Traveling With Your Dog this Summer? Adventure Girl and Nature’s Recipe Make it Easier

Adventure Girl Stefanie Michaels has been all over the world, but one thing she loves to do is travel with her dogs. After all, they make everything fun! Now, she has partnered with Nature’s Recipe pet food to make doggie travel a lot easier. Nature’s Recipe knows what pet owners worry about most — finding the right hotel and making sure the dog is fed top notch food. Nature’s Recipe makes grain free, natural healthy food for pets, and it’s sold at most retailers, making it easy to grab a bag on the go for Fido. The company has also partnered with dog-friendly Residence Inn by Marriott in major US cities and created the VI-Pup program to make your experience much smoother.

Here, Adventure Girl shares her tips and her experience with using Nature’s Recipe resources for her recent adventure with her dog Dexter aka d2.

LS: What do you most enjoy about traveling with Dexter?

SM: There’s something to be said about having your animals with you always. It’s about making memories whenever you can, and taking our fur-babies on the road, even if it’s exploring in your own town. Dexter, who we also call d2, is an easy traveler. He’s got a naturally curious and friendly personality. He lights up any room and he enjoys living this big life! What makes him happy, makes me happy.

Welcome Dexter
Dexter at Nature’s Recipe launch party in New York City

LS: How do you choose where to go with your dog?

SM: It really depends on what works for him and his personality. He likes hikes, but I recently found out he also doesn’t mind exploring a city.

That’s really what’s important for pet parents, actually. Before traveling, evaluate your pooch. Figure out what he/she likes and is comfortable with, then choose a destination that fits.

LS: What was the last trip you took with him?

SM: We were just in New York City, working with Nature’s Recipe on a new launch of their premium dog food, now in major retailers.

I had to smile, because he went from this street dog running loose in Bakersfield to an on-screen pooch! Talk about hitting the big time! Haha!

He got to ride around in town cars with drivers and got the star treatment. He was living the “big life” and I loved seeing him get to experience new things. He would head out on breaks to a local park. He even made new friends on the street. We stayed at the Residence Inn, a brand new Marriott property in the World Trade Center area, and they spoiled him rotten with treats, food, and toys. I don’t think he wanted to come home!

Dexter exploring New York City for the first time

LS: How is Nature’s Recipe different than other brands?

SM: They are all about premium products that go into their foods. They were only in pet stores, and now what’s great is you can find them in grocery stores across the US. It made it easier for me for this NYC trip, because I just packed enough for the road, and then when I got to the city, I dropped into the store to grab extra food. Saved me packing space, and back strain, because I didn’t have to bring heavy bags of food for the trip.

LS: How did you find the right hotel for you both? Were there any special amenities provided for Dexter?

SM: Nature’s Recipe partnered with select Residence Inns in cities like New York, Portland, Chicago and Denver to name a few. So, it introduced me and d2 to their partnership by working with them. When we checked in to the one in NYC, Dex got his name on a welcome board, and then his own bag of treats. The staff is enthusiastic about their four-legged guests, and d2 charmed everyone, who stopped to pet him; he walked away with a human girlfriend, who can’t wait until he returns next time.

It really made traveling fun for him and me. I mean, who doesn’t love getting surprises at check-in!?

hotel room
Relaxing at the Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown NYC

LS: Can you share a bit about Nature’s Recipe’s VI-Pup premium experience?

SM: The VI-Pup experience is not only for our fur-babies, but also for pet parents, too. Upon check-in, you get a welcome bag with travel essentials for exploring, toys and treats, and small bags of food. They also give you ideas for where to take your pet that is dog-friendly.

LS: What did you pack for Dexter for your big NYC adventure?

SM: It’s really important to bring along things from home that your dog likes. For d2, it was a towel that he loves to sit on at home. So, I placed it in his carrier. Also, some snacks, and a small plastic bag of his salmon Nature’s Recipe food.

D2 flying
Dexter on the flight from LA to NYC

LS: What are some essentials tips to know when traveling with dogs?

SM: First things first, make sure your pet is in perfect health and up to date on all shots and medications based off what area you are heading to, such as heartworm medication.

Pick a place that fits his/her personality. Pets are like kids, they like certain places like beaches, mountains, cities– so figure this out first, then plan from there.

If you’re planning a road trip, make sure you keep them busy in the car with toys, and stop often to stretch their legs, and yours, too. It’s also a way to kick off some memories, so bring a ball to toss around a bit to get some of their energy out.

Utilize local websites to see about dog friendly options. I use Fuel The Wag for tips on everything from keeping your pet from nose-sunburns to where the dog parks are. Super comprehensive site for pet parents!

Dexter with his mom Adventure Girl Stefanie Michaels enjoying the New York City sunset

LS: Anything you can advise to people who want to take their dogs on vacations, but worried about doing so?

SM: I think there is a hesitation with pet parents to take their animals traveling. But, like with any holiday, it’s all in the planning. I like road trips too, because part of my memories are on the road, keeping them exploring from start to finish.

Also, there are more brands and companies out there now that are catering to our fur-babies, so just make sure to use resources like Fuel The Wag and start planning your summer adventure with Fido!


Published by Lavanya

Lavanya Sunkara is a writer, animal lover, and globetrotter based in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, Fodor’s, Forbes, USA Today and many more in a career spanning ten years. She covers travel, eco-lifestyle, culture, pets, and wildlife conservation.

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