Dog-friendly travel tips for your upcoming vacation

Here's some good Intel whether you're bringing your dog on vacation with you or leaving your furry family member behind. Photo: Jack Kenner

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29, 2013 — Whether your Spring Break or warm weather vacation plans include taking your four legged family member along for the ride, or boarding your pup at the local doggy day and night care facility, there are certain things to remember to do to ensure your dog is healthy and safe. 

If you are considering boarding, there are many choices to consider. You may choose to select a sitter in your area listed on (use this code to receive $10.00 off your first booking: 1BLISSDOG) or select the safe and comfortable PetsHotel at PetSmart stores across the country.

Wherever you decide to leave your precious pet, be sure to make reservations as soon as possible and pack these five items:

1. Your dog’s usual food
Some dogs get an upset stomach if you change their brand of chow, so be sure to pack plenty of food. Dry food can easily be stored in a Tupperware container and you can leave wet food in the can.

2. Medications or supplements
Whether your pet needs medication every day or just occasionally, it’s better for your pet sitter to have it on hand to be safe. Remember heart guard and flea treatments too. 

3. Instructions
Take the time to write instructions for your pet host including feeding times and portions, and important phone numbers (your vet’s information and where you can be reached). Make sure your dog’s collar fits him or her properly and that all tags are up-to-date with your cell phone number and address. If you are in the market for a new collar, visit this handy online dog collar boutique. 

4. Pack Two Leashes
It’s always a good idea to pack more than one leash just in case your host loses one. Make one extendable so your dog can get some exercise and stay safe at the same time. 

5. Favorites
You definitely want to pack your dog’s bed and favorite toys so that they have some comforts from home. Avoid squeaky toys so your pup doesn’t drive your weekend host crazy. To keep your dog calm, bringing an old t-shirt that smells like you can also make for a great cuddle toy for your dog while you are apart.

Now for the five items your dog will need if he or she is coming along with you on the trip:

1. ID
Be sure your pet always wears a well-fitted collar and ID tag with accurate contact information. Find new QR Code ID Tags from Barkcode here.

2. Seat covers
If you are driving, it’s a good idea to bring a seat cover along, such as this one from Evelyn Grace Designer Pet Goods. These multi-purpose throws will keep your car clean and your dog from getting burned by sitting on a hot seat.

3. Travel water dispenser
To prevent dehydration, dogs should always have fresh water available. Try a pet travel water dispenser such as the PetCo Foldable Travel Bowls that cost only $3.17.

4. Bring a crate
Crates give pet guardians a safe place to put their dog in the car and inside a dog friendly hotel or resort room. Ask any hotel manager and you will hear horror stories about dogs left in a room unattended, costing the owners thousands of dollars in items the anxious pet destroyed. Bring plenty of bully sticks or peanut butter filled marrowbones to keep your dog busy.

5. Sunscreen
Believe it or not, some dogs can get sunburn on their nose, ears and other areas. Epi-Pet Sun Protector is the Only FDA compliant sunscreen for pets.






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Susan Hartzler

As a consumer dog product and service expert, Susan Hartzler is up to date on the latest trends for dogs and their guardians. Dogs are her passion; so naturally, the subject is something she knows about from both a personal and professional basis.

An award winning writer, Hartzler is a contributor to New World Library’s “Dogs And The Women Who Love Them,” an Oprah pick, and Simon & Schuster’s best selling “Divinity of Dogs.” A short story she wrote about her first therapy dog, Baldwin, was published in Animal Wellness Magazine and awarded the Angel on a Leash Award from the Dog Writer’s Association of America.  Hartzler has developed a loyal following of dog lovers for her serial blog,, a personal journey about dogs and men. She and her dog Bliss are a therapy dog team and visit children in the oncology ward at County USC Medical Center. For more information, please visit


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