Traveling with Pets: Part II

A big decision has been made, and we’ve decided to move to Colorado. This is a HUGE change and adventure for Canadians who have never had a ‘home base’ outside of Canada.

Once everything was set up, the biggest challenge was to drive 3,000 km with a Siberian Husky in the car!!

We ended up getting a Thule roof box so we could pack things away for the journey, leaving room for the dog crate and overnight luggage in the car.

We travel with a crate for two reasons, really: 1) so the dog is not climbing over everything, and 2) most importantly, to keep the husky fur contained! Whenever Loki shakes, moves, breathes, she leaves a pile of hair behind! Especially this time of the year!

Because of this, there are a few traveling doggie ‘must-haves’ that we bring:

– individually packed meals in ziploc bags (makes it simple at feeding time)
– collapsible bowls for food and water
– a leash long enough to tie Loki to picnic tables/lamp posts etc
– lint brushes! (everything gets a roll-down whenever we stop)
– our Dyson hand-held vacuum (to vacuum the crate and the hotels rooms as we depart)
– treats (of course)
– full roll of poo bags! (we keep ours in a container attached to her leash)
– grooming tools (toothbrush, nail clippers, comb/furminator etc)

We scouted out ‘pet-friendly’ hotels along our route and booked rooms each day in advance as some hotels only have a limited number of rooms designated for pets. For me, ‘pet-friendly’ is a hotel that does not charge an additional fee higher than the nightly room charge. A $100 non-refundable deposit a) isn’t really a deposit, and b) exists to discourage travelers with pets from staying there.

Our faves in the U.S.:

1) La Quinta (pets stay free!)

2) Choice Hotels (Quality, Comfort, Sleep Inns etc – check rates first – $10-$20 per pet)

3) Drury Inns (pets stay free!)

4) Red Roof Inns (pets stay free!)

Another thing we made an effort to do, was scope out dog parks in the towns and cities where we stopped.  All hotels we stayed at had free Wi-Fi and we were able to check out the next town in advance and find a place for Loki to run. This allowed us to have uneventful drives the next day while the dog sleeps in the car.

The real challenge when travelling with dogs is eating.  We search out restaurants with take-out and/or outdoor tables and chairs so that we can eat with Loki.  We never leave her alone in the car, and take turns going in to buy groceries/food and use the rest rooms. If it’s raining, we eat in the car.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Loki has handled the journey like a champ.  I think we could definitely travel with her more often and choose vacations that she can take part in.

Any hints, tips or best practices for travelling with your pets?

 

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Loki loves the Red Roof Inn. Laminate floors and minimal fabrics. VERY dog friendly!

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Napping in the hotel, but do it by the door so the boogey man can’t get in!

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There are fenced in dog parks in many cities and towns across the U.S. and Canada. Scope them out and stop by to stretch some legs!

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Newly renovated Sleep Inns have great rooms AND pet-friendly!

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