Remember you are travelling for your sake not your dog’s!
This is a sentence that popped into my head, during our latest travel to Harz in Germany. We had been driving for an hour to explore a cute little town called Quedlinburg. The weather was nice and hot and we were ready to go explore all of town. But as we got out of the car and we were ready to walk a long with Becca and Amigo, they just looked at us like ‘na-ah’…
You often hear this sentence when people travel with kids. Remember you are travelling for your own sake not your children’s. And I think you can easily turn it around and use it on dogs as well. Our dogs didn’t choose to drive for an hour to explore a city. If they could choose, we would probably just have relaxed in the grass in front of our circuswagon (yes, we rented a circuswagon!) all day. And as I stood there looking at our dogs, I realized, that I couldn’t just expect the dogs to be excited all the time about the new places we visit.
We chose to slow down and not just head into the city right away. Luckily we had parked the car right next to a little park, that looked nice. We sat down in the grass and relaxed with the dogs. They immediately enjoyed it! They lay in the grass rolling around and enjoying the coolness of the grass. We poured them some water and gave them some treats. It was lovely for us to! We got to enjoy the lovely park, people watch and relax and stop up instead of rushing on to the next sights.
6 Tips to keep your dog happy when sightseeing
This experience got me thinking of, what we might do to make our dogs happier, when we go sightseeing.
1. Slow down and take a lot of breaks between sights
Your dog doesn’t get anything out of seeing an old castle. They might like to sniff around and find some royal pee, but that’s it. It might be crowded with tourist and just not that comfortable for your dog. Remember to have breaks between the sights, where you find somewhere, your dog can relax without getting disturbed.
2. Remember to keep them cool
A hot dog is not a happy dog! Plus it’s not safe. So even though you are waiting in line to see some great sight, remember that your dog comes first. They didn’t choose to be there. You brought them. If there is no shadow and the sun is burning, you might want to come back another time. You can keep your dog cool, when sightseeing by keeping them in shade when it’s possible. Put a cooling vest on and splash some water on your dog to keep him cool. Make sure that your breaks between sights are in shadow, where the ground is cool.
3. Plan, plan, plan
Think about when you go sightseeing. Don’t start in the middle of the day. Plan your day and start in the morning if possible. Sightseeing is always great to do early in the morning, because there’s less tourists and the sun isn’t burning as hot.
4. Keep them hydrated at all times
Bring water and lots of it. You might be surprised, of how many kilometres you might walk, when sightseeing in a city. We measured it once and we had ended up walking 10 km! Your dog will get thirsty even though the sun isn’t out. And if it is out, then even more! Offer your dog water every hour. I avoid those water bowls that shops and restaurants might have put out in a good meaning. I do this, because I’m afraid of disease spreading and depending on the country, the water might not be safe to drink.
5. Make it fun for them – use treats and practice some of your tricks on the way
Even though there’s lots of great sniffs in a new city, your dog might miss the interaction with you, like you have on a normal walk. You might be busy finding your way, avoiding cars and sightseeing. But take a moment to make it fun for your dog. Carry treats and do some of the tricks, that your dog knows, when walking around in the city.
6. Play with other dogs
If you walk by a park with dogs, you could let your dog play with one of the dogs living in the city. Who knows – you might end up getting some great tips for sightseeing from the owner.
I hope this post made you think about, the way you travel with your dog and that it is always your choice to travel and go sightseeing – not your dog’s. And that’s why we owe it to our dogs, to make it fun for them to.
How do you keep your pup happy when you go sightseeing?