Traveling With Your Dog - Part 1

Kate Abbott, Petra Burke & Liz Palika  on Pet Life Radio

Petra, Kate and I, and our significant others, all enjoy traveling with our dogs. Granted, we also travel without them once in a while. But when you bring your dog with you, it adds a different perspective to things. You may notice things you wouldn’t have otherwise seen. In addition, it’s fun to watch the dog’s reactions to new situations. However, traveling with a dog requires some preparation. This show will help you make sure you and your dog are ready to take off together.


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“It’s a big world out there, and you are just looking for a pat on the back or head, you run around the city searching for a place to bark, working your tail off, with your nose to the ground sniffing for a few scraps hoping someone will throw you a bone.  You take each lead, collar after collar, hoping one day to take a bite out of success and become the top dog.  Fortunately, you come home each day to open arms, open cans of drink waiting for you and a comfortable place in front of the TV set; you know you got it good, really good, because after all it’s a doggy dog world out there.

Pet Life Radio presents “It’s a Doggy Dog World “with your host, pet expert and award-winning author, Liz Palika and this week’s co-hosts, Kate Abbot and Petra Burke.

Liz Palika:  Welcome to “It’s a Doggy Dog World.”.  I am your host Liz Palika and with me tonight are my good friends, Kate Abbot and Petra Burke from Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center in Vista, California.  We are recording this from Motel 6 in Morro Bay, California.  We are in the midst or half way through our annual trek.  Every year we take a trip with a dog or two or three and leave all our significant others at home and this year we are headed up the coast from San Diego to Big Sur, California.  But before we go into the details as to why we are telling you all about this trip and perhaps sharing the fact that we are having fun and you might be working, we need to take a break for our sponsors.  So hold on, don’t go anywhere and we will explain more about what we are talking about as far as traveling with dogs in just a minute.


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We know you are begging for more, so back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World” with your fetching hosts, Liz Palika and this week’s co-hosts, Kate Abbot and Petra Burke.

Liz Palika:  Welcome back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World.”  I am your host, Liz Palika.  With me tonight are my good friends, Petra Burke and Kate Abbot of Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center in Vista, California.  We are half way through our annual doggy trip and we just want to share some ideas about traveling with your dogs, some preparations ahead of time to make the trip safer for you and your dog and more fun for you and your dog and some things you can do during your travels.

Kate Abbot: Before you even leave home, think about the things that you need to take with you.  You are going to need copies of your vaccination shot and then the other medical records for your dog; things to pack in your dog’s bags, well poop bags to carry with you. Food, you want to take the food that your dog is used to having.  It is no fun traveling with a dog that has an upset stomach.  Make sure you bring enough food for the whole vacation, water that they are used to having at least for the first couple of days, brushes.  We walked through the Redwood forest today with Walter also known as the “swiffer” and it took her a whole good 20, 30 minutes to brush out all of the debris that he brought back with him.

Petra Burke: Bowls, don’t forget bowls.

Kate Abbot: Bowls.

Petra Burke: Most common thing that can be forgotten.

Liz Palika: And two toys.

Kate Abbot: Two toys and then the other toys.

Liz Palika: Then the other toys.

Kate Abbot: I put two of Walter’s red balls in his bag just in case I lost one.

Liz Palika: And Petra forgot to bring a tennis ball for Keely.  So, Keely found one.

Petra Burke: She has been hunting for what, three days in seaweed debris on the beach and she found a tennis ball, so I feel like a very bad mom.

Kate Abbot: But she was very proud.

Petra Burke: Yes.

Kate Abbot: And make sure that any flea and tick products are up-to-date, especially if you are going to be hiking in an area with ticks.  With Walter, I got an additional collar wrap onto which I could put contact information.  His city dog license isn’t going to do a lot of good up here.  So, I enclosed a piece of paper that has his name, my name, my cellphone number and the cellphone number of Liz and Petra.

Petra Burke: But don’t assume cellphones work in every area as we have learned on this trip.


Petra Burke: So, you want to make sure your contact is somebody who is home, who can get to a phone, who has a cellphone that has a signal.
Kate Abbot: A signal, first is good.

Liz Palika: Or somebody at home who knows where you will be staying.

Kate Abbot: Right. So, some way to reconnect you with your puppy dog in case the awful thing happens that they get separated from you.  First Aid kit.

Liz Palika: I always have a First Aid kit in the van and that has come in handy more times.  Keep bandage materials, cling wrap, antibiotic ointment, cortisone ointment, Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate no Imodium for dogs, you can have Imodium for people, but for dogs just Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol.

Kate Abbot: Tweezers.

Liz Palika: Tweezers.  I wash saline for eyes, Benadryl for bee stings or allergic reactions.  And that First Aid kit needs to be updated before you start on your trip, but make sure it is in an handy spot where everyone knows where it is, that it is well marked and bring more things in the First Aid kit than you think you will ever need because it does come in handy.

[Dog barks]

Liz Palika:  And, that is Walter?


Petra Burke: We said we are staying in a hotel today, so strange noises outside is not good for these guys.

Liz Palika: Another thing to bring are towels and bring more towels than you think you need.  Last night, we were up in the Redwood forests in a tent cabin and about 3:30 in the afternoon it began to rain and it rained, and rained and raaained and raaaaaaaind…

Petra Burke: And then some more rain.

Liz Palika: And dogs still had to go for walks, still had to go for potty breaks.  We all got wet, people and canines.  And with lots of towels it was fine.  There was no emergency, no problem, but make sure you have got those towels.

Kate Abbot: We needed lots because on our hike around the Big Sur River, Walter decided to show off his water dog background and he went swimming.  There he went swimming in the Pacific Ocean and the tidal pools.  Yeah, we spent a lot of time drying you off.

Petra Burke: Yes, we did.

Liz Palika: I think we have gone through four good sized towels so far.

Petra Burke: In brushing and drying them off, Walter.  And then don’t forget antibacterial wipes because we were hiking there where poison oak, poison ivy.  So make sure that after you go through a hike, have a wipe, so you can wipe down your dog’s coat.

Kate Abbot: Dogs are not susceptible to the poison oak or the poison sumac or the poison ivy, but they can pick up the oils on their coats and bring it back to camp with you.

Petra Burke: So, when you want to snuggle in the sleeping bag, thick twice.

Kate Abbot: Wipe’em down first, get all that oil off.

Liz Palika: Another thing you need to think about in preparation is something that we have talked about in these podcasts many times before and that is the importance of training.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that the dog is well behaved before you go camping, traveling, before you go anywhere.  We watched other dogs as we have been on this trip and a couple of different times, we just sat there and said, we couldn’t believe how well behaved the three dogs that we have with us are.  And we have got a variety.  We have got Walter who has been talked about many times, who is a Cockapoo.  We have got Keely, a Pomeranian and then one of my Australian Shepherds, Bashir.  So, it looks like, well, it is quite a variety of dogs.

Petra Burke: One thing as we nicknamed this trip “lady and the tramps.”

Liz Palika: Or the “princess and the tramps.”  [laughter].  But having them well trained so that they walk nicely on a leash, they come when they are called, quickly and enthusiastically and no matter what the distraction, they know the command “quiet,” so that as you just heard when the dog barks in a motel room, he can be hushed and stopped.  The training is just so important and it makes for a much nicer trip.

Petra Burke: “Wait” we people used a lot.  “Wait” when we can get out of Liz’s van and we need to go places or other hotel or other tent cabin, we used “wait” a lot.  “Leave it.”  When you go hiking, they shouldn’t be sniffing at things that they shouldn’t stick their nose…

Liz Palika: Or eating…

Petra Burke: Or eating…

Kate Abbot: Even walking through the cities, the trash on the street, using a “leave it” then.  If for those of you who are familiar with Highway One, you are in California, it is a narrow road in the Carmel area, being able to tell the dogs “wait” when we get out of the car, so we don’t have to worry about them running out on to that busy narrow road.  And we have seen both the best and the worst I think even just on this short trip.  Pulling into the Motel 6 this afternoon, I saw an older couple walking with a large female Rottweiler and I was just so impressed at how nicely she was walking on the leash with them and how well behaved.  And then we have seen…

Petra Burke: …Santa Barbara, lady busy on her cellphone not even knowing what her dog is doing, it is on a flexi, as its pulling its way to the ends of flexi and I think wanted to go nose to nose with a Staffie and the Staffie owner was trying to control his dog, I was very impressed.  So, of course the lady had no clue what her dog was doing.

Kate Abbot: Well, here is this guy trying to keep a young Staffie from losing its mind, holding on to the muscle, holding onto collar, so he can settle down…

Petra Burke:…and the lady with the Shitzu…

Kate Abbot:…just letting it get right up in that Staffie’s nose and go, “go ahead, try it guy.”

Petra Burke:…but her cellphone call must have been much more important than what her dog was doing.

Kate Abbot: Yeah, oh yes.  Not to mention all the joggers, pedestrians, bicyclers that were trying to navigate around her flexi leash.

Liz Palika: We saw the same thing up on Monterey, Fisherman’s Wharf.  A gentleman walked in with a, as he proudly told us, Bullmastiff/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix named Fred.  And Fred was pretty well behaved.  He was walking nicely and then another gentleman walked onto the wharf with a tan and white Chihuahua out at the end of the leash grabbing and pulling and barking and snarling and his owner just kind of laughed and let the dog do his thing and he went after Bashir, but I told Bashir leave it and turned him away.  And the owner just laughed, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, apparently that is quite funny.  And then the Chihuahua dragged him over to Fred.  Fred is also a very young dog, but the owner had good control and just put his hand under Fred’s chin, so that it couldn’t look down at the Chihuahua, but again the Chihuahua owner just thought it was funny, ha, ha, ha, ha.  But unfortunately, one day that is going to be disastrous and he is going to let that little dog do something and a bigger dog is just going to nab him and that will probably be the end of the Chihuahua.  So it is very sad.

Kate Abbot: It is rude at the least, dangerous at the worst.

Liz Palika: Yes.

Petra Burke: But then our adventures at the beach with all the beach dogs off leash on a beach which actually was very good, dogs left each other alone, just passed by, a quick sniff, bye-bye and went on.  So, that was very nice, our dogs had a great time.

Kate Abbot: So, we have seen the good and the bad and the beautiful and the ugly frankly on this trip.  One of our students we were so proud because she was so proud.  She just came back from a cross-country trip.  She put into her van two new Finlands, two Golden Retrievers….

Petra Burke:…and a Havanese.

Liz Palika: Havanese.

Kate Abbot: Sounds like a partridge in a pear tree and did a cross-country trip and I think a couple of dog shows, but also going to relatives homes.

Liz Palika: Illinois.

Kate Abbot: She went from California to Illinois with four very large dogs, staying at relative’s homes.  Well, her husband’s parents are in a retirement home, they don’t even have a yard.  So the dogs had to stay in the garage in crates and mini walks around the neighborhood.  She was so proud that even the security guard at the retirement home had come over and complimented her on how well behaved her dogs were.

Petra Burke: Oh, that is right, as all the hotels she stayed in, she got refunds back on each one of them.  For five dogs in a room and they didn’t even know there were five dogs there, so she did get her pet refunds back, so great pets.

Liz Palika: And she had a good time traveling with her dogs.

Kate Abbot: And even her husband admitted they had a good time traveling with the dogs.

Petra Burke: The owner gives example when we went to the hotel.  Luckily they allowed us to come in with our dogs and the people didn’t even know when we were eating there that our dogs were with us because they were so quiet and well-behaved.

Liz Palika: Now some keys to traveling with your dog.  First of all, never assume that a camp ground, a hotel or a motel is going to allow your dog.  It is important to make plans first.  There are a lot of different resources you can use to do this, one up on the internet lists a number of different types of places, both hotels, motels, bed and breakfast and camp grounds that allow dogs.  And you can search it in a variety of different ways including zip code or city and state, but is an excellent resource.  I also use the automobile association guide books and tour books and maps that also list where pets are allowed and where they are not.

Petra Burke: And Kate was reading Dog Lovers Guide…

Kate Abbot: California Dog Lovers guide I think is the name of it.  It is a wonderful book.

Liz Palika: And there are many of those for other states also.

Kate Abbot: Get lodgings, dog parks, rules and regulations overview of the area.  So, there are things like that that you can go to and look at before you go on the trip, so you are not surprised.

Liz Palika: Right.  But let us take a break for our sponsors and when we come back, we will talk a little bit more about traveling with your dog and we will talk a little bit too about some of our adventures and give you some ideas as to some of the things, simple things that you can do with your dog.  So, just hold on for a few minutes and we will be right back.


“Sit, stay, “It’s a Doggy Dog World” will be right back after a short “paws.” Well, four to be exact.”

We know you are begging for more, so back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World” with your fetching hosts, Liz Palika and this week’s co-hosts, Kate Abbot and Petra Burke.

Liz Palika: Welcome back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World.”  I am your host Liz Palika.  With me today are my good friends, Petra Burke and Kate Abbot of Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center in Vista, California.  As I said at the beginning of this show, we are in Motel 6 in Morro Bay, California.  We are half way through our annual trek with our dogs.  We leave the significant others at home, each grab a dog and we take off for a week.  It is a good vacation from the daily routine, it is wonderful exposure for our dogs, they get to do a variety of things they wouldn’t ordinarily do.  And it is a great way to spend time with friends.  But let us talk a little bit more about preparation for a trip, things you can do during your trip and then we will also talk about some of our adventures that we have had on this particular trip.

Petra Burke: Well, one of the things that we need to mention is if you are staying in a hotel is to bring an extra sheet, blanket or something that you could put over the bed.  If you have a dog that sheds a lot or something on the ground…

Liz Palika: Such as Bashir, an Aussie.

Kate Abbot: Or Walter with his muddy paws.

Petra Burke: And whatever else debris he has in his moustache, but consider that if you have got a dog that is a woofer, what do we call them?

Liz Palika: Swiffer.

Kate Abbot: Swiffer.

Petra Burke: Swiffer bring debris in or…

Kate Abbot: Walking dust mop.

Petra Burke:…or is a heavy shedding type dog, bring something that he can lay on the ground or if your dog sits with you on the bed to lay on top of the covers.

Kate Abbot: You can just shake it out in the morning and then pack it away, makes it much nicer for the hotel and makes it more likely that they are going to stay dog friendly for the next…

Liz Palika: And that is an important idea because one of the quickest ways for dog owners to lose their ability to bring their dogs with them is to have a few irresponsible dog owners make it difficult for the hotel or the hotel staff or the camp ground staff.  And I think that leads into another point, we need to obey the rules.  If they want the dogs kept on leash, we need to keep them on leash.  If they want the dog to go potty in a specific area, that is where we should take our dogs.  And of course, always, always, always clean up after our dogs…

Kate Abbot: I was so disappointed that the first motel we stayed in that first night…

Liz Palika: In San Simeon …

Petra Burke: Oh yeah…

Kate Abbot: To take the dogs for a walk and find that previous owners had not picked up after their dog had…

Liz Palika: And not just one or two but multiple…

Kate Abbot: Yeah…

Liz Palika: And that is very very sad because that is the kind of thing that will cause us to lose our ability to take our dogs and I really enjoy traveling with the dogs.

Kate Abbot: And one fine point of dog etiquette when you pick up the poop in the bag, tie a knot in the bag before you throw it in the trash can, it just makes the aroma so nicer for the next person to walk by your trash can, keep the ambiance wonderful.


Petra Burke: And also if you plan on going sightseeing or touring for example Hearst Castle; if you are going to go there, that’s what, a four-hour tour.

Kate Abbot: Minimum 4-hour tour.

Petra Burke: And sounds like the other guy went for a 4-hour tour, but a finer place where you can leave your dog.

Liz Palika: Safely, not in your car.

Petra Burke: Not in your car, not in your hotel room, but there is a daycare somewhere near Hearst Castle.

Kate Abbot:  A lot of the big amusement parks have kennels attached, so you need your vaccination, health records to be able to board your dog there while you are having a fun day at the happiest place on earth.  Hearst Castle doesn’t have a kennel but there is a kennel in town that apparently makes a good business by doing daycare boarding for people that want to go see Hearst Castle.

Petra Burke: So, don’t think you are tied down or you can’t do tours or some sightseeing that doesn’t allows dogs, just do some research ahead of time…

Kate Abbot: Plan it ahead of time.

Liz Palika: Now some of the things that you can do with your dog, for example we have hit the beaches a lot this time.  Our dogs have been at the beach in Morro Bay, they have been at the beach at Sam Simeon and they have been at the beach in Carmel, all beaches that do allow dogs legally.  The beach in Morro Bay asked that the dogs be on leash and that they don’t go to the breeding grounds or nesting grounds for some endangered birds.  So, of course, we obeyed that.  The other beaches that dogs were allowed off leash, which is great fun because then they can run up and down in the sand and splash in the water and dig in the seaweeds that has been washed up which is where Keely found her tennis ball.

Petra Burke:  But even then…

Liz Palika:..her wet, soggy, sandy tennis ball.

Petra Burke: But Keely never experienced the beach.  So, initially -- remember, so don’t clobber your dog if they are afraid of something.  She was like, oh god, sand, and I think her feet was so wide, it was like a duck, but once she understood that this is fun and then the seaweeds aren’t so gross and yucky, she was playing with those little seaweed balls and run through seaweed…

Kate Abbot: Giant kelp bladder.  Apparently they are great fun to pop.


Petra Burke: So once your dog figures out how much fun it is, you can yell, my god she can just giggle the whole time watching your dog being silly.

Liz Palika: And fill up a memory card in your camera.

Kate Abbot: And that is part of the fun of traveling with dogs wherever you are going is getting to experience a place through their eyes.

Petra Burke: And of course when we went to Carmel and we went to Fisherman’s Wharf where Kate and I had great time eating all sorts of clam chowder in bowl and stuff…

Liz Palika:  And Kate spilled some clam chowder on the dogs’ heads.

Kate Abbot: I was sharing with them.

Petra Burke: But out there, one thing our dogs don’t experience on a daily basis is the sea lions, that is a lot of weird noise, barking dogs in the water underneath the Fisherman’s Wharf, very unusual.  The dogs weren’t too thrilled about that initially.

Kate Abbot:  The breakers as we came toward the end of the pier back to the beach side, the breakers crashing onto shore right underneath the pier.  Apparently that was very worrisome for a while.

Petra Burke: Yeah, when you are looking down upon those, yes.

Kate Abbot: We let him hang out, we jolly them through it and they said okay, all right, no big deal, it is not going to take us away.

Liz Palika: And that is important if your dog is afraid of something, don’t console him, don’t pet him, but instead as Kate says, jolly him.  If you make fun of it or if you talk happy to your dog, come on that is not so scary, you are a brave boy, let’s go.  And let the dog understand that you are not afraid, you are happy and he can handle it too.  Another thing to keep in mind are some of the signs that your dog will give you to show you that he is stressed.  One of the first signs that many dogs do is they yawn.  Yawning is what is called the calming signal.  So if the dog is worried, stressed, thinks that you are perhaps a little tenser than you should be, he may yawn and at the same time turn his head away, that is a stress reliever.  He may lick at his nose just putting the tip of his tongue out of his mouth, the eyes maybe wide open, the pupils dilated, his body may be stiff, his ears back.  If he has got a tail, the tail will be tucked sometimes and sometimes dogs vocalize a little bit more.  I found that with Bashir out on the wharf when the waves were crashing underneath him and he was a little stressed, he started talking a little bit more to me, just some little whines and yelps just enough to let me know that, okay mom, I am not sure about this, this is pretty scary.  And at that point I realized that he was, he was a little worried about it; even though he is pretty brave in most situations, he was a little stressed about that.

Petra Burke: And Keely would yawn and shake a little bit.

Kate Abbot: Walter’s much more dramatic, he curls into a ball, flings himself behind me, only his nose peeks out, ohhh I am going to die.  He is just as dramatic when he gets over it, but traveling is stressful.  Most of the dogs didn’t ask to be put into the car and go for a ride for 12 hours at a time.

Liz Palika: Although these guys do.


Petra Burke: They will go anywhere, anytime.

Liz Palika: There are some things we did with the dogs that are fun.  Besides walking Fisherman’s Wharf and the beach, we also walked them in the Redwoods, up at Big Sur, they got to splash in the Big Sur River, hunt for crawdads in the Big Surf River, climb the rocks, we saw deer…

Kate Abbot: With smells.

Liz Palika: Oh and the smells yes, yes, yes.

Petra Burke: Oh yeah.

Liz Palika: We saw deer and wild turkeys and raccoons and of course we made sure the dogs never ever chased the wildlife, not livestock, the wildlife, but they got to smell and climb the rocks and climb the logs and climb under the fire burned logs of the Redwoods, the old trunks, the clover and the ferns.  It is just absolutely wonderful.  Doggy heaven I would think.

Petra Burke: Yeah, especially when that one time the raccoon was outside the door and Liz opened the door and Riker went right behind his mom, got your back mom, you go out first, it is a big raccoon, bigger than me.


Liz Palika: Yeah, yeah, my brave boy.  Stood behind my legs and…

Kate Abbot: Gave a very good example of the “wait” command.

Liz Palika: Yes, yes, yes, I don’t think I gave it, I think he thought it was implied.  And certainly mom was as far as he was concerned in control of the situation.  The big thing with traveling with your dogs I think is your preparation ahead of time, making sure you are responsible dog owner while you are out and about in public, always leave your camp ground or your motel room as good or better than when you rented it, don’t leave a mess for others to clean up and then don’t forget to have fun because that is what it is all about.  Have fun with your dog, let your dog learn new things, see new things, smell new things and have a lot of fun.

Kate Abbot: And protecting guide them on the trip.  The mental stimulus of being in new places, new smells, not being able to sleep six hours a day like they might normally do while you are at work is tiring for them.  So, Walter definitely gets tired and cranky by the end of the day.

Petra Burke: Oh, so does Keely, he is definitely...


Kate Abbot: And Keely tonight when we left to go get dinner didn’t want to move…

Petra Burke: True, walking out of the door, he goes leave me here, I am fine on the bed, thank you; room service, please deliver.

Liz Palika: And that brings up another point too though that we need to keep in mind, obviously we are not going to keep the same schedule when you are traveling as you would at home, you are not going to work during the day, the dog’s not staying at home or whatever, the schedule is going to be disrupted.  But try to keep some things on schedule, try to feed your dog at a relatively normal time for him, make sure that he gets the potty breaks outside when he needs it and don’t forget the water.  We may not always remember that our dogs need the water just like we do, so have that water dish available as much as possible.

Petra Burke: Encourage him to drink, if not add a little bit more water or food than normal.

Kate Abbot: Offer him some ice cubes.

Petra Burke: Very important.

Liz Palika: Yeah, so I think that will be it for this show for you.  We are going to take another show in a few more days as our adventures continue.  And we will talk a little bit more about traveling with dogs, some things that we have run into, some things that you might run into in how to handle the situation.  So, for the next time, this is Liz Palika, Petra Burke, Kate Abbot from the Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center.  This is…

Kate Abbot: … traveling on the road and Bashir, Walter and Keely are very happy and tired dogs.

Liz Palika: This is “It’s a Doggy Dog World” where we talk about everything about living with dogs including traveling with them, so we will see you next time, bye-bye.

Kate Abbot: Bye-bye.

“Having a rough day, longing for the dog days of summer, think your fun ferry friend lives a dog’s life, well find out everything you are begging to know as Pet Life Radio presents, “It’s a Doggy Dog World” with pet expert and award-winning author, Liz Palika.  Every dog has his day and you will find out how to make your dog’s day fun and rewarding every week on demand only on