Where to go when you stay: Peeing pet-iquette 101

Love traveling with your dog? Taking Bowser on a bountiful road trip? Weekend warriors cruising down Route 66, Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise? Well, you get the reference points. When Fido’s gotta go, Fido simply must go. As a traveler whose idea of a sidekick requires potty breaks, there’s a bit of petiquette to pee when traveling life’s highways and biways. Here, then, are some peeing pet-iquette tips:

*Early on: Train your dog to urinate on a variety of surfaces, including grass, gravel, rocks, wood chips, and even cement. Take it from a page in this dog journeywoman’s diary: There is no greater joy than pouring rain, no rest stop in sight, and a slab of concrete readily available ala roadside. My fur-boy and I even have a code word to initiate: go-go-go. When he hears those three magic words, I know the process shall begin and both mama and son can take shelter from the storm or snow.

* If staying at a hotel, often times the front desk has a mapped out area of where Fido’s relief areas are located. If you are anything like me in reading a map, I have a hard time finding my car in the lot the next morning , let alone Fifi’s potty spot. To the best of your ability, discern where on the grounds dogs should be allowed to relieve themselves and institute the “go-go-go” phrase to set these boundaries. Granted, your precious pooch will no doubt sniff out the other dogs who went there before. Pee mail, as the hipsters call it.

* Bonus tip: Be sure Fido adjusts to elevator rides and not when he’s got an overnight gallon of urine to let loose.

*What if you are staying on the 19th floor of a rico suave building somewhere in Manhattan? Quips have been whispered into my ear across a crowded hallway that piddle pads serve an indoor purpose if properly disposed of.

* Then of course, there’s Pet-a-Potty, of which I have no intimate experience with but have been at many an expo and trade event where they surfaced. The drainage kit ensures the odoriferous way need not surface. Indoor grass. Truly I have seen it all. Mostly I’ve spectacled these at dog show rings for a quick pee stop between showings.

* Accidents will happen, be it by butt or force of stream, so imagine my chagrin when I discovered. http://www.odorandstainremover.com/store/cat_urine.html. It is enviro-friendly, works instantly, and is nontoxic. I couldn’t smell anything and thought it was a hoax; oh faux no…. the real deal it is! Odor and stain be gone. Love this stuff from Sea Yu Enterprises. Sells at about $10.99 per can.

Things to pack in your oops bag when traveling?

  • * Baby wipes
  • * Two old towels
  • * Sheet from home if Fido plans to sleep on the bed with you
  • * Stain remover and paper towels to blot

So until the day that dog equality comes, raising a united paw, demanding separate female bathrooms and male bidets, we canine mums and dads will be doting and go-go-go-ing, clean up bags in tow, neatly tyed off and disposed of in its biodegradable intention. Which can’t be said for a few of the little tykes spied recently at the dog park peeing behind a tree, much to their parents approval.
Wondering if they were taught go-go-go or was that simply a societally learned behavior? Whatever the case, knowing how to go, where to go, and how often to go when planning a road trip makes the road more comfortable for Fido and pack. Oh, and bonus points: Hotels like when you clean up after your dog; good manners means people and their pets get invited back.

Got a good tip for toilet travel? DO tell….


  1. I’m thinking the pet potties, piddle pads, etc. are okay in a pinch. But I’ve spoken to vets who don’t like them when used often because the dog may miss the pad or may think that if it’s okay to pee here, he can also pee other places indoors.
    Right now, Earl, who is 18, is missing his litter box. It is so upsetting. He has never done this before. I think it is old age.

  2. Dexter learned with piddle pads and in a pinch, or especially for elderly dogs who travel, the piddle pads have been a life saver for me. Big hugs to Earl. 18 is awesome. You are definitely doing something great there, Michele!

  3. This was very helpful. My dog, Roscoe, will be 11 in October. We are just beginning to travel more. It had not occurred to me that I should get him used to different surfaces for potty time. Also a great tip about bringing a sheet from home. It’s better to learn from others than find out on your own. Thanks.

  4. Great article! Teaching Poppy to “go potty” on command was one of the best tips I learned. It has been invaluable! I like the idea of teaching the dog to eliminate on a variety of surfaces.

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