Advice on Xcountry trip thru Canada
August 24, 2006 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Thinking about a cross country trip thru Canada in a camper with a Golden Retriever. Any advice, tips, recommendations or warnings? I haven't yet set an itinerary but probably will cross in Buffalo/Lewiston. Eventually want to make my way to Portland, OR. Perhaps after a side trip to Vancouver area.
posted by NorthCoastCafe to Travel & Transportation around Canada (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't stock up on a big pile of dog food before you go. There's a small chance that the ongoing foofahraw that's supposedly about Mad Cow Disease will flare up again and that dog food will be VERBOTEN!! again.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:13 PM on August 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you're going to be crossing borders with your dog, be sure to get a letter from your vet attesting that s/he has had his/her rabies vaccine.
posted by k8t at 3:16 PM on August 24, 2006

My parents do this kind of thing a lot, but with a Lhasa, not a Retriever. I'm sure they'll have lots of advice for you, but for now I'll just try and remember what they've said

Don't leave your dog in your trailer for extended periods of time. Anything more than an hour by himself is a Bad Thing, even if you leave the A/C on.

Try and plan your trip around places where you can stay with your dog, as some places won't allow them.

The best thing that they did (according to Dad) was to invest in a laptop and get Microsoft Streets and Trips. It comes with a little GPS thingy and covers the US and Canada. They've gotten "unlost" several times with that, and it helps to find alternate routes around construction and low bridges.

If the 'rents call tonight, I'll ask for more details.
posted by cathoo at 3:27 PM on August 24, 2006

Read "Travels with Charley" and Traveler's Tales edition of "A Dog's World: True Stories of Man's Best Friend on the Road" and please blog about your adventures if you do this. Although the Steinbeck book is dated in terms of the logistics of traveling with a dog, I'll still bet that dogs are some of the best travel ambassadors ever.
posted by jeanmari at 3:39 PM on August 24, 2006

Just got off the phone with the Travelling Twosome:

Do not feed the dog non-digestable teeth-cleaning bones before you drive anywhere. Ewwww...

Do be prepared to be stopped for a while at the border. My parents went to the states and were stopped for about an hour coming back. Also, when crossing the border, keep the dog in the front of the vehicle with you for when you are stopped. The border guards get jumpy if they think there is a Killer Beast in the back instead of Man's Best Friend.

Take your time, make frequent stops, be prepared for good and bad weather. has some helpful information on taking the camper around Canada

Either camping or RVing, my family has never done wrong with a Provincial Park. They're clean and they care about the environment of the park, unlike some sites I've been to.

What kind of RV are you taking? The larger it is, the more you want to plan your route in advance due to campsite restrictions on size. There's also specific message boards online devoted to whatever brand of camper you have. Those guys have LOTS of advice about emergeny repairs and stuff like that.

What time of year are you planning on going? Soon, or next year sometime? It's starting to get rather cool right now, although you should be good until mid-September. Anything later and it might be too cold for decent camping.

You can park overnight at Wal-marts if you're in a jam for a place, just like you can in the US.

(This is the advice from my parents, having done this camper thing for a few summers now. I personally know nothing.)
posted by cathoo at 4:46 PM on August 24, 2006

If you're going to be camping in Ontario, try to camp at a Provincial Park they seemed to be pretty dog-friendly when we camped as a family. We had a lab/newf cross, and there were dog beaches and such for him. Keep the dog leashed for the consideration of others though.

I'll also second the recommendation for a GPS+streets & trips.
posted by glip at 8:50 PM on August 24, 2006

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