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Traveling with your Dog to OBX

Traveling with your Dog to OBX

A lot of people would never think of going on vacation without their beloved four-legged family member. We get it. They are a part of the family. And, you don’t have to pay kennel fees and worry about what is happening with Benji or Max or Daisy while you are on the road. Great!  Just do some planning because as you know, planes and cars were never designed with the family dog in mind. So, we have some tips for you while you are on the way to the Outer Banks by car.

Step 1: Book Your Perfect OBX Pet-Friendly Rental

Village Realty is pleased to offer one of the area’s largest selection of pet-friendly Outer Banks vacation rentals. Choose from 200 vacation rentals that allow dogs (and in some cases cats). Many of these rentals are oceanfront or provide ocean views and come with coveted amenities like hot tubspoolsgame rooms, and more. 

Step 2: Get Prepped for Travel

Make sure you have a tag on your dog and bring all medications with you. Find out the name and location of the nearest vet before you leave for the beach. You won’t want to have to do that in case there is an emergency. If there is a way to clip another tag on your pup with the rental house ID/company that is a good idea just in case CoCo decides to make a run for it. 

Crate or harness your dog when riding in your car. That way you won’t be distracted and Princess will be safer since she won’t be flying through the air if there is a sudden stop or collision. Speaking of flying through the air it is also a good idea to NOT feed your dog a lot of food before you start your trip since they are prone to motion sickness. And don’t slip them a snack while the car is moving either. When you stop for break you can feed her/him a small snack (one high in protein is your best bet). While you are stopped take some time to walk your dog and let him work off all that pent-up energy.  Play ball, walk quickly for a few minutes.  

This should go without saying but don’t leave your precious family member in a parked car, and especially when it is warm outside. Cars can quickly turn into ovens even when the windows are cracked. Just don’t do it. 

Don’t forget to pack or bring along Fido’s favorite blanket or toy, bone or other item that he loves and will be a comfort to him. If you want to try a little extra calming for Miss Penelope, take a little bit of lavender oil and rub between your hands. Then give King an Aromatherapy massage.  

Step 3: Acclimate to OBX Life Together

Once you get to your vacation rental, take your pet on a long walk since that will relax him.  Your dog is probably going to be a little nervous in the strange surroundings and since she is out of her comfort zone she may growl at strangers or bark more than usual. Just reassure her that all is well in a calm tone.  When she realizes you are OK and calm she will be too.

So you are both in a new place and there are new things to see, explore, smell, hear and taste. When you are walking Duke make sure you look out for things that he could eat that would be harmful.  This includes old food people have thrown on the ground, plants and even frogs and lizards (we have lots of them on the OBX).  

When you are ready to enter the rental home (yay, you are finally here!), make sure you go in first and tell King to “stay”.  Don’t let your dog wander around the house or she may assume control. During the time you are unpacking, making phone calls to tell people back home that you arrived, etc. your dog should be waiting. When YOU are ready, you can take the dog around the house which will already have your scent in it. 

Honestly, we have far less damage from pets than from humans. Pet lovers tend to be very considerate of the home they have rented and we appreciate that.  There are many pet stores here on the Outer Banks and I have listed a couple below. 

Step 4: Know the Local Leash Laws

In Duck, dogs may be unleashed on the beach year-round, under the watchful eye and control of an owner/handler. In Southern Shores, dogs are not permitted on any beaches. Most other beaches require that dogs be leashed at all times, especially during the busy season: Memorial Day through Labor Day. In Kitty Hawk, after Memorial Day, dogs are allowed off-leash, provided they stay within 30 feet of their owner and come on command.

Step 5: Treat Your Furry Family Member

You’re on vacation after all! Be sure to stop in at the local pet shops for gourmet treats, new toys or to stock up on your pooch’s favorite kibble.

Salty Paws Biscuits – two locations. One at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing in Nags Head and one in the Loblolly Pines Shopping Center in Duck. Homemade dog biscuits. Toys and more. Highly recommend. 
Holistic Pet Shop is located in Kill Devil Hills. Pet food, natural anxiety relief products, pet foods and more.