How to Travel with Dogs

How to Travel with Dogs (1)

I only considered traveling with one dog. A yappy dog. A dog who on occasion tears around the house in a tirade of twists and turns, kicking up dust and scattering rugs in her wake. Kennelling our dog has become highway robbery between $42-47 per night. But that wasn’t the reason I relented and brought her along to Aspen. (There’s an extra hotel fee for dogs.) It was a last minute trip over Memorial Day. Everyone was booked.

Danny found a hotel that catered to dogs. Aspen Mountain Lodge.

Would I like staying in a dog hotel? Would I lay sleepless while listening to the whimper of whippets? The howls of bloodhounds? The growls of protective Pomeranians?

What about our own four-legged alarm system?

One time when our daughter, Courtney, moved into a new apartment, I left Roxy inside while I made a trip to the car to unload. She lost it. By the time we got back, her piercing yelps could be heard in the lobby. Whoa.

Not only did I worry about upsetting the neighbors in the hotel, concerns about cleanliness arose. Would I want to stay in a dog hotel? Would it smell?

What were we getting ourselves into?

I brought her bed, dog dishes, treats, and a short leash. I had read where Aspen frowns on retractables. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

When we arrived, I was pleased to see a bright, clean, and quiet lobby. There was a special concierge to welcome Roxy too!

She was moving too fast to get a good shot.

Welcoming committee

Our room was located on the top floor. More exercise for us since we would have to let her out a few times a day. At least we wouldn’t hear any prancing feet above us. The top floor rooms were bigger than the rest. Bonus.

Decked out in oak decor, it was super clean and smelled as fresh as the air that poured in from the porch. They made the bed with a top sheet which was washed every day along with the linens. No need to freak out when Roxy jumped on top to check out the softness of the bed. Good thing, since she left tracks.

We took her for a walk to wear her out before dinner. We would leave her for the first time. Gulp.

Aspen is a super dog-friendly town. Water dishes sat in front of many shops. They allowed dogs inside. We leashed her next to us on the fence of an outside patio while we had a bite to eat. Restaurants won’t allow dogs inside.

Traveling with dogs. Me and Roxy in Aspen. What to expect and how to travel with pets so they have a good time too! #Travel #traveltps #travelwithdogs #pets #dogs

When we returned to the room, we cleaned up and dressed for dinner. I showed Roxy her bed, gave her a biscuit, and told her to stay. Then I crossed my fingers.

As we walked down the stairs, I heard a whimper but she stopped whining once we got to the front desk. Maybe we were too far away to hear her. *insert shrug here*

After dinner and a stroll through town, we walked back to the hotel. Roxy heard us talking in the hall. She whined and then yipped at the door. I looked around at the closed doors in the hall and hoped now one would complain. Danny stabbed his card into the slot, but it wouldn’t turn green. Mine didn’t work either. I tried to calm her down by talking to her. Danny raced to the front desk to get different cards. They worked. Whew.

Once inside, she settled down in her bed. We all slept soundly.

We took her hiking with us the next afternoon. The Hunter Creek Trail allows dogs on leash until you get the top. Then you can let them go free to roam or in Roxy’s case, stay close by and pant.

Hunter Creek Trail Travel with dogsLater, we shopped in town. Danny bought skis on super sale and carried them while holding the leash. I popped in and out of stores.

Cute dogs are conversation magnets. Compounded with skis, he received invitations and business cards. No lie!

Taking Roxy along worked out pretty darn well. I would do it again, for a weekend. Even though she slept between walking in town and hiking, she crashed out for two days straight when we got home. She had a great time!

Dirty and dang dog tired.

Traveling with dogs

Have you ever brought your dog on vacation? Would you consider it? Have you been to Aspen?

Click for more of life’s adventures, travel, and inspiration!

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What was she thinking?

54 thoughts on “How to Travel with Dogs

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  1. I loved this. My dog has such a freak-out when we leave her at the kennel that I’ve decided not to do it anymore, except in dire situations (it’s not the kennel’s fault–it’s clean, the staff are friendly, and they love her). I’ve pretty much resigned myself to not going on vacation anymore, but we would definitely consider pet-friendly places within driving distance from our home. Good to hear of someone else’s experience. I’m wondering how a VRBO would be.

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  2. We take ours on trailer trips. They ride in a crate in the back of the truck and then are with us in and around the trailer. They know the routine and are happy traveling like this. I think having them along in a hotel would be harder, but with only one dog, like you did, it would be okay. I would have the same concerns as you did about the condition of the room but I guess that’s why you pay extra, for the extra cleaning needed. But it sure beats leaving them behind in a kennel where they fret about whether you’re ever coming back for them.

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    1. Exactly! I think she really enjoyed it and would relax into the routine next time. I was surprised at how quiet the hotel was. They must get a sense that they’re sharing the territory so they don’t bark to protect it.
      Thanks, Anneli!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the last photo. Roxy looks tuckered, in a cute way, of course. I don’t have a dog, but I’ve often wondered how you travel with one. Sounds like you have it figured out.

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    1. Thanks, Ally! Yep, she was super dirty and tired. She was in the back of my mind when we were out, but I’m glad we didn’t stay home! I would guess that after doing it a few times, we would both relax. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to bring my other dog camping. He was awesome because he LOVED the car. When I needed to calm him down or keep him quiet I just put him in the car with all the windows down. I didn’t have to drive anywhere, just put him in the back seat or the bed of the truck and he’d be an angel.

    My current dog came with us across country when we moved so we had to find pet friendly places to stop every night (can you say Motel 6?). He was fine as long as one of us stayed with him. If we all left together he barked the whole time. He has separation anxiety so it was a bit challenging. We ate in shifts or brought take out back to the room. I would never even consider traveling with him. He’s a big baby.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    1. I watched a Dog Whisperer about separation anxiety one time. He said the dog was actually yelling at the owners to stay home or come back. Ha!
      We might have been super lucky that weekend. I was so surprised at how quiet it was at full vacancy. I’ll be more relaxed next time.
      Thanks, Patricia!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Roxy freaking out makes me think of Lauren on Tuesday. At fifteen pounds, she’s hard to carry, so it was a blessing to be able to get a cart to push her into the new vet. I loved it, she was SO UPSET! She didn’t just do the usual traveling meows, I’d say she was outright YOWLING!

    I wasn’t going to do a post, but cat drama is just the sort of thing I usually write about, so I ought to get cracking after lunch. 😉

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  6. Our dogs do not do well in kennels. Since they are rescues they still have a fear of separation. We take them wherever we go. Good thing we have seen a lot since they definitely require careful planning. We have had brief stints with sitters but nothing extensive. My wife and I take separate trips when flying is involved.

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  7. Ha, I like this post. We haven’t gotten a dog, even though we want one, because we travel (and camp) a lot and I haven’t wanted to pay for boarding / pet sitting or be limited in our travels. I joke that when we have more than two kids and can’t afford to travel anywhere anyway that we’ll get a dog! 😉

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    1. That’s a good point! Although, we took our kids everywhere. You can pack them in your hotel room! We saw a family with a dog and four kids come out of a room in that same hotel! Amazing!
      Thanks so much, Kaya!

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  8. I’ve never stayed at a dog-friendly hotel as just like you, always wondered about the smell, cleanliness, and noise – then again, humans are pretty noisy in hotels!

    I really miss having a dog and haven’t had one since high school. Apart form living on a boat for 21 years and thinking it’s cruel on a boat (my opinion), I travel too much, so it’s selfish. Dogs are like children. But unlike children, you can’t take dogs to many national parks – at least in Australia you can’t.

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    1. Life on a boat must be grand!
      Same here with National parks. Boulder isn’t dog-friendly either. I was amazed that dogs were allowed most places in Aspen. Dogs are like children. A huge responsibility!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was fantastic. I found it difficult to adjust to land once I moved off…but another story.

        I haven’t been to Boulder since 2001. I was sent there by work for a couple of weeks of training. Sadly, I didn’t see too much.

        Indeed a huge responsibility and think sometimes people forget.

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  9. Very brave of you to take Roxy along but it sounds like it all worked out really well. Understandable that they can feel a bit ‘off’ being in a strange room in a strange place. I guess that’s why a lot of people get in housesitters in isn’t it?

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    1. I bet! We took Avalanche to Wisconsin a long time ago. It was a nightmare. She ran away every time someone opened the door and jumped up on an elderly lady. Even though she was also a Bichon, she scratched her legs. Touch! Never again. It would be different if they were set up for dogs.
      Great to see you, Kitt!

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  10. Duuuuude the prices are crazy for housing your dogs everywhere, and here it’s even crazier. We were lucky when we had Pinta, we were able to have my Dad or cousin babysit. I hear there’s a new babysitting app for dogs too, Rover? Don’t know about prices or anything but it’s there if you’re next trip doesn’t have doggy friendly hotels. I’m so glad that it was a good trip though and Roxy was enjoyed her outing so much she relaxed 🙂

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    1. Hey Guat!
      My daughter uses Rover. It does sound cheaper, but I worry that Roxy would get outside loose and make a run for it. I would definitely try it in a pinch. Which reminds me. We’re going backpacking next weekend and I need to book her for two nights!
      Any trips for you on the horizon?
      Thanks, Guat!

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  11. Sounds like fun, Miss Susie. Our dog isn’t well behaved enough for travel, but that’s our fault. We started out with training and lessons and reinforcement, then abandoned the whole deal a week later.

    I like your new set up, BTW. Very clean and hip!

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    1. Good Monday morning, Miss Peggles!

      I really worried about leaving Roxy. Since our luggage was in the room, she must have figured we’d come back sometime.

      Thank you! I tried out the new theme and somehow it published! Had a heart attack when I realized my old theme was retired and I couldn’t go back. No surprise there since I’ve been doing this so long. Ha! I like it better now that my heart has adjusted to a normal rate. 🙂

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  12. Aww, she’s adorable! I would love to travel with dogs later, since we’re planning to get a few but we love traveling too. Thanks for sharing your experience! Will definitely need this 🙂

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  13. I have four dogs, and this will DEFINITELY improve travel!!!!!!! TYSM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(please follow me, I’m new)

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  14. That’s so fun! Aspen is a great place, and I’m glad you were able to take your dog! My husband and I just got a puppy a few months ago. We might just have to take her that way 🙂

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