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  • Writer's pictureCattle Dogs And Company

How to be the Perfect Guest with Dogs

Dog friendly vacation rentals are becoming more abundant with the increase in people traveling with dogs and looking for (nice) places to stay. However, of course, allowing dogs comes with some risk on the property owner's part. By taking some time to plan ahead, set your dog up for success and being mindful of your impact on the property, you can help demonstrate that dog owners make great guests!

Assuming your dog is ok with travel and staying in new environments taking them on vacation can be a fun and rewarding experience. If travel or new environments are challenging for your dog that's ok! There are lots of ways you can prepare and help them, but that is a post for another day! This post will address things to do at your vacation rental so you can be the model guest with dogs!


Tip 1: Give the dogs plenty of exercise.


Time spent in the car and arrival at a new exciting place may result in a dog that has a hard time to settle. Ensuring the dogs get adequate exercise can help expel some of that built up energy. While exercise before setting out on the journey may not always be feasible, getting in some exercise on route or upon arrival can help. If the drive to the destination is long, consider planning a stop at a park or even a hike on the way to the accommodation.


Once at the destination and checked in we like to get the dogs out for a walk around the area. This allows them to check out the new surroundings and burn off some energy. Don't under estimate the power of letting the dogs sniff. Sniffing is a calming behaviour for dogs, so letting them check out all the new smells can help them relax in the new space.


Tip 2: Always Scoop the Poop!


This should go without saying, but always clean up after your dog. Even if you think it is well out of commonly trafficked places. Even if you think no one will notice it. Even if you are in the middle of nowhere. You are on someone else's property and there will be other guests after you. This also includes disposing of the poop properly. Ask your host where on the property dog waste should be disposed of. Many accommodations have outdoor bins that are suitable, but will not want you to dispose of it inside the rental. And let's be real, do you want to smell that on your relaxing vacation? And please don't leave full bags all over the property. If there is no proper disposal bin on site, you may have to pack it out to a garage bin off site. Yup put it in the car and drive that s@!% to a bin. I'll be frank here, you need to get over the opposition to doing this. You already did the gross part and picked it up. There are many commercially made products designed to hold full waste bags so you can pack them out without mess and smell.


If being a good guest isn't enough to make you pick up the poop and dispose of it properly, here are some dog poop facts. Dog stool can carry parasites that could affect wildlife, other dogs that are guests on site and even people. Children and immunocompromised people are more susceptible to zoonotic parasites. Check out www.petsandparasites.org for information on companion animal parasites and zoonotic transmission. Dog poop also carries significant environmental impact when left behind, so while single use plastic bags suck, picking up the waste is still the best option.



Tip 3: Wipe the Paws Before Going Inside


You wouldn't walk all through the space with muddy shoes (I hope!) so don't let your dog! Help keep the space clean and in good condition by wiping your dogs's paws before entry. Even if it doesn't seem like their paws are dirty, at least inspect them to ensure they aren't muddy/dirty. We pack "dog towels" with us for this purpose. There are also commercially available dog wipes for this purpose. We try to use these sparingly, as they are a disposable product, which is not as environmentally or budget friendly.


Tip 4: Bring a Blanket from Home


Not only do planets from home provide familiarity for your dog that may help them settle and rest easier, they also provide protection to the bedding and furniture in the accommodation. This reduces the chances of tracking any dirt or mud you missed from Tip 3 onto fabric surfaces and also helps cut down the amount of dog hair left behind.



Tip 5: Bring Toys and Chews to Keep them Busy


While you might be ready to relax, vacation can be very exciting for the dogs. New places, people and lots of activity may have them a bit over stimulated. Bringing toys and chews can help give them an outlet for this energy and keep them occupied while you get some R&R. Of course, just as at home always supervise your dog with toys and chews to ensure they are being used appropriately. Toys and chews can also help keep your dog from deciding to find their own toys in the room and avoid damages.


Bonus Tip: Groom Before You Go


Consider having your dog groomed, or grooming them yourself prior to leaving for vacation. This can help reduce the amount of hair they shed and leave behind. Trimming the nails can reduce the chance of nails damaging the floors or other surfaces.



Most importantly have fun and enjoy your vacation with your dogs! What are your tips for being a good guest with dogs? Leave them in the comments!


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