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Traveling with a Senior Dog

Monday, November 11, 2013 - 1:00pm
two dogs standing in field of flowers

Guest blog by Paris Permenter and John Bigley of DogTipper

Is Adopt a Senior Pet Month inspiring you to adopt a senior dog? If so—or if your dog is reaching senior status—you’ll find that many dogs enjoy spending their retirement years just like we humans do: on the road!

We enjoy traveling with our rescue dogs, Irie and Tiki, now six years old, and intend to continue traveling with them as they mature. Healthy senior dogs can enjoy an active lifestyle that includes exploring new destinations.

Regardless of your dog’s age, you’ll want to do plenty of planning to keep your dog comfortable and safe. Preparations we always take include:

  • Bringing the comforts of home. A cushioned dog bed is especially important for older dogs to keep pressure off of joints as they ride.
  • Packing for success. Tummy troubles are no fun on the road. We help avoid stomach stress by packing our dogs’ usual food and treats.
  • Planning, not over-planning. We plan hotel stays and attraction stops, but we don’t try to stick too closely to a timetable. It’s important to leave plenty of time for frequent bathroom breaks, especially for seniors, and for walks to just sniff around and enjoy the new destination.
  • Preparing for problems. We pack a list of veterinarians along our route and at our destination. We plan for more routine issues including potty accidents. Along with paper towels and waste bags, we carry a urine remover like Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator™. (Rug Doctor also supports the ASPCA!) Thanks to quick cleanups, we’ve never lost a pet deposit on a hotel stay.

Perhaps the best preparation we make is to slow down and anticipate the pleasures of traveling with our canines. After all, taking time to stop and sniff the roses is what travel’s all about—regardless of our age.

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the publishers of the award-winning DogTipper.com. The authors of 32 pet and travel books explored the Lone Star State with their dogs Irie and Tiki to fetch dog-friendly destinations for their latest book: DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs. Follow Paris and John on Twitter.

Couple hanging out on the beach with their two dogs