This post is sponsored by Autotrader; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
I’m not an expert when it comes to long traveling with Newfies. We’ve traveled outside of the state with Sherman and Leroy only a handful of times but we do travel short distances with them often.
Over the years I’ve learned that whether you’re traveling 8 hours with them or 30 minutes with them it’s still not an easy task.
It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not easy.
Here’s 8 reasons why traveling with a Newfie can be challenging.
- You need a Newfie-friendly car. Not any pet-friendly car will do. It has to accommodate a 150 pound dog (or more) comfortably. Sure you can try to fit a Newfie in a compact car like a Volkswagen Bug, but where are you going to sit? We got our SUV before we had Newfies but I still have it 10 years later BECAUSE of Newfies. Sure I want a new car, but that would mean downsizing and I just don’t think Sherman and Leroy would approve of that.
- Newfs produce blind spots when you’re driving. It doesn’t matter what kind of car that you have, if a Newfie wants to sit up and look out the window they form a wall. Sherman and Leroy like to sit right in the middle of the back window, especially when I’m trying to back into a parking spot. “Will the 2 Newfies in the back please lay down for safety reasons!”
- Travel accessories. Not only does the car have to be Newfie-friendly, it also has to be Newfie accessory friendly. Newfies are big dogs which means so are their travel accessories. Compact water bowls or those little compact water bottles for dogs? Those aren’t going to work very well for any giant breed dog. You have to bring their 5 quart water bowl and at least a gallon or two of cold water. Then you have to carry it. I have a backpack and so does Leroy. He carries his poop bags, brush, treats, slobber towels and first aide kit. I carry the big stuff.
- More accessories. Dog ramp, cooling pad, travel cooler filled with ice. All on a big scale and all have to fit into the car along with the dog. I think that owners of giant breed dogs kind of make up their own pet-friendly auto accessories because there’s not many out there.
- Pet friendly doesn’t always mean giant breed friendly. We’ve had many issues with pet friendly places only being pet friendly to small dogs. Hotels and restaurants are notorious for this. “Yes, we’re pet friendly, to dogs 30 pounds and under. We almost had to sleep in our car one night because we couldn’t find a hotel that would take dogs over 30 pounds. I had called ahead and asked if the hotel was pet friendly but never expanded on that question. I was quick to learn after that.
- Big bladders. Big dogs have big bladders and I have 2 male dogs that want to pee on everything when they are out and about. Peeing is fine except when you want to take picture by something that shouldn’t be peed on then you have to make sure that your dog drains his bladder completely before you get anywhere near the object. This can take awhile. Maybe I’m the only one that has this problem though.
- Time is never on your side. It’s a proven fact that Newfies attract a crowd wherever they go. Getting from point A to point B is not as easy as it sounds because in between point A and B is at least 10 people who want to pet your dog and ask questions. You have to allot for this. A one hour trip can take up to 3 hours depending on the crowd that is in the area. You know what, just plan on being out the whole day.
- Safety is always first. We don’t do a lot of traveling in the Summer because Newfies just don’t do well in hot and humid weather. Any Summer adventures have to be planned around the weekly forecast. If I see a sudden dip in temperatures and humidity in the weekly forecast, I try to plan for a trip. Sometimes the forecast is wrong and the trip gets cancelled or sometimes a trip is planned at a moment’s notice. Winter is a totally different story. Heavy snow, we’ll be out in it. Safely of course. I learned my lesson many years ago when I attempted to go out in a blizzard. Read more about Safety Tips for Traveling with your Pet.
Don’t get me wrong, traveling with Sherman and Leroy is always a blast and I love doing it, it just requires a lot of work and planing that many people don’t realize.
A few weeks ago we took Leroy to Edgewater Beach, located near downtown Cleveland. I’ve been wanting to go there for a few months to see the new Cleveland sign that was put up right before the RNC. I was watching the forecast for weeks waiting for there to be a break in the heat and humidity and finally that day arrived so we loaded up and headed out one early evening.
I was expecting a crowd because this area is a hot spot in Cleveland right now so we gave ourselves plenty of time to be able to talk with people and get our pictures in.
That was one of the best outings that I’ve had in awhile. We met so many people that day. A very diverse group of people I might add. One little girl stood out as she was staring at Leroy with this terrified but curious look on her face. She was about 15 feet away from us just staring and all of a sudden she screamed, “Slime! Slime!Slime!” as she pointed at Leroy.
I had to laugh and then I told her, “Yes, he slimes but that’s why we bring a towel to wipe it away! See, all gone!” And then she cautiously walked a little closer so we asked her if she wanted to pet Leroy and she said, “No thank you. He’s still a little slimy.”
Another moment that sticks out out is when this elderly lady approached us with her young grandchildren. In very broken English she asked if they could pet Leroy. “Can they pet, please?” She asked.
We told her of course and both the children carefully walked over and gave Leroy a few pets. You could tell by the look on their faces that they were just in awe of Leroy and it warmed my heart.
We also had a very nice park ranger approach us in his vehicle. At first I thought we violated some kind of park rule or something and that we were about to get kicked out but the ranger just wanted to know if he could pet Leroy. Of course we said yes and he parked his vehicle and came over to talk to us for a bit.
It was a great outing and all the work and preparation that went it to it was well worth it. It always is.
Now tell me, what are some of the obstacles you encounter when traveling with your dog? What are some pet safety accessories that you bring? Do you plan on celebrating National Dog Dog on August 26th with a fun trip with your dog?
Hey! Do you live in the Atlanta, Georgia area? If you do check out Autotrader’s National Dog Day #ParkandBark event taking place August 26th from 5-8pm at Historic Fourth Ward Park! It looks like a great event and I wish we lived a little closer to attend!
Looking more some more great safety tips for traveling with yours pets? Check out this great post from our friends at Autotrader: 8 Pet Friendly Accessiories for your Car or Truck.