8 Great Weekend Trips to Take with Your Dog
After a long workweek, there is nothing as fun and rewarding as taking a trip with your family. Your four-legged best friend should not be missing, either! Not every destination is suitable for dogs though. Before heading out, make sure that your adventure will be tailored towards accommodating dogs.
Here are 8 great trips to take with your canine companion:
#1 RV Trip
RVs are a fantastic way to see the country, have a place to stay anywhere, and take along your dog, too! You can rent an RV in every medium to large city and take it just about anywhere you’d like. Whether you want to explore a national forest, go fishing or check out a big city, an RV makes it possible – you can even do all of these in one trip!
Most dogs take to the RV life instantly. They enjoy resting there when you drive, and are excited to explore all the new places you take them to.
The only dogs that do not do so well in RVs are dogs that have been car-sick in the past. While some puppies can experience motion sickness, they usually grow out of it by the time they reach adulthood. If your dog has suffered from motion sickness in the past, consult with your vet to see if he is a candidate for anti-nausea medicine before heading out on the RV trip.
You can take the RV to a campground – or stay there in a tent or a cabin. Campgrounds are best for dogs that are very social and enjoy the company of new people and other dogs. Many campgrounds are well-equipped for our canine friends and often feature an off-leash dog park. Some even offer access to agility equipment!
Do not take your dog camping if he has a history of reactivity or aggression. Your dog should be social and well-mannered. Outgoing and friendly breeds such as Poodle mixes do best on campgrounds.
Only very few campgrounds do not allow dogs. To avoid surprises, call ahead and make sure that you are allowed to bring your pup along.
Some national forests (as well as privately owned forests) have started offering yurt stays in recent years. Yurts are large, round tents, originally used by nomads in steppes of Asia. Nowadays, they have become popular in the Western world as secluded vacation homes.
Most yurts will be off the grid—meaning they do not feature running water or electricity. Instead, it will have a well for water and a wood stove for heat.
Staying in a yurt is best suited for medium to large dogs. Very small breeds such as Chihuahuas or Italian Greyhounds can become too cold and uncomfortable in the potentially chilly yurt. For young puppies under 6 months of age, a yurt is also less than ideal.
A larger adult dog, however, will love to spend the weekend with you in the middle of the woods!
#4 Vacation Rental near a Lake
Do you own a Golden Retriever, Labrador or other dog breed who was born to swim? Spending the weekend in a vacation rental near a lake will be a dream come true for your dog. Going for a swim right after waking up, paddle boarding during the day and barbequing on the shore at night will be a wonderful experience for you and your pup.
Some vacation rentals have their own private access to a lake—your dog will love to have his very own swimming spot. This trip is also suitable for dogs that do not get along with others or struggle with reactivity. The secluded nature of some rentals will allow you to not run into anyone.
#5 Dog-Friendly Hotel
If you and your pup love city tours, check into a dog-friendly hotel and start exploring! Many hotels welcome well-behaved, quiet dogs. Staying at hotels is not the best idea if you have an energetic, large-breed puppy, but is ideal for smaller or senior dogs. They will be calm and well-mannered—whether in the hotel room or while out and about in the city.
Strolling through a park, checking out an art gallery and having dinner on a patio is a wonderful way to spend a weekend with your pup. Don’t forget to share an ice cream with him, either!
#6 Rent a Boat
If you enjoy being on the water, why not rent a small boat and spend the weekend on a lake or river with your dog? Whether your dog likes to swim or prefers to stay dry on deck, he will love to spend time with you on (and in) the water.
Prior to heading out for the weekend, make sure your pup has been on a boat before. A small percentage of dogs can get sea-sick. You need to be certain your dog does not fall into this category, and that he will feel comfortable and happy.
If your dog is one who gets nauseous on a boat, it is best to leave him with a trusted dog sitter for the weekend, or to pick a different trip together.
If you like to be active and enjoy the wilderness, how about a backpacking trip with your dog? Sleeping in a tent, washing in streams and carrying everything you need; this adventure will allow you to truly get back to nature with your pup.
While backpacking, you are unlikely to encounter anyone else. Many trails have spotty (or zero) cell phone reception. If you have never been backpacking before, ask a seasoned hiker to accompany you the first time.
It is crucial to carry a doggy first aid kit when heading into the wilderness, so that you can care for small cuts, insect bites or torn nails.
#8 Beach Time
Every dog needs to visit a beach and run in the sand at least once in his lifetime! If you have a beach nearby, make it a weekend trip your dog will remember forever. Take his favorite toys and play fetch in the water, let him race around with other dogs and take some great photos you can later frame.
Just one word of warning: make sure to thoroughly brush your dog at the end of the day and get all of the sand out of his coat. A lot of sand can get trapped in fur, especially in dogs with long and thick coats. The sand can make your dog itch or even cause rashes.
So just before you fall into bed after a fun-filled day at the beach, give your best four-legged friend a good brushing.
The Bottom Line
There are so many different ways to enjoy a weekend getaway with your dog! Do you have a small and social dog? An RV trip, a weekend at a campground or a stay at a dog-friendly hotel in a big city will make him happy.
If you enjoy the outdoors and have an athletic dog, why not try backpacking, spending a few days at the beach, or renting a boat? No matter what you and your dog decide on doing, make sure to take many pictures and make it a trip to remember.
Learn More About The Trainer
Steffi Trott is the owner and founder of SpiritDog Training. Originally training dogs in-person, she added online training to her business in 2018. Steffi strives to provide game-based, positive training solutions for owners and their dogs.
When she is not training, Steffi competes in dog agility or hikes in the New Mexico and Colorado wilderness with her own 4 dogs. Learn more about Steffi by clicking here.