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Dogs On Honeymoons

Should they stay or should they go?
By Karen B. London PhD, January 2019, Updated June 2021
dog on vacation

When a newly engaged friend of mine began to make wedding plans, I offered to watch her dogs while she was on her honeymoon. I knew that her dogs would be happy at our house, and I hoped that would allow her to leave any canine-related worries behind. She seemed shocked by my offer, though, because she had never considered going on her honeymoon without her dogs.

When I said, “Oh, you’ll be taking them with you?” she replied, “Of course! Didn’t you?”

In fact, I did not, nor did it even occur to me to do so. I was married almost 20 years ago when it was less common to take dogs on vacations of any kind. Also, we honeymooned in Alaska where we ran a half marathon together, took a plane ride over the mountains of the Alaska range and kayaked on the Kenai Peninsula. None of that would have been possible with our dog. Besides, we wanted to focus on each other rather than on our dog after coming out of the “wedding vortex”.

We did have a huge advantage that many people don’t have when choosing to travel sans dogs. A wedding present from my employer at the time, Debbi Hauri of Complete Canine, was to take care of our dog while we were gone. We knew he was safe as well as happy, and we did not have the financial hit of paying for three weeks of care. It was such a thoughtful gesture, which is why it is one of the few wedding gifts I remember specifically decades later. Interestingly, Debbi told me that she took “a couple of dogs” on her own honeymoon, though most of them stayed behind. (When I worked for her, she had 9 dogs, but I know the number has fluctuated over the years so I’m not sure how many she had when she got married.)


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It has become more and more common to travel with dogs on all sorts of trips and that includes honeymoons. To some people, this seems completely natural while others find it strange. A parallel conversation takes place among people who already have children when they marry. Some take a family-moon vacation after the wedding while other take a more traditional couples-only honeymoon.

What are your thoughts about dogs going on the honeymoon?

Photo: iStock

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life