Do Dogs Need Vacations, Too?

chihuahua dog at the beach with a surfboard wearing sunglasses and flower chain on summer vacation holidays at the beach
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You could probably use a vacation. Couldn’t we all? Sometimes we just get burned out and need a chance to relax with a change of scenery. Well, it turns out your dog might feel the same way.

Dogs can get bored, and when they get bored, they can try to relieve frustration by finding their own fun. Dog owners know that can mean destructive behavior that leaves the house looking like a miniature tornado touched down in the living room.

Do dogs really need a vacation, and can it benefit them? Do all dogs need a break from their day-to-day lives?

Here are a few things to think about when it comes to dogs and vacations.

Why Would Dogs Need A Vacation?

Senior African American couple sitting on beach

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Graeme Hall, the star of the television show Dogs Behaving Badly, suggests that dogs need vacations just as much as humans.

He says that wolves are active and work within their packs to hunt down food, which requires them to keep moving around. While dogs are not wolves, they do retain some of their instincts from their ancestors. This wanderlust should be fulfilled once in a while to avoid going stir crazy inside the house.

As dog lovers, we don’t want our pups to feel bored, anxious, or lonely, so taking them along for a holiday trip might be a way to bond and satiate their instincts to get out and be active.

After all, dogs are our family members, and they certainly deserve to enjoy a trip with the rest of their human companions.

How Would Dogs Benefit From A Vacation?

Man walking the Dog at the Harbour of the Old Town of Korcula

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Like humans, dogs can get a lot out of a good vacation. The chance to get out of the house and experience something new can provide a much-needed bit of mental and physical stimulation that will relieve some of the boredom and anxiety of being cooped up in the house.

Anxiety can lead to all kinds of destructive behavior and bad habits, so anything that reduces those feelings will not only benefit your dog, but it might save your house from getting hit by a whirlwind of doggy frustration.

Vacations are also a bonding experience. Have you ever wanted to take a vacation to get closer to your family? You can do the same with your dog. Spending time with your favorite pup can only bring you closer together and strengthen your relationship.

People and dogs who go on vacation are usually more physically active during their holiday. Even a walk on the beach, though relaxing, still gets you moving.

Almost a third of domestic dogs are overweight, so anything that can encourage exercise and activity can help reduce obesity and all of the health problems that come with it.

You may also wish to use your time on vacation to form new, good habits. If you’re active on vacation, keep it up when you get home. Start going for more walks. Play more. Be active.

There may be no better time to start than when you and your pup come home refreshed and in good spirits.

Where Should You Take A Dog On Vacation?

Man and dog sitting on tailgate of off road vehicle, Sequoia National Park, California, USA

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If you’re interested in a winter getaway that will let your dog enjoy the snow, consider taking a trip to a dog-friendly winter resort.

For dogs who like a warmer, summer atmosphere, consider visiting one of the many dog beaches where they can run in the surf and meet fellow vacationing pups. The United States also has a few dog-friendly national parks that can change with each season, and they’re perfect for going for long hikes and burning off some energy.

Sometimes the journey, itself, can be a bit of a vacation. If your dog is a good traveler and enjoys car rides, think about taking them on a road trip where they can experience tons of new scenes and smells that will keep them mentally and physically active.

Camping is always a fun option, too, if your dog is up for it. There are endless options for vacations with dogs, but make sure you can find dog-friendly hotels, attractions, and travel options while you’re planning your trip.

Know Your Dog Before You Leave

Dog in back of car packed for vacation

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Not all dogs are good travelers. Some get very nervous and anxious when they are in the car for a long time, and many dogs would prefer not to ride crated in a plane at all.

Senior dogs can especially grow set in their ways, and change may make them feel more anxious than just staying home. Their physical needs and medical conditions may also make the trip very uncomfortable.

You should have a pretty good idea of your dog’s personality and needs, and you probably know what will make them uncomfortable. If the stress of travel will outweigh any benefits they might get from a vacation, you may want to consider staying closer to home for a “stay-cation.”

For these dogs, you can try going for a walk in a new part of town, visiting a park or attraction that you haven’t been to before, or do something out of the ordinary that will give your dog enough of a challenge without causing undue stress.

Vacations may be good for many dogs, but not all pups are the same, so keep that in mind before you plan a trip.

Do you think your dog needs a vacation? Where would you like to visit with your pup? Let us know in the comments below!