A pet friendly vacation is a great way to spend time with the family pet outdoors.Taking a trip is an essential part of summer for many families, but having to leave the family pet behind can put a damper on an otherwise fun and exciting adventure.

If you’re considering a pet friendly vacation, look no further! The team at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center has already done the research, and we’ve discovered some pretty paw-some ideas for vacationing with your pet.

Pet Friendly Vacation Ideas   

  • The great outdoors – Camping, fishing, and hiking are wonderful ways to relax and connect with nature. Luckily, there are plenty of local campgrounds that allow leashed pets, such as Rock Creek Marina & Campground in Clinton County, Sugar Bottom Campground near Iowa City, and Lake Macbride State Park in Johnson County.
  • The big city – Some large cities, like San Francisco, San Diego, and Austin, are famous for their pet friendly features, but did you know that Chicago offers plenty of amenities for pets as well? Besides the many pet friendly hotels (check out Hotel Monaco and James Chicago Hotel), there are numerous activities for both pets and people to enjoy. Take your leashed dog for a stroll through Navy Pier or check out the off-leash options in Grant Park or Montrose Beach. You could pop in for a bite to eat at a dog friendly patio or take a lakefront sightseeing tour with your pooch (try Seadog Cruise).
  • Doggie camp – The ultimate destination for pet lovers, doggie camps (such as Camp Dogwood in Chicago) are popping up around the country. They offer a summer camp experience for dogs and their owners that include activities like swimming, hiking, agility courses, behavioral training, and more.
  • For the sports lovers – Baseball has finally gone to the dogs! Major and minor league ballparks across the country offer dog friendly events each season. Proceeds usually benefit local shelters and rescue organizations.

Practical Tips

Before you pack your pet’s duffel bag, check out our tips to make traveling with a pet safe and easy:

  • Bring your pet in for a wellness check prior to leaving. We’ll make sure they’re up-to-date on vaccines and parasite preventives and that they’re healthy enough to travel.
  • Make hotel/campsite reservations in advance to avoid unnecessary fees and to ensure you have a place reserved.
  • Take frequent breaks while on the road. Dogs should be walked and watered every 2-4 hours.
  • Research local veterinary emergency clinics in the area where you’ll be staying. Program their addresses and phone numbers into your phone before you leave.
  • Keep your pet leashed at all times, and carry plenty of baggies with you for cleaning up waste.
  • Anxious or aggressive pets are not good candidates for crowded areas or places where other pets congregate. Always use your best judgement to keep your pet and others safe.

Are you planning a pet friendly vacation this summer? We’d love to hear about it! Post a picture to our Facebook page or tell us all about it at your next appointment.