It’s summer, and you know what that means—time for a vacation! Don’t want to leave your dog behind? Find out which vacations are the least dog-friendly and which will be the most fun for your squirrel-chasing best bud.
Worst: amusement and theme parks
If your pet isn’t a trained service animal, they most likely won’t be allowed into an amusement or theme park. It’s not just about the rules, though—your dog wouldn’t have much fun in all the crowds of people, long lines, dangerous rides, and sudden noises.
Some amusement parks do allow dogs to visit, but they must be checked into a boarding area that’s likely to be busy, stressful, and unfamiliar—so it’s better to leave your pup at home if you’re getting ready to hit the water park.
Best: national parks and forests
What could be more exciting for your dog than the great outdoors? It’s not just the delicious (er … we mean adorable) wildlife and delightful smells, it’s all that fresh air and exercise. Both dogs and their humans benefit from getting outside to explore nature—whether it’s a bird-watching walk in the forest, a refreshing hike, or a day of frolicking at the lake.
Just remember to check the rules of any park or forest you’ll be visiting—some of them have restrictions about pets. The park or forest area’s website will usually display their pet policies, so you can decide whether they’ll work for you.
Don’t forget water (for you and your dog), a sturdy leash, and plenty of snacks. If there’s an off-leash dog area or a safe lake or river where dogs can play, bring a ball to get in some extra fetch!
While your dog might enjoy a sailboat trip or a quick spin around the lake in a kayak, cruise ships aren’t a good fit. Most cruise lines don’t allow pets at all—and the ones that do have an onboard kennel where your dog must remain quarantined. That’s not a good experience for you or your dog, so it’s best to save the cruises for human-only vacations.
If you want to give your pet the aquatic experience, try renting a small, dog-friendly boat for the day on a lake or beach—your pet will love looking for fish, digging in the sand, chasing birds, and spending time with you in the sunshine.
Best: RV trips
The open road is calling! An RV trip with your pet is a great way to see the sights, sniff the sniffs, explore new locales, and get some exercise along the way. Plus, a spacious RV will give your dog plenty of space to stretch out while you do the navigating.
Most RV parks allow pets, but not all—do some research before you book your campsite to make sure your pet will be welcome. Visit GoPetFriendly.com, which has a road trip planner to help you find pet-friendly campgrounds at all your destinations. And don’t forget to check out our list of awesome dog-friendly stops along major highways!
Worst: music and art festivals
Big festival events like Coachella, Bonnaroo, or Burning Man can be the ultimate good time for humans, but they’re no fun for dogs. Big crowds, loud music, fireworks and surprising noises, dropped food, mud, and unpredictable weather conditions can create an unpleasant atmosphere for your pet and can even put them in danger.
If you’re heading out to a big festival, it’s best to leave your four-legged friend at home—but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy outdoor music with your dog. Many towns and cities have summer music festivals, art fairs, and outdoor concert series that are a little less wild than some of the big names. Some of them have dog pageants or other pet-friendly activities.
See what’s brewing in your neighborhood and ask yourself honestly if the event would be a good time for your dog.
Best: a dog-friendly city
Traveling to a new city can expose your dog to lots of new sights, sounds, and smells—and there are often great things to do with your pup when you get there.
Check out off-leash dog areas, dog-friendly beaches, city parks, restaurants and bars that welcome dogs, and tourist attractions that are designed to be pet-friendly. Here are some ideas:
- Denver: There are a ton of dog-friendly craft breweries.
- San Diego: There are over 100 dog parks, including the especially fun Dog Beach in Del Mar.
- Chicago: Just head uptown to find 3.83 acres of canine-friendly beachfront.
- Philadelphia: The Schuylkill River Park Dog Run has plenty of off-leash dog areas.
How to choose the best vacation for your pet
An ideal pet-friendly trip includes exercise, time out in nature, and time spent with you! Bonding with your pet is the point of bringing them with you—so it helps to do a bit of research before you book.
Pick a dog-friendly vacation rental with a fenced backyard or a hotel that caters to dogs with treats, toys, and special treatment. If you’re not able to regularly take your pet for a walk while you’re on vacation, we’ve got you covered—just book a friendly local dog walker.
Ready to travel?
Enter here to win a chance for a free trip for two (humans), with a complimentary Rover pet sitter while you are away. Don’t forget to share a photo of you and your pet your public profile on Instagram for an extra entry. Caption it with your story of why you need a vacation and tag @roverdotcom and @hopper.
- What to Do with Your Dog on Vacation
- 7 Tips to Get Your Dog Ready for the Pet Sitter
- How to Choose the Best Dog Sitter for Your Dog
Featured Image: phploveme/Flickr