So the blog has been pretty quiet over the past six months. Life has been changing for me and there have been things that have moved my focus away from traveling, blogging, and writing. I’m getting to sharing them all, but one of the best changes in my life over this time is I got a dog! So now, on top of everything else I’m balancing as a Traveling Nine to Fiver is being a traveling dog owner.
I’ve been a dog lover my entire life, but as an adult, I’ve never been around or had the space for my own dog. Especially since I have a thing for rather large dogs. As much as I still love to travel I’m ready to be home more and have had some changes that give me the backyard I need. So this summer I did the crazy thing and adopted a rescue dog!
While I haven’t gotten his DNA test back yet, he’s a rather large (only 100 lbs) big black mutt that I think is mostly labrador and shepherd. He’s basically a grim who I named Sirius.
Over these past six months, we’ve bonded, become best friends, and I now can’t imagine my life without him. But that doesn’t mean my life has entirely changed. I’m working on being home more but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped exploring or stopped traveling. Now that I’m a dog owner this means different things. I’ve only just started this adventure but I’ve learned a couple things that are working for me so far on what it means to be a traveling dog owner.
Finding Your Support as a Traveling Dog Owner
It takes a village. That’s true is so many aspects of life and it’s definitely true as a dog owner. Having a friend or two who is willing to watch your pup when you’re gone makes a huge difference as a traveling dog owner. Having someone who you trust with your pup makes a huge difference. Also, if you have a friend or two you can pay in meals or beverages that doesn’t hurt either.
If you do have these folks in your life make sure to make sure they know that you appreciate their help. Not only will they become some of your dogs closest friends but also make sure they know the impact they make on your life.
Paying for Good Sitters
As great as it is to have friends and family who will help you out with your dog, there are sometimes they won’t be available. This is when having a couple professional dog sitters on hand makes a difference.
Whether its travel over the holidays or you need someone to pop in and walk your dog when you’re on a long day trip having a couple folks who’ve gotten to know your dog is an amazing resource. I’ve loved using Rover since you get to read reviews on the sitter, can do a meet and greet too, and the app is great for communicating with them whether they are walking your dog or watching them for the week. If you want to give it a try, you can get a discount with my link here (and I get credit too).
At the same time, you need to work this cost into your travel. If I’m planning overnights without my dog I need to add $35 a night or more to each night I’m gone. Same thing with long day trips. It’s a $15 cost to be gone for me than eight hours.
Taking Your Pup With You
One of the best parts of being a traveling dog owner is getting to take your pup on adventures with you. Whether it’s a dog-friendly day trip or a week-long road trip there is a huge potential for traveling with your dog.
Local day trips are a great way to start traveling with your dog. You can visit great places whether it’s an outdoor adventure or a place where you’re visiting outdoor spots they can hang out. So far with my pup, we’ve taken a beach trip to Santa Cruz and a doggy day trip to the Napa Valley. You know your dog so you know what’s good for them but day trips are a great way to make memories with your dog.
If you’re looking for a longer adventure it’s very doable to travel with your dog. So many hotels today allow dogs to stay with you! Many chains and boutique hotels allow your pup to stay with you for a reasonable fee. Additionally, there are so many campgrounds that are great for traveling dog owners.
Training Matters for the Traveling Dog Owner
To make all of this work it’s important to have a strong relationship between you and your dog. Training teaches you how to communicate with your dog and helps your dog understand your expectations of them. It’s a great thing for a traveling dog owner to have a well-trained dog.
At the same time, training is a great way to bond with your dog. Teaching them new things is a great way for your dog to grow and helps them build trust in you.
Whether it’s day trips, week-long trips or more, having a great relationship with your dog and knowing their training allows you to take them on so many more adventures.
Being a Traveler and a Dog Owner Aren’t Mutually Exclusive
A love for travel and a love for our pets can go hand in hand. I’ve been a dog lover for as long as I can remember. And as much as I’ve loved travel my whole life, when I was young I want a dog even more than I wanted to travel.
Being a traveler and a dog owner means making choices, means having a little extra cost to a trip or it might mean coming home sooner. But being a traveling dog owner is a beautiful thing when you find the balance.