When a pet parent travels!

When you have an incurable case of wanderlust but are also a pet parent, things do tend to get a little complicated, whether we like to accept this or not. I am writing this particular blog piece because this is a topic that I feel strongly about and do realize that many possibly struggle with guilt, uncertainty of what to do and a lack of understanding that one needn’t be compromised for the other.  Firstly let’s acknowledge that choosing to have a pet is a big responsibility. Pets are dependent on you, they need to be cared for, have their needs met, require your attention and affection for a healthy life. So, if you need to be jet setting across the world, you need to act responsibly when it comes to your pet.

I do not necessarily need to give up on my passion to travel, it’s too strong a desire to be ignored. I think the day I decide to quit my travel lifestyle, I’d cease to exist in my truest form. I am constantly driven by the need to go out there and explore and I am pretty sure that is not going to change, so does this mean I cannot have pets?  The day we brought our fur baby home, we made a solemn promise to never let him down, to never forsake him and to always do right by him. And we aren’t about to forget these vows to globe-trot nor are we ready to give up on our traveling. So how does one strike the right balance between these two? I might not have all the answers but I do seem to be able to make it work for us.

Travel planning ahead

I’ve figured the most responsible thing I can do as a travel addict and a pet parent is plan ahead. How would that work you ask? Travel planning ahead, gives you the opportunity to identify the areas that need addressing, it gives you ample time to answer the important questions and it also is a great way to ensure readiness. The first question one needs to ask is if your pet is travelling with you. We have learnt that short road trips are doable and quite enjoyable with a dog but longer trips, especially in new countries is a no-go. Dogs (and most pets I reckon) live by routine, by familiarity, they have a schedule to adhere and if changes happen too fast, too often it can cause distress and make them very anxious.

Ensure key dates before you book your travel

As pet owners we more often than not have a diary, some place we have written record of our pets’ vaccination calendar and doctor visit schedule. This is very important, the worse thing to do would be to underplay this portion. So before I plan my travel, I always check to see if I have impending appointments or medication scheduled to be administered in the dates I am considering to travel on. If yes, then I look at revisiting my travel plan or speak to the vet to explore alternatives that would address these carefully without putting my fur boy in harm’s way. Vaccinating our pet periodically and at the right time is imperative to their health and there is no way I would risk doing this any different.

Find your pet’s alternate home while you travel

If you are hands-on pet parents like my husband and I, then you are going to always find it challenging to trust your baby with anyone else. We are very particular about how he gets treated, if he will be loved and cared for like we would want, what he eats, his daily schedule and his safety is paramount in our minds. Therefore this is a very significant decision to make. Fortunately for us, our fur boy has a second home in my friend’s dog boarding. There, he is loved and looked after like family so we can worry less. So my suggestion would be to look for a support system. It could be a trusted pet boarder, a neighbor, a family or even a pet sitter. But finding ‘THE’ person to fill in for you in a very important ask.

In the days leading up to the travel

Our boy seems to sense when we are going away for a bit. We realized sometime back that he would be a little quiet and perhaps brood on the days leading up to our travel. We tried to think of what we were doing differently and then figured he used to associate our luggage bags with us leaving him. Once we noticed this, we now have started to make it less obvious. We try to associate the luggage with some positive memories involving him, have it lying around even on days we aren’t really going anywhere makes him think of it less as anything out of the ordinary. We try to maintain the atmosphere at home as normal as other days and it seems to help so we must be doing something right.

Travel or not, Safety is always first

Isn’t that statement true? Whether the pet is home with you or left in someone’s care while you are traveling, safety should always be your top priority. If your sitter or boarder is unaware, do share detailed instructions pertaining to your pet’s dietary needs, temperament, behavioral triggers and other related information to avoid confusion or any untoward incident of any form. So right from picking your travel dates, to choosing their temp home, to ensuring all information is shared with clarity will help make your pet’s stay away from you as comfortable as possible. Please remember you TOOK on this responsibility and you must not undermine the seriousness of doing this right.

Last but not the least, try relax. Don’t let guilt overwhelm you, I know this to be true because I used to worry myself to the point of being obsessive about it. But today with time and better understanding of how to deal with this decision I have found a way to keep both responsibilities at check. I manage to indulge the wanderlust in me while ensuring that I take the time to make support and finances available to give him a pleasant time even while we are away. Also, it is very true that your pet reads off your energy and responds accordingly hence it is but imperative that you stay positive and normal. Sending off alarming signals will confuse your pet and you will be doing more damage than any good.

We absolutely love our boy; he means the world to us and there is nothing we would do that would cause him any harm. Being a responsible pet parent doesn’t mean you put your life on hold but it actually implies you think right, do right and plan right. We are no pet experts (And I admit we may not know a lot about pets) but I write this as an honest, responsible pet parent. We are living it; these tips are first hand experiences that have worked for us and our fur boy. Next time you are itching to make a trip, I’m hoping this blog makes it a little easy for you to make those decisions. So don’t worry, yes you can have the best of both worlds; enjoy a pet’s unconditional love and travel to explore the unknowns.

132 Comment

  1. I relate to this very much! I travel once year back home and it is very hard to leave my little one alone. My neighbour adores him so between her and a pet nanny they take care of him while I’m away. But yes, very hard!

  2. It’s so hard to leave your pets when you travel! But so worth it when you come home and are reunited.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I know right!!! That look when you’re back is the BEST <3

  3. I only traveled with my dog when Hurricane Matthew threatened Florida, but I was actually much happier bringing him with me on the trip! It gave me peace of mind. This post is amazing and thorough- thank you for the advice and tips!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I understand and couldn’t agree more, it is easier being with them but sometimes it’s just not gonna be possible 🙂 Thank you for stopping by Angela!

  4. collegeceliackc says: Reply

    Gorgeous photos! And knowing your travel dates ahead of time is SO important. We’ve found that our preferred dog kennel/groomer will fill up fast, so we book our dog’s stay waaaay ahead of time!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Same here, I hate having to keep him anywhere else so I always book ahead. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Good tips. It’s nice when you can travel with your pet. You can fly with your pet in the cabin with you if you have a “companion animal”certificate from s psychiatrist. There’s also an airline, Pet Airways that flies pets in their cabin so they don’t have to fly in cargo which can be dangerous ( if it’s not climate controlled) and definitely scary!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Stephanie I’d love that someday. I am wary about putting him through stress but if it’s done right it will be awesome, I reckon 😉

  6. Liz says: Reply

    Thanks so much for these tips! We just got a puppy and haven’t had to leave her yet, but we will eventually.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Welcome to pet parenthood 🙂

  7. heybeccablog says: Reply

    We just got back from a mini vacation and I was lucky enough to have my mother in law come and house/dog sit. My dog is very used to her as she is over all of the time. All new pet owners should read this. Some don’t know what they’re getting into!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I agree that many are so ignorant. It’s not about having a çute’ pup at home but requires us to be responsible 🙂 <3

  8. Love this blog, soo inventive 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you Amy!

  9. Pet parent travelling is must be hard and lots of things to be consider. This is a nice post, thanks.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      It sure is but not impossible. Taking responsibility and planning ahead sure helps 🙂

  10. nlizanora says: Reply

    Such a toughtful post for a pet parent.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks a ton, glad you think so 🙂

  11. I am currently in the wanderlust/ pet parent predicament! I actually flew home to Alabama with my little fur baby when she was only 10 weeks old and it was QUITE an adventure… She will be coming with me everywhere I go!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      That’s awesome! I wish I could do that with my boy some day.

  12. Great post!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks much!

  13. Dylan says: Reply

    These are great tips that can be super useful. I have a two year old pug who is full of energy and I’d never want to wrong by him to book a trip without any set plans. Find a home while I’m away is always so so important

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I totally agree, I see that you make a great pet parent Dylan Kudos 🙂

  14. awh such a cute puppy!!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you 🙂

  15. I have enjoyed in reading this article a lot of people do not pay that much attention when they travel. You have pointed out some great tips!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Marcella!

  16. Alix says: Reply

    Great tips! I hate having to leave our fur kids 😩 It’s always so hard!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      You’re right very hard and I always worry for him when I am travelling but then if I’ve got to be able to keep that balance in my life-I will need to toughen up 😉 But my boy is well cared for when he’s here and I keep letting him know I am coming back home to him soon- no matter where I go travelling <3

  17. Love this post Sheena! I’m not a pet parent so I don’t deal with this struggle. I just think it’s amazing how dogs can sense when things are a bit different and their attachment to people. Your dog is so adorable by the way 🙂

    Sincerely,
    Thivy Michelle
    http://www.thivymichelle.com

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Thivy <3 They are smart alright, know, sense everything- no hiding from these babies!!! 😉

  18. Really nice post! I guess I was not so lost after all. I wish I could bring my baby to Canada one day! Amazing read!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks hun. I hope and will that to happen. Sending you hugs!

  19. Your dog is gorgeous! I always have guilt when I leave our dog somewhere for a weekend, because she has such separation anxiety. Great tips!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Just like my boy. I always carried guilt over this but now I try to be rationale and ensure I do everything right to my knowing at least :-).

  20. Tara says: Reply

    I LOVE this post for all the fur parents out there!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you Tara, happy to hear you say that!

  21. thanks! very helpful! <3

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you! 🙂

  22. Thanks for sharing! I have a trip in less than a month and totally forgot to find someone to take care of my pet! Great tips!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Lol, glad you found it useful. Hope you had a great trip!

  23. sonali jain says: Reply

    Your dog is really cute 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you 🙂

  24. This is really good information! Also, the dogs are adorable! Are they yours?

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Yes, both the babies are mine. The Lab, Peppa we lost her 2 years back to Lypto but she is always in our thoughts. The blue eyed stud, Calyx is a Siberian Husky and chose us when we never thought it was possibly for us emotionally get attached to another fur baby.

  25. My husband and I leave for vacation in less than two weeks and I’m already freaked out about our dogs. We have a trusted pet sitter staying at our house, and I work in a veterinary clinic and have coworkers on hand to call if necessary. But STILL! It’s always a little nerve wracking!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I totally get it Krysten, tough choices but one look , one wag, one lick and you know it’s all worth it. I am constantly messaging to know how he is doing when I am away. I know I should avoid being so cling but I can’t help but feel the need to be reassured he is fine. More so my boy is adopted so he does experience anxiety and I really hate having him go through stress being away from us. But we do what we can- because life does go on and we must find the ideal balance.

  26. My dog always knows when we are leaving! He acts the exact same! Gets very quiet and antsy. When we are getting ready to finally walk out the door he attaches himself to our hip so we can barely get out of the door. It makes it so much harder to leave his cute face! Great idea for a blog post!

  27. Love this! A lot of people think kitties are a lot easier to leave at home, but I struggle with the same problems!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I am certain all babies are alike. I don’t see how it will be an easier for you with a Kitten than for us with a dog. After all they are all loving squishy balls of love and joy 😉

  28. klee92 says: Reply

    Thank you so much for this post! I am a puppy mom with wanderlust and it’s always the first thing on my mind when planning a trip. I think you nailed it with the necessity of the support network/THE person who will take care of your doggy while you’re on the road.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you for your warm acknowledgement. It is not always easy to explain to people though (non pet parents especially). I have refused opportunities to work abroad or go on extended project periods but I knew I couldn’t bear to leave him behind (and it’s not easy to take him every place) but some do not understand the significance of these babies in our lives 🙂

  29. Nina says: Reply

    Great post! We sort of have a pet (she’s a stray but we feed her and she lives in the backyard) so whenever we go away for more than just a weekend we have someone come over to feed her. Luckily, we have a friend who lives within walking distance from us so it’s not too difficult.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you 🙂 It helps having someone you can trust with your little baby. It is difficult being away but helps to know your little one is cared for.

  30. Erin says: Reply

    This is great info! I’m planning on adopting a dog in the future and figuring out how to keep traveling is definitely something I’ve got to think about.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      If you’ve being toying with the idea and it’s been calling out to you, then by all means you should- it’s not a decision you will regret 🙂 We’ve been two times adopted pet parents, there’s a saying that I truly believe – You don’t adopt them, they do 😉 You will know it to be true when you are there. They choose when they enter your life, they will change it completely and next thing you’ll know you probably need them way more than the other way around. Our fur baby is the light of our lives!

  31. Great Post! I still get anxious leaving our cats when we go on trips and they seem to get anxious whenever they see the duffel bags coming out of the closet. You gave some great advice.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Sarah, it’s difficult for us and for them. What unconditional love right? To be wanted and loved like this by another being <3 It makes me feel sooo very happy reading these comments and knowing I am not alone in this struggle. Best thing though we are blessed to be their 'special person':-)

  32. Flo says: Reply

    I can totally identify with the guilt! I love to travel but I miss my dogs so much when I’m away – “relax” is great advice for a dog parent!

  33. Such a gorgeous dog!!!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you so much Michaela 🙂

  34. My husband and I have chosen not to get a pet because of our travel obsession, but perhaps we can rethink that!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I know what you mean, it’s not the easiest decision to make. But if you think you’ll can make this work then let me caution you 😉 -you are opening up a world of LOVING that will be difficult to do without. In fact, my husband was never a complete dog person until our pet baby decided to choose him to cuddle with in a room full of people. That moment right then changed everything for us, today my husband is more on hands with our fur baby’s needs and we cannot imagine our family complete without these fur balls of love <3

  35. echoesofhervoice says: Reply

    Awww such cute pics! Although I don’t have a dog, I did have a cat, so I understand these tips.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks so much. Calyx sends you some paw love! 🙂

  36. Micki says: Reply

    We have two huskies and two cats. The cats are pretty independent, but those dogs have to know what we are doing at all times. Travel can be difficult for sure. Thankfully we have a pet sitting service who comes and checks on them twice a day, feeds them, gives them treats, and leaves us daily logs and updates. That way they get to stay in their own home, which has turned out to be what is best for their personalities. And we don’t stay gone longer than 2 weeks at a time. While we would love to travel for several months at a time or even travel fulltime, our animals are a part of our family and we made a commitment to them. One day we will travel permanently, but for now we are happy going on our short trips and having our sweet fur family. <3

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Once you welcome them into your lives, it’s all of these decision-making on repeat 🙂 I admit it’s not always easy but once we figure what works best (just like you did) it begins to make so much sense. My fur babies are the BEST thing to ever happen to us and make my life more complete, more meaningful! Thank you for sharing your fur-story with us, it truly brings joy knowing we are loved enough by these little babies to be able to give back in our little ways. They always deserve so much more!

  37. Amy says: Reply

    Ergh! I want a puppy so badly but I’ve lived abroad and moved around so much I haven’t been able to have a pet!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      LOL…. you’re soo cute Amy 🙂 You know don’t plan this, it has a way to fitting itself to your life. They almost always choose you to be their everything and when it happens, you will just know <3 Cheers to some unconditional PAW LOVING!

  38. Amy says: Reply

    Some great tips, and your dog is gorgeous. We holiday within the country so we can take our dog with us.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Amy 🙂 That’s so awesome, we do mange short trips with our fur boy but longer (ones involving flights) can be pretty difficult. I hope someday our boy (BIG BOY)can step into another country with us and enjoy the new everything!

  39. The hardest part about vacations are often leaving our pets behind! My husband and I have four dogs and we like to take them all with us when we can. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t we have a family member, friend, or (trusted) pet sitter come stay at the house the entire time we are gone, not just coming by for bathroom and dinner times.

    We actually bought an RV and traveled around with the dogs for a few years. Now we’re getting down to small dogs only which will make travel even easier (traveling with a 100lb dog, plus 3 others is not an easy feat).

    I love the responsibility that is stressed in this post – they aren’t just animals, like you said, they rely on us. Thanks for this!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you Christy 🙂
      I love the RV travel bit and would love to be able to do that someday with our fur boy. Your 4 dogs are so lucky to have such parents who genuinely cares and takes on full responsibility; in good and bad, easy and difficult!

  40. Great tips. I always use to travel with my dog when he was still with us. Your puppy is beautiful!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you so much Julie 🙂 I hope to one day travel long journeys with him but he’s adopted and I am petrified to cause him any anxiety.

  41. kad8585 says: Reply

    Great post withlots of helpful tips!! I don’t have a pet but if I did I would definitely follow these guidelines. But I love dogs and yous is amazing!!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks a ton 🙂 As I type this my fur boy is sitting right by my feet, watching me type this (and I think he is trying to say thank you, he’s loving the attention :-))

  42. Aw! It’s so hard to leave our fur babies when traveling. Great tips 🙂 And super gorgeous pics of the pup!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      It is right!!! Only thing I hate about travel is the fact that I leave a piece of my heart back home. Thank you 🙂

  43. Awww! This post is so cute! I don’t have a pooch but know exactly what you mean. I hate when people don’t take full responsibilty for their animals. So could’nt agree more 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Miriam, I’ve said this so many times to people I know. It’s not about a cute pup but a life you taking in. So many decisions to make today, so many challenges to address in time to come and so many sacrifices that will be asked of you. If someone isn’t ready to take it all with the ups and downs they shouldn’t bring home a pet (or baby ;-)). I think if more thought responsibly we’d have fewer abandonment cases 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!

  44. This is a great post. I have a cat and I struggle with this ALL the time. I’m always on the road or on a plane and I feel this guilt every time I have to leave him. He senses it, and he gets very angry with me if I take him to someone’s place to babysit him. Sometimes he won’t want to come back with me when I go to pick him up. That’s a cat for you unfortunately, so sensitive! Now I give my key to a friend and have them come visit my cat every day while I’m away. Whoever that person is I make sure they are responsible and will feed him and ensure that he’s taken care of while I’m gone. It’s hard, but what else can we do? 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Classic tantrums! My fur boy does that too. Sometimes I’m not sure if he is angry with me for having left him in the boarding or angry about me picking him up 😀 Calyx’s personality is pretty vocal and expressive. He will let us know how he is feeling though I do admit something with the howling (he thinks he is talking) and the tail wagging, I struggle to figure what he’s trying to say. But once he’s home he only wants to snuggle, follow us around, give us a lick-up, stare at us with those cute eyes and then when he’s done he finds himself a comfortable spot to fall asleep with his legs in the air ;-). He makes me fall in love with him everyday, his antics are hilarious but he is so loving too. These fur babies are so funny and adorable. It is not easy, I agree and sometimes can be very very challenging but the loving we receive from them makes it all okay right! 🙂

      1. I completely agree! I get the same thing from my little guy. When he finally comes home, he start running around the house, and finding places to roll around. I think it’s just their sensitivity coming out, trying to tell us they aren’t happy that we left them but that they’re glad we’re finally home and so are they lol. Can’t live without them that’s for sure, wouldn’t this for the world 🙂 Sometimes though, I wish I could take mine away with me. If only travel was a little more animal friendly haha. Your baby is such looker though, I’ve always wanted one, and I’m close to getting one. My hubby wants a Bernese Mountain dog and I want a Husky… We are going to have to decide on one, I’m just glad they’re both outdoor types !!

        1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

          I apologize for having responded late but I think you are an amazing pet parent. Whether you decide on a Husky or a Bernese Mountain dog, know that they are going to be as blessed in having chosen you. I couldn’t agree more on the ‘wish travel was more pet friendly’. It is quite a challenge especially when you got to take long flights (too stressful for them) and I admire those parents that can do this seamlessly. One day, I’ll hopefully be able to make him get on new soil 😉 one day! Lots of love and Calyx sends some fur hugs and drooled laced kisses :-D!

  45. Tamsin says: Reply

    !!! I’m so glad I cam across this post/advice. I am dealing with this exact guilt right now. I am leaving to travel long-term later this year, I’ll be away for about a year. I have two cats who are 5 years old. I’ve had them since they were kittens. I am so grateful to my family for agreeing to take care of them whilst I’m away. I could not or would not leave them with strangers. I even feel guilty and I haven’t left yet, I completely understand the guilt you speak of in this post. Thank you for writing this 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I’m so glad to hear from you and let me tell you what you feel is so normal. We’ve all been there and sometimes still do. It’s not easy to stay away from a piece of your heart for long periods but then sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Life is tough but we can work around it and of course our BABIES will always continue to love us unconditionally and greet us with excitement when we return. 🙂 I sometimes talk to my fur boy before I travel, (please don’t judge me :-)) I tell him “Mama needs to go for a few days, you be good, eat, walk, bark, pee-poop etc… everything you normally do with your friends at the boarding. We are coming back for you and you need to be good so mama-papa can do what they need to”.”I know it’s pretty juvenile but it has a calming affect of my boy and I don’t know but I like to believe he understands 🙂

  46. such a cute dog

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks so much!

  47. Carrie says: Reply

    We have a cat, and I always feel bad leaving him when we travel, but I know that he’s going to be ok since we always make sure to have people who are real animal lovers come and take care of him. They are part of our family, so we have to make sure that we take good care of them.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I completely agree Carrie. I’d hate for someone to ill-treat him when I’m away, it would break my heart and make me very mad 😀 I’d rather take my time ensuring the person I leave him with, loves him and his needs so that he is cared for. Couldn’t agree more, THEY ARE FAMILY!

  48. backpackingdetours says: Reply

    Your dog is beautiful! We have the same issues, but luckily have family around to help out with our dog when we are gone. I do feel a little bit guilty when we are someplace and I see happy dogs.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Yes, that’s the worst. I am always looking at other dogs and thinking of my fur boy back home. In fact, plenty times I’ve imagine, perhaps that other dogs warm up to us more during our travels and we tell ourselves (again imagine), it’s our boy sending us some paw love knowing we miss him as much! Here’s to more safe, happy travels and MOREEEEEE Paw love!

  49. We have 5 pets, two dogs and three cats. It’s difficult flying off with the dogs as they have to be boarded. That requires more planning.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      WOW… you’ve got yourself a really happy big family of love 🙂 I wish I could have more pets but it’s a big challenging decision to make for us now. But I completely admire what you do. Thank you Laryssa!

  50. This was one of the most paramount aspects of our lives when we chose to move abroad to Ecuador last year. We have two large rescue dogs and we find them both to be very attached to our family. After months of thought and deliberation, we came to the conclusion that our dogs are truly better off with us than separated from us. We made the decision to bring them with us on our move abroad. In our situation it has been a delightful experience and our dogs truly enjoy travelling with us.

    But, it has not come with a lot of sacrifices and many, many considerations in our plans. I think traveling with your pets can work (if the dogs have the right personality and the parents have the right attitude). There are a million places that are not appropriate for our pets, and that means we don’t go there. We typically avoid cities, hotels, and any situation that would mean us leaving them alone in a car. As you can imagine these are major aspects of travel and they have had an enormous influence on our travel style.

    We feel enriched by the choices traveling with dogs has caused us to make. We often seek out rural destinations or small villages. It has enabled to search a little deeper for unique experiences over the typically touristy expectations. We have found that the world does love dogs and when you ask the appropriate host…they are usually not a problem. Campsites, farm stays, and even National Parks are usually a big hit for us. We have fascinating stories to tell, that most others have not experienced. We may never visit museums, castles, or the Eiffel Tower…but we honestly are not interested in those type of places anyway. Our travels have come to focus on Eco Tourism and Agro Tourism, Van Life, and deep cultural experiences that welcome our pets.

    We love to encourage others to consider travelling with their pets, but we never suggest that EVERYONE should. Dogs are just like people, and can be very sensitive to routine and lifestyle preferences. It not a decision to be taken lightly and is just as important to carefully consider as it iswhen deliberating whether to travel with young children or not.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you so much for your message. I completely agree 100%, these fur-babies are no different than any of us. If they can take the travel, it will only make it that much more enjoyable but should we think it’s not going to work and be detrimental then rather have them stay behind in good care. You bring up an essential point, being a pet parent comes with loads of responsibility and SACRIFICES, it’s not all easy, but totally worth it 🙂 It’d be nice if more people thought like you before bringing home a pup. I hate that I hear more abandonment stories because they couldn’t keep up with the changes and compromises they’d have to make to their life.

      It’s a HUGE decision, but if someone can see it through the end, it’s beautiful. My fur-babies mean the world to me. I lost one sometime back but not a day goes without me thinking of her. And just when I thought I could never replace her by bringing in another pet Calyx barged into our lives. He’s adopted but today he is everything. We often turn down visits or weekend plans if it’s not pet friendly and we have no better alternative for him. I believe with all sincerity for the unconditional love these babies give us, these are but little sacrifices they do deserve soooo much more.

      1. I hear you on that, I have always been bothered by those who get dogs as just another animal. There are family members really, and there is not better way to say it. They deserve the world, and like you said, all of the care and compassion that they give to us…in return! It is heart breaking to seen them discarded with then suddenly become inconvenient. Being a parent of any sort, towards children or pets, comes with a huge load of responsibility. And #1, never leave anyone behind or forgotten. It our duty to take responsibility for their well being until the very end!

  51. Not a pet parent but it’s very useful to know these things!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you for stopping by Stephanie 🙂 Much appreciate!

  52. Map and Magnets says: Reply

    Interesting post!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks a ton!

  53. Great post. When you are a pet parent, you have a responsibility towards your pet and traveling might become tricky if you don’t plan in advance. Beautiful dog!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you 🙂 That’s so true, just a little selfless, responsible planning ahead helps immensely!

  54. Great piece! Your dog is gorgeous! Love the passion behind this topic, I agree with you 100%.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you so much 🙂 This fur boy means the world to me, I do hope I can always do right by him.

  55. Flo says: Reply

    I appreciate this…I love to travel and I sometimes feel guilty leaving my fur baby! She always left in the best hands though even if I’m paying a premium price

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      That’s soooo important, the responsibility is not just love but financially dependent too. I wish more parents would get this part (there are too many abandoned babies because of just this as they grow up and don’t necessarily fit into someone’s lifestyle). I love that you’ve been a wonderful parent. Much love from one pet parent to another!

  56. nicki says: Reply

    I remember only too well the guilt I had when on Honeymoon and missing the furbaby. Great read

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I understand that so well, it’s only normal when we treat them like our little babies 🙂 They are precious, aren’t they? <3

  57. Love this article! I have one babydog, and my hubby and I are able to travel often. It normally entails dropping him off with my parents, which is 5 hours round trip. However, it definitely works. He loves his vacations with my family, and we still get to go on ours.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      I LOVE that you take that 5 hours trip so he can have a pleasant time even when you’ll aren’t around. That is the kind of dedication that inspires me and warms my heart. Happy Travels and more paw love!

  58. You have an absolutely gorgeous dog. I can’t have a dog because of apartment life (gotta love it) but I hope to in the future, so thanks!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      It’s the same with us, we fortunately live in a complex that allows pets and also has ample space for exercises and walks. I wasn’t kidding when I said my fur boy dominates our life, now every decision needs to fit into his needs 🙂 But it’s all worth it!

  59. Your dog is gorgeous. I don’t really travel a lot but I have an upcoming trip out of state. I will be going by train and I recently found out amtrak allows small dogs. However, I don’t think my dog will do well with that so I am looking at finding a reputable business to keep him while I am out of town. I feel guilty just thinking about it but I am going to take your advice and relax.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you and yes, don’t let it mess with how you feel. We’ve all been through that dreadful feeling (and sometimes still do) but as long as you are doing everything you can to do right by your fur baby, it will work out. Do enjoy your trip. You sound like an amazing pet parent, thank you 🙂 <3

  60. AnkitNawlakha says: Reply

    Never even though of something like ‘Pet Parenting’.. Thank You. Amazing read.

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Ankit, so happy to hear your kind words. These fur babies are the BEST thing, truly!!! 🙂

  61. Wow your dog is so beautiful! I grew up with a husky that looked similar and had anxiety anytime that we traveled and still are super protective of who can watch our fur babies while we are out. Love this post!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Emily. Also I think it might be a Husky thing, they love their pack way too much to almost being dependent. Ours is an adopted baby so it’s more when he doesn’t see either of us around. BUT at the boarding with other dogs and a schedule to distract it’s like he’s in a camp, he loves it there 🙂

  62. thatssodarling says: Reply

    This is all great to know! Thanks for sharing! and your dog is soon adorable!

    XO-Lisa
    http://www.thatssodarling.com

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Lisa, Calyx say woof woof (he loves a compliment ;-))

  63. Good one… Worth reading… Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  64. I never even thought about this! I am a huge dog lover and hope to have a few Newfies later on and this is such a great post to refer back to! Love it! And cute pup 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thank you 🙂 They have a way to enter your life. None of our fur-babies were ever planned. Both were either rescue or adopted and at a point when we were least expecting to add to the family. They are special and your life will never be the same again <3

  65. I have two furbabies and we always ask someone to stay at our house when we travel, usually a family member. Both of our dogs are very active so they need to be run once a day, which makes it tricky when trying to find someone suitable to stay with them! Great post 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      My brat is exactly like that but is adopted so gets anxious if he doesn’t see us around in the house. Having him in boarding where he is distracted with activities and a schedule seems to work for him 🙂

  66. Pria says: Reply

    Am not a pet parent (yet!) but this was a good read 🙂

    1. Sheena Benedicta says: Reply

      Thanks Pria, glad you think so 🙂

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