Many of us consider our dogs to be part of our family. Including them on a honeymoon may seem like the natural choice for dog lovers who are tying the knot. This guide, written by leading canine behavior website Wileypup, will give you some tips for making sure you take the right planning steps to be sure your canine-friendly honeymoon goes off without a hitch.
Find the Right Destination For A Dog-Friendly Honeymoon
Some honeymoon destinations are better than others when it comes to creating a lifelong memory that truly includes your dog. For example, research nearby day trips that might include some off-leash play, swimming, or hiking.
Some cities are also more friendly than others for our canine companions. For example, San Francisco, Austin, and Colorado Springs (among many others) are towns known for great shopping, excellent dining, and plenty of dog-friendly spaces such as cafes, dog boutiques, and dog parks around every corner. Make sure that you will be able to include your pooch by choosing the right destination and you are off to a good start.
In addition, if a resort destination is more your speed, there are many available that make it a special point to cater to dog-loving patrons. Some even have “dog butler” services, doggie room service, and yes, even dog nannies or walkers on staff. Expect to pay some additional fees when you plan to pamper your pup with premium services, but it is certainly one way to make sure your dog is well cared for and included in the fun.
Many hotels have a pet policy, but that does not necessarily mean they are “pet-friendly.” Just because they allow dogs, does not mean they are truly prepared to make it easy for you to take care of your dog’s daily needs.
For example, look for accommodations that offer first floor rooms and easy access to designated doggy potty areas. They should be close to some trails or dog parks so getting a leisurely walk or playtime in will be easy. Ideally, they may be near a dog-friendly café or restaurant so dining out can include your furry friend as well.
If you plan on flying to your honeymoon destination, then expect booking your flight and airline travel to include a bit more planning than usual. Start well in advance and follow these tips:
- Book your flight by phone. Although you may be used to booking domestic flights online, it is wise to do your research and book on the phone with a customer service rep to discuss the details of your dog’s flight and make sure there is room on the flight for your dog and that you have all you need to make the flight go smoothly.
- Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccines. You will need to provide the airline with a note from your vet stating that your dog is up to date on vaccines. Usually these notes must be signed within 30 days of your flight, so time this visit accordingly. Check with the airline to be sure you use the right form and have all of the necessary vaccinations.
- Crate train your dog. Whether your dog is small enough to fit in a carryon sized crate (usually it must be smaller than 19”x12”x10” or will be traveling in the cargo hold, it is important that they are already somewhat familiar with their crate. Ideally, they associate their crate with safety and have practiced being alone in the crate for at least a few hours at a time.
- Avoid sedatives. Although it might seem like a good idea to sedate your dog prior to travel with vet-approved sedatives, there are some increased risks of health problems associated with dogs under sedation, particularly since they will be traveling without supervision. In addition, some veterinary tranquilizers can also disturb the equilibrium and increase travel sickness. Talk to your vet about safe and natural calming products such as CBD for dogs which may also help with nausea during the journey.
- Put a picture of your dog on the crate. In addition, make sure you have a large and readable “Live Animal” sticker on it just to be on the safe side.
- International travel requires additional research and advanced preparation. Many countries do have procedures for traveling with dogs, however, in almost all cases there is additional red tape, special requirements, and planning well in advance is advised. In addition, long flights and layovers can be extraordinarily stressful for your canine companion. It may be worth rethinking your dog-friendly honeymoon if you are planning an overseas getaway.
Great planning makes all the difference between a memorable vacation and a lot of extra hassle and scrambling at the last minute. Before you make your final travel and accommodation plans and pack for your trip, here are some tips to make sure you have planned for your dog’s needs in advance:
- Pack vet records and contact information. If your dog needs any veterinary treatment while you are on your trip, it will be much easier if you have up to date medical records (vaccinations, known diagnosis, medication list, etc.). A vet who is unfamiliar with your dog will be able to act more quickly in the event of an emergency if you have this information at your fingertips.
- Locate a 24-hour emergency vet near your destination. You don’t want to have to waste precious time in an unfamiliar place searching for a good vet if you have a pet emergency. Instead, do your research in advance so you are ready to act fast if you need to.
- Pack dog toys to keep your pooch busy. You won’t be able to be with your dog the entire time you are honeymooning. Make sure to pack the kinds of dog toys that will keep your dog occupied while you are away enjoying a romantic meal or activity.
- Help your dog feel “at home.” Make sure to bring some items such as a dog blanket or bedding that will carry the familiar scent of home. This can help your dog feel relaxed in unfamiliar surroundings.