Over the past few months while relocating to the wet-side of the State, I’ve found myself staying in a resort motel just outside of Tonasket. I’ve been honing my “materials list” for things that I have found to make traveling and hoteling with my Bouvier team a better experience.
Because Alice is 98% blind and deaf, a leash and tether is essential. Were Alice a chewer, my tether would be a cable, but she’s not, so Wil’s 15 foot long-line works just fine. I use this when I’m loading or unloading the car. I tie her to a picnic table in the front yard of my rented unit. If you do this with your dog, be sure that a few things are true:
You have tied to a collar with a buckle, not one that must be slipped over a dog’s head and absolutely not to a collar that cannot be cut with a knife or scissors. NEVER tie to the live ring on a choke collar. It does not take too many times of a dog spinning in a circle to tighten it into a tighter and tighter noose. And this noose can be created on the dead ring of a collar too.
You must have your dog in sight of your car and the hotel room so that you can monitor him while you buck things into or out of your motel room. Check to be sure that he is not tangled by his leash or line frequently. If he is approached by another dog or other animal— or if a human approaches him either to pet or take him— have him close enough that you can run interference in an instant.
If you’re staying in a hotel where you must disappear for a few minutes at a time, or if your dog is aggressive toward other people or animals then take him for a walk so that he can relieve himself before fetching your bags and other belongings. Leave him in the car or hotel room while you get things set up. If he’s an escape risk, lock him in the bathroom, in a crate or other secured spot as you set things up in you room.
I have a couple of dog beds in my car and in my truck. I buck these into the room. Having their own beds gives the dogs security in having a spot they can call their own. And it minimizes the time their feet touch the hotel room floor.
As one who is highly reactive to chemicals, I am acutely aware of the dangers household cleaners pose to one’s health. This is particularly true of dogs because their feet easily absorb poison they walk on. Unless it’s a “green” hotel you can assume that the floors have been treated with a chemical cleaner. I recommend packing an old sheet or blanket that you ask your dog to stay on while in the room. That way there’s a buffer between his feet and the carpet, tile or linoleum in the room.
If you allow your dog to sleep on the bed, it is a courtesy to bring along your own sheet or blanket to cover the bed so that you don’t soil the bedspread or sheet.
If your dog has separation anxiety and cannot be left alone without him tearing things apart, pack a portable dog crate and leave him in that if he is unattended. A dog who is properly conditioned to a crate may find comfort in having his portable cave available.
These are crates I would consider for Alice or Wil. Note that they are 4 feet long! This would be a football field for a Yorkie! And it might be a little cramped for a Mastiff. I use the following trick to find a good size. I take a towel or blanket and have the dog lie down on it. I then use it to decide whether a cage with the measurements of the towel would be wide enough and what the length would have to be to make the dog comfortable. Here are cages I would consider for Alice (65 lbs) and Wil (80 lbs):
I have food and water bowls that I bring in too. I usually feed kibble to the dogs when we’re on the road, though sometimes I put their raw meat in quart yogurt containers in a cooler. If I’m away for a couple of days, I’ll freeze the ones I’ll need for the extra days and pull them out of the cooler in the morning so they’ll be thawed out by evening. There are some pretty cool collapsible bowls that save some room in your car when you’re on-the-road.
I usually have a full gallon of water in the vehicle at all times. But when traveling, I make sure of this. If the hotel water smells of chorine, then I’ll doll out my own fluoride/ chlorine-free water.
Some dogs are addicted to toys. If yours has a favorite toy, you can bring it along. But a squeaky toy will not be appreciated by the neighbors on the other side of the wall. You might bring along a chew toy, but do consider the ensuing mess of chewing material such as raw bones and the like.
Here are a few ideas of toys you might use to occupy your dog in a hotel room (or at home, for that matter). These would not be too noisy or cause him to be too nuts! These would be good for dogs that need to be busy all the time. Note the Trixie one will require some instruction from you for most dogs.