Reserve dog-friendly digs
When it comes to where to stay, know your dog. Low-key pooches may be fine in hotels, but if you think it would overwhelm your pup, consider a vacation rental. No matter where you’re staying, if your dog gets nervous being left alone in a new place, there’s an app for that. “I have the free app Presence on my iPad and my iPhone,” says Sigrid Neilson, mom to Sprout (@brussels.sprout). “It has video chat functionality, so if he starts to get anxious, I start singing or talking to him. He usually calms down and goes to sleep.” Or hire a dog sitter! Often the hotel concierge can suggest trusted local pros, the Kroebers say.
Pack for the car
Some dogs love a long ride, but many get carsick or stressed. The number one tip from Mike and Chris Kroeber (dad and mom to Bailey and Charlie, @baileydoodle): Start chauffeuring your guy around when he’s young. Buy a seat cover and a doggy seat belt (which clips to his harness), so you don’t have to sweat the leather or worry about him jumping into your lap when you’re pushing 65 m.p.h. Bring a collapsible water bowl and some of his favorite toys, and leave first thing in the morning after a small easy-to-digest breakfast as ballast for his little belly.
Prep for the plane
Braving the not-always friendly skies with your best guy requires legwork: At minimum, you’ll need an airline-approved carrier; if you’re checking in your pet as cargo or flying international, the list is much longer. An ID microchip, a current list of vaccines, and a recent clean bill of health from your vet may be required, according to Francis Bott and Allan Monteron, who have jetted to countries like Spain and France with their Maltipoo Agador (@poochofnyc). Familiarize yourself with each airline’s rules: Some (including JetBlue and Southwest) won’t fly animals in the cargo area at all, and others have warm-weather embargoes.
Keep Fido calm
If your pup is the panicky type and all else fails, you may want to consider meds, which can help with both anxiety and motion sickness. Talk to your vet about options and dosage. Because even if he needs a little help chillaxing, he’d always rather be where you are.