Saturday, December 26, 2015

Traveling with Pets by Ginny Baird


When you travel, does Fido come with you, or do you make arrangements to leave any furry friends at home? We’ve tried it both ways, and—although it can be a bit restrictive taking a four-legged friend along—we’ve discovered that, with a little advance planning, it can be done!

My husband and I have always loved taking our English Style Labrador Maggie to the beach, where she can run and swim to her heart’s content. She’s a very well-behaved dog, so we’ve taken her to visit relatives too, including my elderly Mother, who is crazy about her.

This fall, we experimented with something new: taking Maggie on her first official “road trip.” We were traveling from Virginia to the Tennessee mountains to see family, and then heading to Asheville, North Carolina. It was early November, but we still caught some changing leaves, which were glorious!

One thing I discovered is that the Chamber of Commerce of some towns provides an online listing of dog-friendly restaurants, shops and accommodations. While health codes prevent people from bringing any animals but service dogs indoors, a few restaurants have outdoor seating where pets are welcomed.

We were lucky to find a nice Bed and Breakfast in Jonesborough, TN that happily accommodated us and our pet. We also made a cool discovery in Maryville, TN. Did you know The Quinta Inn allows dogs, and does not charge a pet fee? While the accommodations weren’t elaborate, they certainly were suitable and a buffet breakfast was included.

During our final stop in Asheville, we rented a dog-friendly cabin tucked away on a mountainside and overlooking the city. It was a nice way to round out the trip, and provided yet another perspective on pet-friendly accommodations. It was probably my favorite place to stay, since it gave all of us a little more legroom and freedom to roam around. This was especially important on our first day there, when it rained cats and…um…dogs!

To help the car ride go smoothly for everyone, I packed a bag for Maggie containing some of her favorite toys, snacks and her regular food from home. We kept to her normal eating schedule as much as possible, and were sure to bring a large water bottle specifically for her—which we used to pour water into her traveling dog dish. Hubby and I brought sandwiches for the road, so we wouldn’t have to worry about finding a pet-friendly eatery between our major destinations. We also made sure to stop every few hours to give Maggie a walk and get our own circulation going. In this way, having her with us was probably good for our health, as well!

How about you? Do you travel with pets? If yes, are there any tips you can share? Please add them in the "Comments" section.

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Ginny Baird writes contemporary romance novels and novellas. Download Book 1 in her Holiday Brides Series, The Christmas Catch, for free at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.

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7 comments:

  1. It depends on where we are going and what mode of transportation. If we are taking the motorcycle, we board our great Dane. If we are taking our other vehicle, we usually take her with. It all depends on where we are going. She is the easiest to travel with and loves traveling.

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    1. I've heard that about Great Danes--that they're wonderful traveling companions. Sounds like she does well when you take her along!

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  3. We don't travel much because our aging Australian cattle dog now has arthritis and I just don't trust anyone to love and care for her like we do. But after reading your adventure with Maggie, we just might try a road trip with Roo.

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    1. Completely understand your situation, Donna. If you decide to brave a trip with Roo, you'll have to let me know how it went. We're finding more and more places to be "dog friendly" these days, which is a huge help. :)

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  4. Some great ideas you have hit every idea I have had from many years of travel and had ideas that I had not considered. I love that the chamber of commerce in many towns lists pet friend businesses. I learned about taking our water for our dogs the hard way even though we did it for years with no problem.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Billie. I'm glad some of my ideas were helpful. Happy traveling to you and your pets! :)

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