dog behind. The second is where you want to take your dog on a vacation and plan the destination around it. I see a LOT of pet parents are slowly drifting towards the second option. The conversation begins with, “I want to take my dog on vacation…” instead of “We are planning to go on a vacation…”
I choose destinations that offer my dog a new experience; something that makes them happy. It a great way to strengthen the bond. Of my two dogs, Vanilla LOVES water. My boy Coco, on the other hand, loves nature walks and exploring on land. So if I were to plan a trip for Vanilla, I would think of a place with water activity, such as a beach. I would definitely plan a trip which involves treks and hikes for Coco. Fortunately, I love nature walks as well as water activities. So I get to do something I love too!
Choosing the route is as important as choosing the destination. If the trip is not constrained by time, I start looking at places in between where we might be able to stop for a day or two and do something interesting. Be weather-wise
Another factor that influences the route I take is the weather. Most dogs are not too comfortable being exposed to heat for prolonged periods. While turning on the AC is an option, it is a bit of a challenge when you have a dog that wants the window open. Some dogs get very edgy when the car windows are rolled up. So we try to start early (sometimes as early as 4:30-5 am) and travel only till about noon. After that, we are indoors and only step out in the evening when its cooler. Unless there is an emergency, we do not drive at night. We try to keep the total travel time to less than eight hours. That said, there have been times when we had no choice but to travel throughout the day even in the peak of summer just so we can cover more distance and reach our destination as quickly as possible. Fortunately, Vanilla and Coco are quite accommodating.
Deepthi AR is a behaviourist based in Bengaluru; you can follow her on @happypupprsblr. Here are her other tips for travelling with your dog