How to make cross-country travel fun for your dog!

Indy had quite an adventure

Summertime is about fun and travel and it’s even better when we bring our furry loved ones along for the ride! Recently we at 1-800-PetMeds were introduced to Indy, a pup who has been having quite the adventure as he has been traveling across the country to be reunited with his family. Along the way, he and his companions have been staying at various HomeAway locations. Read on to learn more about Indy’s Great Adventure: 

For those who may not know, how did you end up on this journey?
My human mom just graduated from school in Boston and is moving to Seattle to start an awesome new job. She has a young son (my best friend and pet brother) who would probably not love a super long road trip. So, my mom enlisted a great friend and her husband to help drive her car, my lizard pals (Georgia – a bearded dragon, and Charlie – a leopard gecko), and me to Seattle! I was really excited to see more of the U.S., especially since I get to stay at pet-friendly HomeAway rentals each spot I go.

Can you share a favorite moment or two from your travels?
Getting to meet and shake paws (hands?) with people in so many cities is probably my favorite part of the trip, there are a ton of awesome humans out there. There were also two extra special moments so far. I was really lucky to find a double rainbow (really!) after a storm in Lubbock, Texas, and I got a picture to capture the moment and share it with my friends. I also loved getting to see hot-air balloons take off in Angel Fire, New Mexico. I don’t know if dogs get to ride in them, but it sure was fun to watch!

Indy got to see hot air balloons take off

Do you have a favorite city/HomeAway location? What made it stand out from the others?
Oh gosh, this one is hard! Each spot was so unique and the owners really cared about creating a special experience (one even left me dog treats!). I like to run outdoors (and sometimes want to escape, hehe), so Wyndham, NY and Angel Fire, NM are places that other dogs might also enjoy a lot. I sometimes appreciate nature by eating it, but in these spots I was also able to soak it all in!

What have you missed most about being away from your pet parents?
My human mom and brother are the best, so I miss hanging out with them and being part of our lively family action. I saw my mom posted a picture the other day about reuniting in Seattle – it feels good to be missed, but I can’t wait to tell them about my adventures (I’m a very woofy dog).

Any new “firsts” you are excited to experience in your new home city?
I’ve heard about a fish market that really got my attention…beaches, forests, and some cool San Juan islands just outside the city where I think we will have some fun trips. I don’t know if you have seen it, but I have A LOT of fur, so I’m also excited to be in a temperate climate that doesn’t get too hot. I also heard that I might get to go to my mom’s work, which would definitely be a first! If they need someone to help with herding or pulling sleds, I’m their dog!

What advice would you give to other pets (and their owners) about making a cross-country trip?
First, do it! Then, document it! I am having so much fun and I like sharing with all of my friends. Be sure to bring at least one favorite toy (and a lot of bones!), and my humans like my collapsible travel water and food bowls. I also noticed my humans using Yelp and searching “outdoor seating” to find great spots where I could join them for food (being left in the car isn’t good for us dogs). The only other advice is to make sure owners give their pets extra love because sometimes travel can be a lot to to handle for furry creatures like me. Also, did I mention a healthy selection of bones?

Travel can be exciting but stressful for pets

Thanks to Indy and the team at HomeAway for sharing Indy’s great adventure with us! In case you’re wondering, Indy will be reunited with his family this Tuesday as he settles into his new home in Seattle, WA.

Thinking about traveling with your pet this summer? Don’t forget summer essentials like the Solvit HomeAway Travel Organizer along with a pet carrier to keep your pet comfortable during long drives.

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  1. If the rescue dogs who adopted me were young, I’d get them used to traveling right away. They each had their own safety belt in the back seat that attached to either their kennel (if they were small breed) or a harness.
    The safety belt allows them to sit up, lay down, turn around, and look out the window. They quickly understand the front seats are off limits.
    While traveling on country roads (read that as no pavement), I loosen the tether and let them stick their head out of the window. Because we are traveling so slow, I don’t worry about bugs or other foreign objects flying up their nose anymore than if they were running full speed. The leash keeps the border collie in the car at the sight of deer, the lab from trying to go for a quick dip in the pond, or the Pyr from wandering over the hill to integrate with the herd of sheep. lol
    Most of my dogs have acclimated to lots of travel and learned to love it, even my two deaf dogs. There was only one, a border collie, that always got sick within the first 15 minutes of leaving the house and continued for the duration.
    I’ve also taught my dogs to defecate on command so there won’t be any unscheduled stops. It is just part of training for us. Wait until the urge hits the dog and begin saying, “good dog, do your business (go poo-poo, make poo, or whatever words you want to use)”, and keep repeating that until the dog is finished. I don’t use treats as reward, just praise. After a week or so, take the dog for a walk out of the yard at a time of day they usually do their business. After a little bit, stop and tell them the phrase, then be patient. You may have to say it gently a few times before the urge strikes but when it does praise them and happily, but calmly say, “yes, good dog, do your business, good dog”. Be sure to pick up the poo when you’re done. It’s been a really helpful command for us. Enjoy the journey.

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