Summer Vacation Ideas That Your Dog Will Love

Summer is right around the corner, and you might be ready to get out of town and spend some time relaxing and allowing yourself to recharge. Maybe you’re looking for some adventure and time to explore. Either way, it’s nice to get out of town for some summer fun. However, what about your family dog? Not every trip needs to involve your pet. In fact, many pets and vacations don’t mix, and many dogs would prefer to stay home. However, if you’re trying to find a summer vacation idea that your dog will love as well, there are plenty that can include your furry family members.

Though you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure your pet will be safe, happy, and prepared for a vacation, it’ll all be worth it to see those extra tail wags. Meeting new friends and smelling new smells is extremely enriching for many animals, and can provide them with the extra socialization and new experiences to help create a confident and happy dog. Just make sure you’re finding the right vacation for your dog’s temperament, abilities, and personality.

Take a Road Trip

A road trip is a great summer vacation for both you and your pup. Taking a road trip is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. You can take a day trip, a weekend getaway, or make it a longer vacation by hitting many different destinations. That means a lot of different smells and experiences for your dog, which they will love and appreciate. Smelling new smells is like sightseeing for dogs, so a road trip will provide them with a lot of new experiences. Just make sure you’re taking precautions when traveling with your pet in your vehicle. For example, never leave your pet in your car alone, take plenty of bathroom breaks, and make sure their food and water is available to them in the car as well.

Go to a National Park

There are plenty of amazing national parks sprinkled across the U.S. that showcase some of the most amazing outdoor scenery in the world. From towering trees to miles of sand dunes, to relaxing beaches, each national park offers its own unique beauty and terrain. Arches National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Mesa Verde National Park are just a few amazing national parks that should make your bucket list. Many dogs will feel more at home in the outdoors instead of a city vacation, so a national park adventure is a great option for both of you. However, check the rules and regulations for each park to ensure your pet is allowed and will be safe on each park’s terrain. Foot protection might be necessary to protect their pads from injury.

Head to the Beach

Playing in the waves, having salty fur, and taking a swim is all part of the fun for many dogs who love the water. Taking a walk along the beach is great, but doing so with your dog is a whole different kind of happiness. Whether your dog is young and playful or older and calmer, there is a beach activity that is great for them. Some of the top worldwide vacation destinations for dogs offer some amazing beaches, including Croatia, Italy, and Switzerland. However, your dog will also enjoy a beach that’s closer to home. Whether you’re throwing a frisbee, letting them dig in the sand, or even teaching them how to surf, the beach is a great vacation idea for you and your pup.

Travel by RV

An RV vacation will offer all of the perks of a road trip with the added comfort of a home on wheels. Your dog will love all of the new smells at all of your stops, and will also feel comfortable with the familiar smells inside of the RV. In fact, if your pup tends to get car sick, an RV may help to eliminate that issue. It can be hard to find lodging to accommodate your dog, and an RV is a great way to eliminate that worry as well. Help your dog have a safe and happy RV vacation by ensuring they have current information on their ID tags, never leaving them alone in a hot RV, and bringing along some toys to keep them occupied.

Visit Family

Sometimes it’s nice to take a break and visit family. Being around loved ones, having home cooked meals, and being in a comfortable home is often a better vacation than sightseeing. For your dog, it allows them to have new and enriching experiences while also being somewhere familiar and comfortable. Plus, the extended family always loves to spoil the dog! If they have a big yard or a park nearby, even better. Staying with the family will also help with lodging issues as many hotels don’t allow pets to stay. For older dogs who prefer a relaxing vacation, visiting family is the perfect summer vacation idea. For dogs who prefer some excitement, they will love meeting new people and taking a walk in a neighborhood they don’t get to smell every day.

Go for a Hike

Finding new and challenging places to hike on vacation this summer doesn’t have to be something you do on your own. In fact, hiking is a great activity for your dog. Most dogs will love the exercise, not to mention all of the smells and fun terrain a hike will provide for them. However, be sure you’re making the hike safe for them by keeping them on a lead, bringing a first aid kit, forcing them to take breaks, and keeping them cool by providing them with plenty of water. If your dog has mobility issues or breathing issues (like a short snout), though, you may want to leave them out of the hiking vacation for their safety. Be prepared for issues with bug bites, ticks, and inclement weather.

Visit the Lake

Having fun is the water is often a fun activity for your pup, but if you’re closer to a lake than a beach, having a lake vacation is a great option for you and your dog. At the lake, you can jump off of a dock, take a boat ride, or lounge by the water’s edge. However, make sure you’re taking your dog’s personality into account before bringing them on a lake vacation. If your dog doesn’t like to swim or is afraid of water, don’t subject them to a vacation that involves swimming. Never throw a dog in a body of water to teach them to swim, either. Having a life jacket for your dog is a great idea if your dog likes water but isn’t a great swimmer. Otherwise, they might prefer to stay home.

Go Camping

Cooking over the fire, sleeping on the ground, and being present for sunrise and sunset are all amazing aspects of a camping adventure. As far as a summer vacation goes, camping is a fun and cost-effective option that can include the entire family, including the family dog. Any activity that involves being outside is a great one for your pup and will help them with exercise, new smells, socialization, and enrichment. Take them swimming, go for a hike, and bring them along when you’re searching for firewood. Plus, a dog will help to keep you warm and cozy in your tent. Prioritize your pet’s safety by keeping them hydrated, making sure they are microchipped, and by removing any ticks after your camping vacation.

Have a Cabin Getaway

A cabin getaway is a great way to have a relaxing vacation while being in the outdoors. Having smores, reading on the porch, and taking a walk through the woods are all fun activities that you and your dog will both enjoy. A cabin allows each family member to create their own type of vacation, whether they want to hike or kayak, or go for walks and read. The same is true for dogs. Whether your dog likes to run and play, or relax and nap, a cabin can provide both. When looking at your pre-travel checklist, double check that you’re also including all of your dog’s needs. This will include their bed, food, treats, bowls, and a toy or two to make them feel at home.

Have a Staycation

The truth is that many dogs won’t do well on vacation. Flying, driving, being outside, going somewhere unknown, and meeting new people may be fun for some dogs, but other dogs simply won’t enjoy that much stimulation. If your dog is a homebody, you might consider taking a staycation with your pup instead. Take time off work, and instead of traveling, just relax at home. Take that time to cuddle on the couch with a movie, give them a good brush, and provide them with lots of loves. You can take them on an extra walk, or even buy them a new toy. Vacations are fun, but sometimes a staycation is a much more relaxing and comfortable break from reality.


Summer vacation is a time to get out of town and allow yourself to have some fun to unwind from the obligations of everyday life. Whether you prefer adventure or relaxation in a summer vacation, there are plenty of trip ideas that are great for both you and your furry family members. Just make sure you’re keeping your dog’s personality and abilities in mind before bringing them on vacation. Though many vacation ideas will require you to take extra safety precautions for your dog, it’s all worth it, in the end, to watch your pup enjoy their vacation as much as you’re enjoying yours.

Travel Supplies for Pets

Petmate Airline Travel Kit

BerganA Pet Travel Barrier

Popware Travel Cups

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