Just because you have an ME dog doesn’t mean you can’t take a vacation now and then. Planning ahead will be critical since there will be extras you need to consider and do prior to leaving.

Think about your vacation:
Decide whether you will take your dog. It’s normal to think about taking your dog on vacation with everybody else. However, taking them on vacation with you may not always be the best idea.
–   Does your dog like adventure and excitement?
–   Is your dog a seasoned traveler or will this experience be new?
–   Does your dog get along with people and other dogs?
–   Does your dog have any special needs or physical limitations that might affect their enjoyment of the trip?
You can use the above questions to figure out the right destination for you and your dog, or whether it’s a good idea to take your dog away with you at all. Sometimes it might be more fair to them to hire a reputable sitter or use a boarding kennel you trust.

If you do take your dog along on vacation
Consider the following:
Know the difficulty of taking your dog(s) along. Of course there are a ton of pros to taking your dog with you, but you should also be well aware of the cons.
–   Make sure hotel accepts pets and contact the hotel to find out any restrictions, fees, etc.
–   Accommodation can be more difficult to obtain when you have a dog in tow.
–   Dogs get travel sick too, so you must consider this if travelling by car/train/boat/plane.
–   You’ll need to pack and plan a lot more when taking your ME dog.
–   You’ll need to plan for more breaks and stops, so more time will be required.
–   You won’t usually be able to leave your dog alone, or it will be something you are strongly advised against. Leaving them alone in a car in a hot country, for example, is extremely dangerous.
–   You will need to be able to take whatever is used for feeding and a chair takes up a lot of space.
–   Have a plan in case your dog gets sick (aspirates, etc.)while gone.
–   Flying can be stressful for dogs, with all of the noise, low air pressure, and confined spaces and requires a lot more preparation meeting airline requirements.
–   Travelling with dogs is not recommended if they have been sick recently.

Here are some tips that will help:
Be aware of proper dog travel etiquette when traveling and be able to follow it. Plan ahead and make sure the following are done in advance:
–   Always do your research on hotels and other types of accommodation to ensure they are pet friendly. If you’re unsure, call and ask. Ask about their pet policies in writing to double check.
–   Remember you may need to leave a deposit at certain types of accommodation if you want to take your dog.
–   Make sure you are fully prepared to feed your dog staying with normal protocol, you use.
–   Your dog should be vaccinated for rabies and any other shots they may need depending on where you are traveling. Rabies vaccinations are a must for all travel abroad.  Check with your vet for the complete range of vaccinations required, and of course, check with the airline and country to which you’re heading.
–   You will need to have your dog treated for fleas and potentially other illnesses if you are travelling abroad.
–   You shouldn’t leave your dog alone in a room for long periods of time. They might  get separation anxiety from being alone for long periods of time. If you’re going to leave them alone, there’s not really much point in taking them with you.
–   Ensure your dog is well behaved around other people.
–   Plan to exercise your dog as you usually would.
–   Have a good schedule for taking them outside to do their business, as you don’t want them to mess on your accommodation floor.
–   Never leave your dog in a car. Being in the shade doesn’t mean the car won’t get incredibly hot, and your dog could suffer from a stroke and die. There are also people who break into cars to steal dogs. If you do intend on taking your dog on vacation with you, plan to have them with you as often as possible.
–   If for whatever reason you want to check out the sights without your dog, you should look for a reputable kennel or consider not taking your dog on this particular vacation…plan ahead.
–   Hopefully you won’t need a vet, but it’s a good idea to be prepared by having the number of a local vet before you travel. Ensuring your dog is up to date with vaccinations before they travel is a must, too.
–   Know where the closest emergency clinic is located and have your veterinarians number close at all times.
–   Keep your pet on a leash when outside your car or hotel but also be very careful when inside if door to outside is open. Your dog that is lose in the room may bolt out the door or an open window.
–   Whether your pet travels with you or by another means it should wear a special identification tag in addition to its regular one. Write the pet’s name, your name, the person to contact at the destination, their phone number, a destination address, or that of a friend or relative, in case you want to be reached.

If you decide to fly:
Know not all airports are created equal if flying with your dog.
–   Flying with your dog is potentially one of the most nerve-wracking experiences.
–   This isn’t how you have to travel – you can definitely take a train, go on a boat, or head off in your car with your dog. However, flying is the only option if you’re going to another country abroad.
–   It’s crucial you’re aware that not all airports are created equal, so you must do your research on US airports that are pet friendly. Some have barely any facilities that you and your dog can use, while others are perfectly equipped to ensure travelers and their canine companions have an incredible time.
–   There are rarely any incidents when flying with pets. However, it’s still a small possibility that you’ll want to consider.
–   Doing your research on an airlines handling policy and how they will take liability if something does happen to your pet is important.
–   Flying will take preparation well in advance so review your airlines requirements and plan ahead.
–   Get the pet to the air terminal in time….earlier is better. Get there 45 minutes in advance if the pet is accompanying you. If shipping the pet, get to the flight terminal under the guidelines for that particular airlines’ policy.

Things you can do with your dog on vacation:
There are all kinds of things you can do with your dog on vacation.
–   You could eat outside at a dog-friendly restaurant.
–   You can do takeout and eat it on the riverbank or in a park.
–   You can take a hike on a beautiful trail that is suitable for your dog.
–   If your dog can safely swim, you can go to the beach or river (this also requires very careful planning since water is not usually favorable for ME dogs to ingest as is).
–   Check with the hotel and the area you are visiting to see if there are dog specific fun activities to do while there.

Remember, if you truly care about your dog, you’ll do what’s best for them. Sometimes, this means leaving them at home with a trusted relative or in a reputable kennel. It’s important to note that you will be limited to how you travel and what you can do, so taking your dog on vacation should not be taken lightly.

If you decide NOT to take your dog along on vacation:
There are options, but all require advance preparation.
–   Can contact a pet sitting service, train, and educate whomever you would use.
–   Ask and use someone from your veterinarians office to pet sit while you are gone. Train and educate prior to leaving (see the chapter called Pet Sitters).
–   Board with your veterinarian if they offer that option. Train and educate well in advance.
–   Board at a facility and follow same as above.
–   Ask a family member, neighbor, or friend to either check in, feed and potty them or to stay as pet sitter. Train and educate.

When you don’t take them along, it still requires thinking ahead and planning in advance. The Pet Sitters chapter will give you more specifics as to the minimum that should be done with this preparation.

Below are some links to sites that can help if you decide to take your dog along on vacation:

Bring Fido:
BringFido is the world’s leading pet travel and lifestyle brand. Our website and mobile apps connect millions of pet owners around the globe with more than 250,000 pet friendly places. Users can seamlessly compare and book thousands of pet friendly hotels and vacation rentals directly on the app, all with no booking fees. And planning an epic dog-friendly road trip is a breeze using BringFido’s database of pup-approved restaurants, dog parks, hiking trails and shopping destinations. Pet parents can rest easy knowing that our directory of licensed veterinarians, sitters, and groomers is just a tap away. Whether you’re trekking across town or around the world, BringFido’s team of pet travel experts are available by phone or chat to help you find pet friendly resources or book a pet friendly hotel. With over 12 years of experience helping millions of dog lovers discover and plan their purr-fect pet friendly getaway, BringFido is every dog lover’s second best friend!

10 Great Dog Friendly Vacations Ideas:
here does it say that dogs don’t deserve a vacation, same as humans? If you and your significant other can’t imagine going on your honeymoon or taking a romantic vacation without dogs around, then don’t! Whether you bring your own dogs on vacation or attend special events that feature top-performing canines, you’ll have more fun if you make your four-footed friends part of your travel plans. In addition to swimming and hiking together, these are some of the delightful activities you can participate in on vacation with man’s best friend (and yours).

Pet Friendly Hotels:
Official site for finding pet friendly hotels anywhere.