By Victoria Heuer
If you're like the rest of us working stiffs, you want to take a break sometimes from thinking so hard to just veg out. But maybe you don't have a lot of time to go away, or you don't want to spend much money, and plus you have a dog that you really don't want to leave behind, because how much fun would a vacation be if you didn't have your best friend with you?
As you might imagine, we here at petMD live and breathe our pets, so the thought of taking a vacation without them is just not something we want to do. We got together with our "pack" at Pet360 to brainstorm some close to home mini vacations, or "staycations" as they have become known, and we were so excited by our ideas that we wanted to share them with everyone. We hope that you will be inspired to plan a staycation with your dog! And please, if you have an idea for a staycation, share it in the comments.
Wendy Toth, Editor Pet360
Break out your dog's inner fashionista for a stay-cation clothing swap. Invite friends and their dogs to your house, and ask them to bring clothing, accessories, and dog gear they no longer want. Once the party is assembled, everyone can choose fab "new" gear for themselves and their pet! Not only will you and your dog end up dressed to the nines, but you can end the day with a trip to your local shelter to donate what's left!
Just be sure to check that any safety-related gear, such as harnesses and leashes, are in good working order before wearing or donating.
Courtney Temple, Junior Editor Pet360
Pamper yourself and your dog this stay-cation with a mani/pedi session. Not only will this be a true bonding experience, but both of you will have freshly trimmed nails when you both go back to your normal routines. Just like humans, nail trimming is an essential part of a dog’s grooming routine. However, it’s important to remember that your dog’s nails can be one of his or her most sensitive areas, so try offering reassurance by gently massaging the area before trimming. After the mani/pedi session, follow up with treats for both of you at a dog friendly cafe! There’s nothing wrong with a little TLC on your stay-cation.
Natalie Marchionni, Client Services Specialist petMD
My perfect stay-cation starts with a morning class of Doga! My American bull dog and I practice stretching and meditation with other enthusiasts. You don’t have to be a yoga expert to enjoy Doga, it's a perfect way for both you and your dog to exercise and spend time together. Offered at many traditional yoga studios, Doga classes are fun and are a great bonding experience. Try calling your local studio to find out if classes are offered. Learn more about Doga here.
Victoria Heuer, Senior Editor petMD
One of the best things about living in a vacation state (Fla.) is that we don’t have to go very far. My perfect stay-cation would be taking my dog Rocky to go camping at one of our sea-side state parks. We have some parks within a half hour driving, but there is a beautiful park about three hours down in the Keys that is surrounded by water on all sides, where you can watch the sun rise over the ocean to the East, and set over the Gulf to the west. Rocky and I could explore the trails at Bahia Honda State Park, do a little fishing, and have a fresh fish dinner under the stars — just a day and overnight would be a totally do-able get-away treat!
Vladimir Negron, Managing Editor petMD
If all you have is one day to do whatever you want, make it a movie day — watch movies that feature dogs as the main characters! Your movie choices will depend on the audience, whether you have kids, or you'll be inviting some friends and their dogs over for a dog-movie party. Some great choices for kids are Beethoven, Lady and the Tramp, Bolt, Space Buddies, and Air Bud. Or you can watch movies that have dogs as supporting cast: There's Something About Mary,Turner & Hooch, Marley & Me and Hachi: A Dog's Tale.