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M&M's mom
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We just returned home from our first one week vacation trip with Maizie - who is 9 1/2 months.

Before I left I had combed this forum for travel tips and found some good ideas.

Since it is vacation time for many people, thought I'd share some things that might help others.

1. We started weeks early getting her used to increasingly lengthy car rides -always with the idea of making them fun.
2. Started trying to use up as much of her energy as we could a few days before our trip - long off leash runs, walks, play dates.
3. Packed a tote full of her stuff. Food, treats, bowls, extra harness, bitter apple, potty bells, etc. I wish I had thought to take more toys , something more for her to chew on, an outdoor tie out. And an extra leash. I did have extra leash but one broke and I ended up buying another.
4. When traveling it is essential to have plenty of waste bags and have one in your pocket AT ALL times.
5. Plan ahead about human meals. There will be no sitting down inside a restaurant for meals. Not easy to find suitable fast food even with outdoor tables. Wish I had just packed sandwiches so we could have more easily stopped at dog friendly parks.
6. We were fortunate to be able to let her have off leash beach runs twice most days. Followed by 1 to 3 mile walks a couple times daily. Found out almost all beaches have very strict limits on dogs. Especially during the summer season. We were at the beach before Memorial Day and found the rules a bit more relaxed. We let her off leash on the beach very early and very late each day, and only when people were far, far, far from us. Most beaches don't allow dogs on the boardwalk. This rule, too, seemed relaxed before the summer crowds arrived.
7. I learned the hard way to try to keep her awake as much as possible during the day. Or be prepared to "walk the floor" with them at night to keep them from bothering your housemates or neighbors!!!
8. It's good to carry water bottle with you on walks. Hard to find available water sources on walks sometimes.
9. I think it helped to not feed her the morning of, or during the trip. But kept water available. Also stopped every hour and 1/2 or so to potty and have a quick walk.
10. I gave her a Tablespoon of pumpkin daily to keep her regular because she would slurp a little ocean water or snatch up a piece of whatever she'd find occasionally before I'd know it!
11. Took crate for Maizie to sleep in our room at nite. And her favorite blanket to sleep on. Very helpful to have since she's used to it and we could be relatively certain she would be ok and cause no damage the few times we left her.
12. Stayed at a friend's beach house, so didn't learn anything new about motels beyond what I've read here. I'm very grateful for kind, dog-loving friends!
13. Beyond that, it was a powerful learning experience for Maizie. She saw and experienced such a number of things in one week!!! Bridges, overpasses, big trucks, concrete trucks, police sirens, trash trucks, bike riders, runners, wheelchairs, garden water sprinklers, hot asphalt, gravels, sand, seaweed, seashells, skateboards, people of all ages, people with helmets on, strollers, traffic jams, toll booths, car alarms, church bells, loud music. Toward the end of the week, when the holiday crowds started arriving there were loud people, we even went to the beginning of a triathlon!!!
14. One guiding principle I tried to use throughout with new things was to give her time to figure things out when I could. Cross a street or back up a bit when I could tell she was getting overly excited about something or someone.
15. I learned to ask other dog owners "friendly?" before allowing Maizie to meet their dog. Ask "may I pet them?" Before approaching another dog. Ask "may he/she have a treat" before offering to a dog. And with Maizie being the rambunctious teen, I learned to keep her no closer than nose to nose with smaller dogs especially. Even tho her tail may be wagging furiously, she is intimidating to some people and dogs.
16. I wish we had stuck with a very firm rule of never allowing Maizie to jump up on us. It isn't becoming to her and other people don't like it. Same with mouth or teeth on hands. I got practice at stepping on her leash to prevent her from invading others' space.
17. I began to realize loose leash walking had a lot to do with the level of excitement/distraction/energy...and not so much about teaching what to do. Maizie was such a perfect loose leash walker at 5:30 am after a run on the beach and with very few people/dogs on the street!

Although it became a very dog-centered trip, I can't begin to convey the life-changing effect on our big puppy from the country who had little opportunity for these experiences until now. I highly recommend making the effort.

Just wondering if anyone else has some other travel tips to add to my list???

Jill
 

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This is a great list and I will use it when we plan our trips for the summer. Thanks!

One thing I was planning to do was map out the route carefully, then research and map out dog parks in cities where we plan to take a break, so ours could get off leash for a while. Otherwise I can't think of much you didnt cover.
 

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We like to keep track of where the rest areas are and stop for carry out/fast food a couple of exits ahead. Then we have a nice picnic in the rest area. A nice stop for pup and parents!

Also, we use an oval shaped juice pitcher for Penny's water. The shape fits her muzzle in sideways and the top is leak proof. We also take bottled water for her to drink...never know what's in the well water.
 

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It sounds like it was a great vacation with lots of new experiences for Maizie.

I agree with Penny's Mom on using the bottled water when on a trip. It can help to off set any tummy issues and elimination issues.

I also suggest before going on any trip make sure you know where there are vets that can be used in case of emergency and always have a (updated) first aide kit in the car.
 

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Sounds like you had a great trip, lots of new adventures, your tips were great.

I always take a copy of my dog's Vet Records along too in case I have to make a trip to a Vet or Vet ER.
 

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M&M's mom
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the additional tips. I did take a copy of Maizie's vet records, but on our next trip I will research dog parks and vets before we go. Our next trip is near the Virginia Beach area, so maybe there will be some good stops available for her.

And excellent tip on getting the food a few stops before a park is available. Makes sense.

Thanks!
Jill
 

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Great list! Thanks.
One thing I did/do with ****'s vet records.......I scanned them all to disc. I have all his exrays/scans on the discs. Made copies of the discs as well. Much easier to travel/pack.
I did the same for my medical records as well. So much easier.
 
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