Finally, families are back to traveling, especially during the summer. In some cases, you are even able to take your family dog when going hiking, camping, on seaside adventures or visiting family.

If you are going to visit other family members, their space might not be conducive for large dogs or even new puppies whose behavior is not yet socially acceptable. What to do? 

You can travel with a puppy playpen or exercise pen. They come in metal, plastic and canvas fabric and a variety of heights. These are collapsible and pack easily and keep your dog safe and confined, both indoors and outside.

Need more space? My family travels with a portable wireless fence system. It plugs in anywhere, doesn’t need in-ground wiring and you can place flags around to indicate your dog’s temporary new boundaries. Your dog can safely stay outside if he has been trained to invisible fencing and knows how to respond to collar and flags. This system can be used in a campground if it has electric outlets. 

You will also need a long leash (rope style is good and, if nylon or poly, it doesn’t get tangled in brush), life vest if swimming, water retrieving, flying disc or ball toys, towels, insect spray, portable water bottles and bowls, Doggles, sunscreen, a cooling collar, a lighted collar or light attached to a leash, possibly a dog backpack, pet first aid kit, brush, shampoo, flea and tick medications and even booties, depending on the terrain or heat of the ground.

For car travel, a plastic or fabric kennel, pet barriers, car seat, seat belt restraints, etc. will keep your dog safe. Don’t leave your dog in a locked hot car even for a short time. If some of your plans don’t allow for your dog, a dog-friendly motel room or even a local pet boarding facility might help for doggie daycare or overnight boarding in the place you are visiting.

Wherever you are bound, you can at least consider taking your pet with you if you check ahead at various chain motels. They will often accept well-behaved pets for free or with a pet deposit. An exercise pen keeps them from being destructive in those strange motel rooms.

Pack plenty of their regular food as you might not be able to buy it around the country. Bring vaccine records with you and make sure all the dog’s medication is on hand. A tag with your cell number and rabies tag is critical. Make sure your dog is microchipped before leaving town, just in case.

If you are staying home, there are plenty of local adventures for your dog. Day hikes, beach in the early morning or late evening, various parks, backyard dog parties for their buddies, playtimes, the Sandbar on the May River and more. Include your dog whenever you can and you won’t feel guilty when you do have to go away and leave them home.

Have a great summer!

Abby Bird is owner of Alphadog Training Academy.