Should I bring my puppy on vacation?
April 15, 2009 10:50 AM   Subscribe

My family and I are going to the beach this weekend. Should I bring the puppy or leave him in the kennel?

My puppy is four months old. He's a small terrier mix, and a pretty well-behaved dog. He's crate-trained and mostly house-trained. He'd be fine spending a few hours alone at a time in his crate while we swim.

We'll be spending three days away. The drive to the beach is only about 3-4 hours. The hotel allows small pets like mine, and has nice grounds for walking.

I booked a space at the kennel, and it's a decent place, but still ... a kennel. I haven't paid yet and we can still cancel.

I'd like to bring the dog, as would the kids (even though they don't know it's an option--they're just always glad to have the pup around). But my husband feels like it'll be less of a vacation if we have the puppy there since I'll be on puppy duty and it'll mean he has more kid duty. But I think we'll have more fun with the puppy.

My husband will be fine either way, but I'm wondering what the hive thinks.
posted by bluedaisy to Pets & Animals (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bring the dog.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:59 AM on April 15, 2009

Will there be dog friendly (i.e., outdoor/patio) eating options, or will your dog be crated in the hotel when you are having meals as well?
posted by kellyblah at 11:00 AM on April 15, 2009

I'd bring him too. Mostly housebroken could easily turn into "not so housebroken" in three days if the kennel's routine is different than yours. Besides, puppies are fun.
posted by mjcon at 11:02 AM on April 15, 2009

I've taken a dog to the beach a couple of times over the years and the big steamy dump right on the beach never fails. That might be kind of awkward on certain beaches so you may want to have a plan for whether it's ok and how to dispose of it.
posted by crapmatic at 11:06 AM on April 15, 2009

Bring him! Puppies are fun and especially four-month-old puppies--I wouldn't want to miss a day of that! And from the dog's point of view, the main thing he wants is to be with his people. Even if you can't take him with you on the beach, he will appreciate being with you for his walks and at night, and will certainly spend less time crated than he would at the kennel.
posted by HotToddy at 11:12 AM on April 15, 2009

Nthing the "bring the puppy". Now's a good time to expose him to different sights and sounds so that he doesn't turn into a nervous wreck in his later years. Yeah, it might be "less of a vacation" because of the added responsibility. But if you're bringing the kids, it wasn't a vacation to start with anyway.

Also, keep in mind that, as mjcon said, just because he's housebroken at home doesn't mean that a change in routine won't cause him to regress. Bring some wee-pads along just in case.
posted by arishaun at 11:19 AM on April 15, 2009

On many beaches, dogs are not allowed, on leash or not. I would check, before making a decision.
posted by Danf at 11:19 AM on April 15, 2009

It's a family vacation, right? Dog is family. Bring the dog.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:26 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'd bring him. Like Kadin said, dog is family. Also, it'll help socialize the pup, and that's super important.
posted by alynnk at 11:29 AM on April 15, 2009

Bring puppy.

I adopted my monkey-puppy when she was a year, and she had always gone along on vacations, errands, etc with her "first mom" - having her able to adjust to different situations, ride well in the car, etc has been sooo helpful.
posted by KAS at 11:30 AM on April 15, 2009

Bring him! Also bring bags for the poop, make sure to keep him on a leash unless you absolutely know he has no ability to run away or bug people, wash off the salt so he doesn't get too irritated, some kind of Nature's Miracle or other enzyme cleaner, spray carpet cleaner, and his bed. Puppies + beach + family = fun!
posted by barnone at 11:31 AM on April 15, 2009

I vote for taking the pup. Check to see if he'll be allowed on the beach. And make sure he's on some sort of heartworm/parasite preventative, as beaches where dogs are allowed are often host to hookworms, which can burrow nicely through his (or your) skin.
posted by thejanna at 11:32 AM on April 15, 2009

Bring the dog - definitely! It will be great for helping with his socialization. We take our three dogs everywhere with us. They've stayed at rental houses, hotels, and campgrounds. They've been on car trips everywhere from 1-18 hours from home. They've done great on the road. All the experiences have made them calmer, more well-adjusted dogs.

Boarding kennels can also be very stressful (and sometimes dirty/germy) places! Your pet is much better off with you!
posted by MorningPerson at 11:33 AM on April 15, 2009

Leave the dog in a kennel. It's a dog. It's not a child. You're on vacation. You should enjoy yourself.

Of course, it's not PC to say that. It's just realistic. One less headache.
posted by Zambrano at 11:40 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bring the dog.

Put the kids on puppy duty.
posted by anastasiav at 11:40 AM on April 15, 2009

I would bring the dog - it will be great for him to be exposed to the new sights and sounds of vacation, and will help him learn to travel well.
posted by robinpME at 11:49 AM on April 15, 2009

"But I think we'll have more fun with the puppy." You said it best!
Barnone's list is great-- and don't forget the toys and treats.
posted by aquafortis at 11:54 AM on April 15, 2009

Leave the dog in a kennel. It's a dog. It's not a child. You're on vacation. You should enjoy yourself.

While I agree with you personally, Zambrano (as in, having a dog around would be a headache), I know I'm not a dog person. This is obviously a dog family (maybe the husband to a lesser extent), or else they wouldn't have adopted one. They like dogs, don't consider it a headache, and should enjoy having the pup around on vacation and socializing him, as others say.

Bring him! (but do check whether you are allowed to have him on the beach before doing so)
posted by JenMarie at 11:59 AM on April 15, 2009

We always brought our dog on vacation, and it was awesome.
posted by radioamy at 12:02 PM on April 15, 2009

Just remember your lovable dog is lovable to you only. To others he, or she will likely be as lovable as a three year old in a restaurant, throwing a tantrum or merely just about to throw a tantrum. Remember, too, Poopsie's poop having about three to seven times the E. coli per capita of human poop, there is the public health aspect to consider.

Generally, it is safe to say that people who don't own dogs don't want to interact with them or their traces in places like dressing rooms, bathrooms or anywhere food is served. A dog may be one of the family but that does not mean you can drag that dog into every situation where ther are other people.

People can have dogs where I live--and one thing I have learned from thais is that people pick up after their dogs religiously only when there are other people present. When no one seems to be around, the "Well, maybe just this one time..." rule applies and the poop is not picked up, or it is picked up but not taken to a garbage can but rather dumped in a planter or behind a door or left on a table off which other people have eaten and will eat meals. You would not believe how often people do this--otherwise upstanding people who swear on a stack of Bibles, who get angry at the very idea that anyone would ever accuse them of such a thing.

Then, the next minute, they are in a hurry and Well, just this once--Katy bar the door! That poop is not picked up, or it is picked up to be left by the door (where it will never be seen again by the person who tossed it there, no matter how many times that person walks past it thereafter) or tossed loose in a flower bed or behind a bush, when no is looking, where some poor sap on the job will put his hands later, and all this is done without a second's thought about this, about how one's negligence and slackness amounts to the functional equivalent of biological warfare.

People pick up after their dogs as often as cigarette smokers, when they are done smoking, put out their butts and put them in a trash can. WHich is not that often at all. Well, just this once ... shouldn't be the equivalent of almost always or more often that not when no one else is apparently there to see. But it is....

Lazy is just all too human. People say they pick up but they don't. Not when they can get away with it. There have to be places where dogs can't go because people just don't keep their promises when it comes to picking up. Which is why I am in favor of no dogs at the park. Because there are going to be steaming pile of dog shit everywhere if, when and where they are allowed.
posted by y2karl at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

If your husband is unsure and you want to bring the dog, then offer something to sweeten the deal. Maybe an some alone time or something special during puppy crate time.
posted by Gor-ella at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2009

Thanks, all. Mr Bluedaisy and I chatted again and decided to bring the pup for many of the reasons mentioned here.

The beach is private, so that won't be an issue. And thanks for the heads up about worms.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2009

y2karl, we scoop after our pooches, everywhere and everytime. Don't group people like that. And, yes, bring the pooch! Just always scoop, so that others don't lose dog privileges. ( It only takes a few people who leave doggie messes behind to screw it up for everyone else.)
posted by azpenguin at 5:12 PM on April 15, 2009

I would suggest that you pack some disposable rags and carpet cleaner to take care of any accidents in the hotel room. Have fun!
posted by Dave. at 8:57 AM on April 16, 2009

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