After spending the night at a fancy pet-friendly resort, we flew to Washington, D.C., where Vincent and I met up with my significant other and our Belgian Malinois puppy, Violet. They’d just driven up to help me enjoy three days of BlogPaws, a social networking conference for the set. There we spent our nights at a ninth-floor hotel room (near the elevator, thank God) and our days at a conference booth promoting my Fat Dog Diet iPhone app.

After the seminar, we shared a leisurely drive back to Miami with Vincent and Violet sleeping peacefully (mostly, anyway) in the back of my SUV.

As a media marathon experience in travel, this trip was extra-illuminating on the front. It’s only fair for you to learn about the things no one ever talks about in those unhelpful pet travel websites.

A Few Tips From the Road Weary

So here it is, fodder for your upcoming summer travels:

1. The first time is always the worst. So plan a trip first. I know plenty of people who refuse to travel with their pets after having endured a stressful time their first time out. But that’s only to be expected. Your puppy has a character that is sound and as it wasn’t a complete fiasco, it’s probably a good idea. Just be sure to make it a shorter trip the next time out, and stop someplace fun, like the dog park.

2. Traveling with a puppy is a double-edged sword. As you might expect, puppies can make for some tough traveling adventures. Consider: that chewing problems and separation anxiety! Despite the drawbacks, traveling with a pup provides lots to recommend it. After all, how best to interact a pet than to expose her to them early?

(Just make sure you bring along a powerful array of floor cleaners!)